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Michael Francesco Alioto
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I appreciate your comments, Ray. Indeed, our intent was to shed light on the currently existing body of evidence in our industry – not claim a “proof” in the Philosophy of Science or mathematical sense. Much of the literature surrounding the use of mobile or smartphone devices for survey research is mixed. This study indicated that data can be collected and compiled in multi-mode formats with confidence, which enabled us to support some of the accepted approaches and question others. But let’s not lose sight of the real issue. While we have solid evidence to support the use of multi-modal platforms for research the question of migration from online to smartphone as a preferred platform is still to be determined. Many of us in the marketing research discipline agree that online surveying has its issues (biases associated with representation, scale uses, artificial interviewing environment, etc.). These issues have become increasingly apparent as the online platform has been less able to solve “puzzles” in the Kuhnian sense of the term. The less puzzles solved, the more we are inclined to view the smartphone platform as a potential replacement for online surveying (assuming that the smartphone platform will be able to solve more of the puzzles identified by the online methodology and other potential platforms, such as social media, etc. are not direct competitors for the next platform paradigm). The importance of this study for the marketing research industry is that we were able to rigorously test a number of assumptions and items between the two separate platforms. But this is not the end. Similar to your thoughts, we welcome other research agencies to join in rigorously testing data and research elements between the two platforms. Based on our findings, we believe that these additional tests will support the use of smartphones as a valid survey platform. The critical nature of the future of marketing research surveying is at hand. With technology progressing forward and response rates continuously falling, we need to be able to gather valid and reliable information from our respondents. We stand behind smartphones being a valid avenue to accomplish this goal. We plan on rolling out the key findings from this study at the MRMW11 conference. Ray, we would love to have you join us and contribute to the debate and good discussion.
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Jun 23, 2011