The Africa Market Research Association (AMRA) Africa Forum is a high-profile event held under the auspices of ESOMAR, the global market research association that brings together the best and brightest market researchers from all corners of the continent to showcase innovative thinking and breakthrough approaches in the industry.
GeoPoll won the coveted ‘Best Overall Paper’ award at the Forum, which was held in Lagos, Nigeria. The presentation was organised by Mike Odebode of GeoPoll West Africa, Tracy Angus-Hammond of Angus Hammond Africa, and Bukola Sowunmi of Unilever CMI. The presentation shared GeoPoll experience, learnings, and expertise in implementing mobile-based qualitative research in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, an initiative conceptualised by Unilever CMI and executed by GeoPoll and Angus Hammond Africa.
The qualitative data collection project presented at AMRA has been running for six months and has allowed for what many thought was not possible: collecting low-cost and effective qualitative research, remotely, through mobile phones. Typically, qualitative research requires an in-person moderator and a group of focus group participants to meet all together for a length of time, two hours for example.
In order to combat this challenge, Geopoll was able to conceptualise and implement mobile-based chat groups that work around typical limitations of remote qualitative research in Africa. These mobile-based chat groups had a moderator and panel of participants just like face-to-face focus groups, yet the discussion was held through text-based chatting on a mobile phone.
The long timeline of the focus group was particularly unique to the study because the time commitment for quantitative research participants typically is fixed, not flexible like in their mobile-based study. In GeoPoll’s study, participants could chime into the focus group conversation during any free time in their days, which made participation feasible to many more participants.
Participants could be tasked with providing images or videos of their life or experiences. For example, in one of the studies, participants were asked to submit a 2-3 minute video of them cooking an evening meal. The capability to collect videos of this nature brings value to our mobile-based methodology that is not present in face-to-face methods, as all brands know that images and videos are truly worth a thousand words.
Through Geopoll’s mobile-based Market Research Online Communities, or MROCs, they were able to access the inaccessible and truly see into the lives of respondents — which was invaluable to the qualitative research analysis produced as part of this project.