Mobile internet penetration is on the rise in developing Asian countries. This shift is presenting new opportunities to reach lower socio-economic classes with surveys. In Asia Research Online magazine, Robin de Rooij discusses how we see mobile studies in these markets fitting in with the current research offerings.

Targeting the lower SECs in developing markets through mobile research

“Teenagers and those in the lower socio-economic classes (SECs) of developing Asian countries may not have a lot of purchasing power now, but they do represent a rapidly growing market. This also means that for many multinationals these groups provide key opportunities for growth in the region. To ensure that products and services are well-positioned to target these groups, it is important to understand their preferences by doing the relevant research.

With limited Internet penetration in many markets, targeting these lower SECs is typically a difficult task; running research online can be close to impossible, or unable to yield a representative sample. Hence, in many cases, we find ourselves turning to face-to-face interviewing instead. This method of recruitment is typically costly, time-consuming, labour intensive, and often logistically unrepresentative of the total market. Now, with increasing mobile Internet penetration in many Asian countries, we are finally presented with an opportunity to drastically change recruitment of these target groups using feature phones and low-tech smartphones…”