Missions 101: A Mobile Ethnography Activity Type

What is mobile ethnography and why should researchers use it?

As consumers start to spend more and more time on their phones, it is becoming important to understand what drives them in the digital and real world to make decisions or perform certain actions.


For a long time, ethnography has played a major role in market research. Originally, the methods used to obtain this research, like in-person interviews, focus groups and home photographs, were intrusive and lengthy.


Now, mobile ethnography has brought in new techniques that allow researchers to create an intimate yet unobtrusive setting for gathering insights. Ranging from smartphone photos to location check-in, it is now easier and more cost-effective to gain deep consumer insights. For consumers, mobile ethnography is more comfortable than traditional methods and allows for them to provide feedback without external pressures seen in traditional ethnographic research methods.


My-Take’s mobile application ‘Missions’ allows organizations to utilize mobile ethnography with their customer community and follow participants’ real time emotions to better understand their motivations and what triggers a purchase decision.


How does Missions work?

The missions app must be downloaded to participants' Android or IOS phone. From here, participants are given mandatory steps [optional added conditional logic] rather than questions.


The steps available are:

-       Audio Record: Recording an audio file (only available in mission)

-       Emoji Select: Pick at least one emoji out of over 20 that best answers the question (only available in mission)

-       Location Check-in: Participants select their location. This is a good way to help you view where participants complete the activities (only available in mission)

-       Single Choice Answers

-       Multiple Choice Answers

-       Text Display, useful for instructions

-       Rating

-       Net Promoter Score

-       Long Text Answers

-       Image Upload

-       Video Upload


What are Missions used for?

Missions are best used for field research as they can be completed in public and provide ethnographic data. Some good uses for missions are in-person shopping for things as general as seeing the overall customer experience to specifics like seeing how a product appears in store. Missions can also be used to share customer shopping experiences with the employees of an establishment.


What are some specific use cases for missions?

Retail - By allowing consumers to take a photo, shoot a video or respond to questions while they are shopping, your team gains direct feedback that can bring more clarity than second or third hand information.


Home Use Tests (HUTs) - These can help capture feedback as consumers use the product. For IHUTs, you can use missions to record the unboxing experience/set up/first time usage. They can also be an alternative to in-home interviews by sending people products and asking them to do specific tasks. Missions can also provide video and audio that can be added to a buyer persona to help bring it to life.


To learn more about Missions, click here to schedule a demo.

Posted by Liza Armstrong

Liza is an associate member of our Marketing team. She is skilled in content creation, data analysis, and research.