Mobile Consumer Behavior: The Project


Now that I had created my class, I needed to develop a project for my students to complete during the course. Since we were studying consumer behavior, data collection and analysis would be essential. I also wanted to be sure we collected/analyzed both qualitative and quantitative data. This would provide a deeper understanding of how people were using their devices.

I wanted this data to paint a broad picture of usage instead of taking a deep dive into one narrow area of focus (i.e. mobile commerce, location-based marketing). The goal was to then see what areas showed the most compelling behaviors and then expand on that.

Based on my knowledge of mobile marketing, and the areas of interest to me, the categories of questions were:

  • Foundational – Basic questions around smartphone ownership.
  • Mobile Advertising – Other than XAd, there have been very few mobile advertising successes. And that is going to change.
  • Mobile Web – The web is where all of this started and now it’s in your hands.
  • Mobile Applications – The web started things off but apps are quickly taking center stage with 88% of time spent on smartphones is spent using applications.
  • In-auto – The marriage between smartphone and car is just beginning. These two necessities will be forever tied together in the near future.
  • Social Media – Social is one of the biggest usage for smartphones
  • Events – Smartphones are an essential part of the event experience.
  • Mobile Commerce – Buying something off of Amazon is commonplace. With the release of Apple Pay, we are now headed towards a world where paying with your phone could become the norm.
  • Messaging – This has always been important when it comes to mobile usage but with the acquisition of WhatsApp, messaging has in some ways replaced social in regards to activity.
  • Data – This is the lynchpin for all of these categories being successful. Without data, businesses won’t know what consumers want.
  • Wearables – We will see what adoption looks like over the next couple of years. There is always the buzz phase and then real adoption later. #appleWatch #GoogleGlass

(This is also essentially how the class was broken out class-by-class.)

Once students had collected the qual/quant data they would be tasked with documenting the variances between the US and Japanese consumers and then making business recommendations based on those differences. Instead of working with a specific client/business model, they would be tasked with making recommendations based on different business models. B2B Products/B2B Services & B2C Products/B2C Services + brick & mortar, brick & mortar & online and online.

Each category would be covered by two students (1 primary, 1 secondary) and they would need to document each category in the following way

Summary (3-4 sentences summarizing findings)

  • Variances between US/Japan for Qual data
  • Variances between US/Japan for Quant data
  • Cultural reasons for variances
  • Recommendations by industry based on these variances
  • Qual data details
  • Quant data details

The project was now defined.

By Michael Myers