Mobile surveys are the fastest growing emerging method in market research.
Source: 17Q2 GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report
For specific types of surveys targeting specific segments, mobile offers great advantages over other survey method choices, and, in these cases, a mobile-first or even mobile-only approach is advisable. However, along with the advantages mobile offers, it also presents disadvantages compared to online, web and face to face (F2F) surveys. Rather than an "either or" platform choice, we believe that an integrated approach can often enable the best result.
Let's first be clear about the strengths of each surveying methodology:
This is, of course, a gross simplification in that the importance of each criteria differs from project to project, there are other criteria than these to consider, and each of the three methodologies can be modified to enhance one criteria or another. Generally speaking, however, projects that call for 20+ minute interviews, long or highly complex questions, or deeply qualitative analysis are not well suited for mobile. On the other hand, if you have just a few quick questions you want to ask people of a very specific profile and you want to ask the same people questions many times, then mobile is best suited. A ride on any mass transit system in any city in the world offers ample evidence of this stereotype becoming more and more invalid every day, but it can still be said that mobile is also better suited for reaching young people than old.
The wonderful thing about all this is that researchers don't have to pick just one platform or methodology for a given study. Mobile can be used to quickly identify, engage, and qualify people as a gateway to a F2F, implicit, mystery shopping or other form of study. Similarly, mobile can be used to enable continued input from a participant after an interview or experience in the form of a daily diary or periodic pulse check.