Back in January we announced that we were about to start an iPhone community to explore how smart phones can be used in online research communities, and to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenal consumer response to the device itself.
Well, after many weeks of conversation, we’ve certainly discovered much more than we anticipated. To some extent we expected to hear that people were keen users, but these guys ‘love’ their phones. And love might actually be a mild description. How about ‘besotted’ and ‘can’t live without it’. What’s been most fascinating is how each user has very unique way of using their iPhone – it’s much, much more than a communications device. Importantly for Apple, none of our members can imagine how their iPhone could be replaced by anything else, and it’s potentially creating new legions of Mac converts along the way.
There’s a wealth of information coming out of our community on apps, and how and why companies should be using apps to engage with their customers. One clear insight is, if you are going to create an app, make sure it hits the mark. It only takes seconds to delete a useless app, and there goes your direct mobile connection to that customer. iPhone users are hungry for high functioning apps which make a difference to their life in some way – whether it be information, entertainment, connection, transaction, organisation, etc.
Our insights haven’t all just been about the iPhone, we’ve also been testing different ways of engaging community members to enhance data collection and the depth and richness in online community conversations. While we understand not all market research community members have smartphones, they will become increasingly prevalent, so as an industry we need to look at smartphones as one of our ways of bringing customer conversations into our clients’ boardrooms.
I’m going to let ‘Rachael’ from the community have the last word…
“I love gadgets, in particular, the ‘honeymoon period’ when you try out all the functions and play around and have fun with your new toy. You always reach that point though, where there’s not much more to find out and your new toy slots into your life, mundane as all the other stuff or is discarded as a short-lived novelty. Well, let me say, my iPhone and I are still honeymooning nearly a year after we first met The iPhone has far exceeded my expectations… still in love….”