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Mobile rendering vs optimisation: what’s the difference?

BK survey on iPhone wide.pngOne of the great things about working at Maritz is that although we are the world’s largest performance improvement company, turning over in excess of $1bn a year, because we are still privately held we can have a really flexible, boutique approach. This is especially useful for new innovations and technology which we can get to market quicker than most of the traditional research agencies as well as the new ‘technology providers’. (See “What’s that big, grey thing with large ears?”)

One of those recent innovations that has really caused a buzz is our mobile optimisation technology. Every supplier seems to be saying that they are rendering surveys to mobile, but rendering and optimisation are two very different things.

One is incredibly difficult and frustrating for your customers and one of them (ours) is exceptionally easy to use for your customers, reduces drop out rates, increases your ROI and works as a genuine brand extension piece.

So what is optimisation? Mobile optimisation developed by Maritz is really clever (because we have a lot of very clever people working behind the scenes) and means that when a customer takes a survey on a smart device it’s a fantastic experience. The technology recognises not just that the survey is being taken on a mobile (this is rendering) but recognises the operating system (different ones format surveys in diferent ways) but also recognises the actual device. So, for example, a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a Sony Xperia T are both Android operated phones. But the screen sizes are different. It may only be a difference of a centimetre or two but that makes a big difference to how the survey looks on your screen – which leads to problems outlined below.

And why is optimisation so important for your brand?

waiting on phoneUsers don’t compare brands like for like within sector, they compare to best in class across all sectors. A mobile survey where you have to scroll, change orientation, go back and forth, type in individual numbers per box may be standard for the research industry but it is sub standard for actual customers. It is frustrating and disappointing for them and suddenly that great brand experience has turned in to a negative experience and an incomplete survey. That’s what happens when you just render to mobile.

I recently spoke at IQPC’s Customer Experience Exchange for Retail and had the good fortune to follow Markus Kramer, Global Marketing Director at Aston Martin and Rick Jones, Industry Head of Retail at Google on stage. The three key messages for these two innovative, brand-passionate and respected speakers were the same: mobile, mobile mobile!

So why is mobile so important?

Simply put, it’s one of the major ways forward for reaching customers. Smartdevice purchases are increasing dramatically, mobile usage is increasing, and mobile data and internet is becoming the preference for some users. A mobile device is also seen as more personal (than a PC) so if you get it wrong it’s more intrusive.

We conduct millions of surveys a year, around the world, across a number of different channels as you would expect. We have seen response rates via mobile increase dramatically over just the last couple of years. From under 1% to 4% in a year 12 months ago and then from 4% to 14% in the last six months. By the end of this year our projections are that it will be as high as 40%. And this is why it is vitally important to get your mobile survey right.

There are certain best practices for mobile surveys, such as graphic design, number of questions and so on but that’s another blog on its own. But if you don’t get it right now, then your competitors probably will and it’s your customers who may switch or more importantly not give you the feedback to improve the business.

dollars in binOne of my US colleagues told me a really interesting piece of information recently. One of his new clients used to mobile render only, before they started working with us. Now it’s fair to say that you’ll still not get 100% completion rates on an optimised survey. Some people just don’t have time, don’t want to complete and so on. But rendered only mobile surveys can have close to a 40% drop out rate. So my colleague worked out the difference in completion percentage between rendered and our optimised surveys, multiplied it by the number of outlets that our client had, and then the cost per unit that our client was paying its previous supplier. Our client used to pay close to 30% of their annual survey cost on NOT capturing data that they had paid for!

So pick up your mobile, have a look at your survey and ask yourself whether it is optimised or just rendered. Then use the calculator function to see how much you could be saving by partnering with Maritz.