Persuading half a million Kiwis to go online and opt-in sounds like Mission Impossible, especially when the track record’s not that good and the benefits are marginal. But that’s what Spark managed to do.
Much like in New Zealand, mobile phones are ubiquitous in Mexico. Over 90 percent of people living in the Central American country carry the devices in their pockets on a daily basis, and the nation’s arm of Redcross saw this as an opportunity to save lives. Given that many people don’t wear their medical tags, the Redcross invited citizens to send in their medical details to a their mobile phones. All this information was then stored on a database, which can be accessed by emergency workers when needed.
Although mobile research is sometimes considered the new kid on the research block, it has actually been available to researchers for a decade. In fact, the first SMS mobile survey was conducted by Ipsos twelve years ago. Despite this, development of the methodology has been very slow across the industry and even today mobile surveys account for less than 1.5 percent of global industry revenue. However, mobile research is ready to become a key tool in researchers’ (and thus marketers’) toolkits, with the industry predicting mobile surveys via SMS, mobile internet and mobile applications will be the biggest areas for potential growth this decade. So understanding the opportunities and developing the right techniques is the recipe for success.