Why we love using WhatsApp in our research

2 September 2020 by Matt Bishop

In a world where people are increasingly addicted to staring at their smartphones – and I’ll admit, I’m one of them – the research industry needs to follow their gaze. Our WhatsApp research solution lets us generate and collect media-rich, actionable insight via this popular app.

Here are 5 reasons why we love to use WhatsApp in our research:

It’s a game-changer

Mobile research has previously lagged behind trends in social media and technology. Respondents have had to download third-party apps that are alienating and difficult to navigate. WhatsApp offers a more natural participant experience; people are familiar with the app, know how to use it, and are more likely to trust it over something unknown. When it comes to research, WhatsApp feels less formal than traditional mobile platforms. Respondents typically give more authentic answers and engage more often.

WhatsApp also works offline, storing messages or media until respondents have access to a reliable internet connection. This allows people to send in-the-moment feedback wherever they are, even if travelling on the London Underground! What’s more, setting up tasks in different languages is cheaper and less time consuming than through commonplace mobile research platforms.

Understanding customers has never been easier, smarter and more effective.

It’s versatile

Our WhatsApp solution is like the research version of a swiss army knife – it is incredibly well suited to a broad range of users and research needs.

The beauty of WhatsApp is that it has high penetration among different audiences, being used by around 2 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. From gen z to baby boomers, response rates to WhatsApp tasks has been high across generations. Our solution has worked well for researching multiple audience types, including consumers and B2B. We’ve also really enjoyed travelling with this across continents, running various projects in Europe, Central America, North America and Southeast Asia.

We’re constantly finding new uses for our solution. Below is a selection of projects we’ve been proud to work on over the past few months:

  • Technology: Technology usership among business owners for Sage
  • Media: App testing for the BBC
  • Finance: Persona profiling for The Money and Pensions Service
  • Sport: Event research for The Lawn Tennis Assoiciation (LTA)
  • Public sector: Applicant diaries for The Royal Navy

It’s agile and cost-effective

Ok…so we know people have used WhatsApp for research before. But a lack of proper infrastructure has made this a very manual process, with communications being one to one rather than many to many. There also hasn’t been a way of collecting and analysing participant feedback in real-time, while data security has often been limited.

Whycatcher has significantly improved on existing processes, being the first platform to fully integrate and automate WhatsApp. This means that we’re able to manage everything through the platform, making set up, moderation and analysis faster, cheaper, and way more agile.

It’s multimedia

Sharing video, photo and audio content is one of the big strengths of WhatsApp. It adds a huge level of depth to people’s answers and allows them to easily record and send content. Whycatcher automatically extracts the media from WhatsApp, attributes it to the relevant respondent and stores it ready for analysis through our portal.

Using media created by respondents helps us better connect with them – a great photo or video can really bring a presentation to life. When we’ve shared this content with our clients, they’ve told us that it is extremely impactful to hear things straight from the horse’s mouth.

It’s perfect for the current environment

Before covid-19 hit, getting online research right was important. Now it’s essential. WhatsApp offers an innovative and reliable solution that is well suited to engaging customers in these challenging times. Our solution has been used in parallel with our online communities and as a standalone research tool, ensuring varied participant experience and offering a unique window into their lives.

Got a project or keen to find out more?

Learn how our WhatsApp research solution can get you closer than ever to customers; whether they’re a retired school teacher in Buenos Aires or a financial adviser in Bristol.

Get in touch