MMRA And @Esomar Launch New Mobile Research Guideline

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Esomar and the Mobile Market Research Association have recently updated professional ethics and standards guidance on Mobile Research.

The new Guideline on Mobile Research was launched recently at the Esomar 3D Digital Dimensions conference in Amsterdam.

Developed by a project team of international experts drawn from the industry, the new guideline provides up-to-date guidance in line with the latest international developments in mobile research to promote best practice, professional standards, and respectful relationships with respondents and participants.

“As new technologies and methodologies evolve and find wider adoption, it is very important that practitioners have simple-to-use and easy-to-follow guidelines that ensure that current legislative requirements – as well as current accepted best practice – can easily be adhered to,” says Finn Raben, Esomar director general.

With this guideline, ESOMAR and the MMRA are hoping to embrace companies doing research via mobile that haven’t previously considered themselves part of the market research industry. It assists researchers in addressing legal, ethical and practical considerations.

“There are many new companies doing research now using the mobile channel who do not have a research background,” says Mark Michelson, executive director of the MMRA. “Companies like Foursquare, ShopKick, Facebook are starting to include marketing research as part of their business model. The relationship between marketing and marketing research is becoming more blurred as consumers seem to be more willing to give information in exchange for incentives – and much of this is happening in real time via mobile while people are shopping.

“It’s our goal to reach beyond the research community with our guidelines to help ensure consumers are protected and will continue to participate in research via mobile in the future.”

The new guideline takes into account the increasing use of smart phones, tablets, extended broadband and geo location services and how they may impact market research researchers practicing in the mobile field. The guideline also provides practical assistance in areas such as online diaries, mobile ethnography, video and camera technology and mobile contextual data collection.

The Project team is also working on a shorter version, which will be aimed more at consumers and will set out a bill of rights or commandments that researchers should adhere to.

The Guideline on Mobile Research, which was drafted under the principles of the ICC/Esomar Code on Market and Social Research, and can be easily downloaded here.

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