The Future of Market Research? The Mobile Phone!

Two Chicago-Based Companies Label Research Via Cell Phone

Promising Frontier

Chicago, IL (March 25, 2008) It should not come as a shock to any observer of the market research industry that on-line has surpassed the telephone as the most popular data gathering method. Unfortunately, the industry is running out of Internet research participants. So large is the demand for on-line research that the major providers of access to respondents are increasingly finding it difficult to obtain useful samples. This is driving up costs by increasing respondent incentives and by requiring more effort to ensure data validity.

So what’s next? Two innovative Chicago-based companies think it may well be those ubiquitous mobile devices we all carry--cell phones.

Gerald Linda & Associates, a marketing consultancy, and ad agency, Tom, Dick & Harry, used a mobile phone panel put together by Greenfield On-Line/Ciao to examine intended air travel purchase behavior. Respondents were asked which type of airline would be preferred in planning a trip --a traditional carrier (e.g., United) or a discount carrier. And they were asked to indicate a fair round trip price from the Midwest to Honolulu (30 days in advance). Questions appeared on their phones’ screens and answers were entered via the keypad. Findings were compared to those from a national on-line panel. Results were virtually identical. The same decision would be made by a marketer looking at either data set; the true test of their comparability. (See data below.)

So when people agree to participate in market research in the future, they shouldn’t be surprised when their cell phone rings. It might be a call from a cutting-edge research or advertising company.

About Gerald Linda & Associates

Gerald Linda & Associates, established in 1994 by Gerry Linda after a career as an ad agency and marketing research executive, provides Interim Marketing Leadership, Marketing Planning, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Research and Marketing Communications services. “The goal really is to add fuel to clients’ marketing engines. This fuel might be leading a team, creating a concept, crafting a plan, developing a strategy or just hands on execution,” says founder, Gerry Linda. To learn more about GL&A please visit

About Tom, Dick & Harry Advertising

Tom, Dick & Harry is an award-winning, Chicago advertising agency serving a wide variety of clients including Fox Sports’ Big Ten TV Network, The Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America, Stubb’s Bar-BQ Sauce, Canyon Ranch Resorts, Follett Book Stores, The University of Chicago, Rice Works Rice Chips, Baxter Credit Union, and Mission Investment Fund. To learn more about Tom, Dick & Harry visit

The table below compares Mobile Panel results with answers from an On-Line Panel. It is clear that the results are remarkably similar.

Comparison of Results

Mobile Panel vs. On-Line Panel


Mobile Panel (n=300)

National Panel (n=1,000)

Around $500



Around $750



Around $1,000



Around $1,250



Around $1,500



Type of Airline

Traditional Carrier



Discount Carrier



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