Editor’s note: Frankline Kibuacha is the senior manager, digital marketing and outreach at GeoPoll. This is an edited article that originally appeared under the title “The Mobile Phone at 50! The Impact of Mobile on Research, and Future Outlook.”
On April 3, 1973, Marty Cooper made the first ever call from a New York street on a large “personal, handheld, portable cell phone.” On April 3, 2023, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of that first mobile phone call, which marks a significant milestone in the history of telecommunications and how people communicate, work and live their daily lives. From its humble beginnings as a bulky and expensive device used only by the wealthy and influential, the mobile phone has now become an essential tool used by billions of people worldwide.
Today, mobile phone penetration rates are at an all-time high, with over 5 billion people worldwide owning a mobile phone and over 3.8 billion owning a smartphone. One of the areas where mobile phones have had a significant impact is in the field of market research. Mobile phones revolutionized marketing research and made it easier and more affordable to reach a large number of people quickly and efficiently.
Mobile phones greatly impacted research. Gone are the days of sending teams with a pen and paper into the field and deploying scores of data entry staff to capture the paper data into computers. Mobile phones have made it possible to conduct research in areas where it would have been difficult or impossible, such as rural areas or developing countries. Here are some of the positive impacts that the mobile phone has had on research:
Real-time, remote data collection: Mobile phones have made it easier and more affordable to reach a large number of people quickly and efficiently.
More accuracy: Mobile phones have made it possible to collect data in a way that is more engaging and interactive th...