By Greg Lipper • May 2, 2018Comments

The Definitive Guide Mobile Market Survey Types, Tools and Best Practices (Updated May 2018)

The Definitive Guide Mobile Market Survey Types, Tools and Best Practices (Updated May 2018)

Mobile surveys come in a variety of types and each approach can be best for different scenarios. These are just different tools in a research professionals tool box but all have the right to be there. A skilled carpenter knows when to use which tool, but the uninitiated need guidance. Giving you the guidance you need to make an informed choice is what this guide is all about.

You should bookmark this post. As we get more questions from users we will update this page to give you the latest news and knowledge about mobile market survey best practices.

Three mobile survey approaches.

Your three basic choices of mobiles surveys are:

  • Nurture
  • Ambush
  • Do It Yourself (DIY)

What's the best approach for me and the best tool?

Each has strengths and weakness. You can choose between fast quantity or slower, deeper quality. You need to think through what kind of data you need. For example...


In the nurture model, people register with the survey app and respond to profiling questions, which enables clients to target surveys extremely precisely.

Strengths: This model also enables clients to send follow-on questions to the same people who gave specific responses previously.

This is great for brand community, daily 1 to 1 conversation, and journal or diary types of requirements.

Rather than a “drive by” survey, a client can develop a deeper understanding of a group of people over time.

Weaknesses: The downside to the nurture model is that it can take a long time to recruit the profiles and numbers of responders a client may seek.

Happi, which is a platform in the nurture category, offers managed panels to clients as a way to overcome this weakness, but it still requires an initial investment of time and effort to build the panel.

Other great tools in the nurture category are YouGov and Toluna.


In this model, the survey platform has no relationship with the survey responder.

The surveys are hurled at people on web sites or apps controlled by publishers who seek to monetize their traffic.

Strengths: This approaches offers advantage in speed and reach.

Weaknesses: The weaknesses are in precision. PollFish enables clients to select from 7 profile criteria. Google Surveys offers just “convenience” and nationally representative sample options.

“Convenience” means they will accept responses from anyone who chooses to respond.

Nationally representative means that they accept responses from people of age, gender and location proportionate to the population of that country.

If you just want to ask a few hundred randomly selected people from a country a few questions quickly and inexpensively, the ambush model is for you.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Just as if you were to do your home improvements, you select the survey tool and the audience to survey separately.

Great tools in this category include SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, and QuestionPro.

Strengths: Clients who have their own list of people to survey (customers, students, association or chamber members, etc) are perfect for this approach.

One benefit is in the complexity and sophistication of survey types available. SurveyMonkey can do more question types and present the result data in many formats/templates and has developed what we think is an excellent DIY user experience.

Several mobile survey tools in this category also enable clients to purchase panels from panel providers.

Weaknesses: The problem with this approach is that the client has to learn how to use the tool, ensure their data is in the right format, and upload or purchase the target audience file.

It’s time consuming and can be error-prone.

Which approach is right for me?

If you’d like our opinion on which approach and tool is right for you, please fill in the form below.

Our promise: We will give you the best advice we can, even if that advice is that Happi isn’t the right tool for your requirements.

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