This is depressing. As much as we have tried…and tried…and tried…to alert the Marketing industry to the absolutely horrifying state of market research, the deluge continues. And no one but Lairig Marketing gives a flying f*ck.
And we can’t figure out why.
Today, we present a study from the typically up-to-snuff IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), who teamed up with InMobi and Viggle to research the current adoption of financial apps. Bias alert: InMobi is a mobile ad vendor, Viggle is a “social TV” app provider.
Here is the introduction from their report:
“It’s tax season, and money matters are very much on the minds of American consumers. Increasingly, Americans are embracing mobile services to help them manage their financial lives.”
Note the intentional reference to “Americans,” meaning EVERY CONSUMER.
But a few sentences later, a plot twist:
“To investigate how media-savvy consumers are adopting mobile internet tools to help the [sic] manage their financial lives, the IAB, InMobi, and Viggle teamed up to field a survey to Viggle’s user base.”
So we’re not really talking about “Americans.” Not every consumer, apparently.
Next, then, are some highlighted results:
>>> 83% of “respondents” are aware their bank has a mobile app
>>> 75% of “respondents” are aware their bank has a mobile-optimized website
>>> 58% of “respondents” say they have used their bank’s mobile app
>>> almost 40% of “respondents” who use mobile financial apps have downloaded Paypal’s mobile app
Unfortunately, and perhaps not unintentionally, the specific detailed data charts for each of the results cited above don’t say anything about the “respondents” other than how many there are (i.e., “n = 1242”).
At this point, realists like us look at these numbers and call “bullsh*t!” As just one example, if the PayPal number was accurate, then the total number of PayPal mobile app downloads in the U.S. would be north of 50 million. As of a year ago, PayPal reported 17 million downloads.
We’d also venture that 58% of “Americans” don’t even know what an “app” is, but we digress.
It’s not until you force yourself to page down to “Survey Methodology,” that you understand who the survey “respondents” truly are:
“Viggle emailed invites to a random sample of Viggle’s nearly two million registered users…The Viggle audience is both technology- and media-savvy…centered around the 25 – 34 demographic. They’re more coastal, more urban and tech savvy than the average consumer.”
Not Americans, not every consumer, not even representative of the smartphone user base, for Christ’s sake. So what really is the point of a research exercise like this? What does one do with findings like these? To what reward?