Mobile interviewing is seen as the future of research because it's fast, accurate, affordable and accessible. Marketers and research houses have already been using mobile for data collection for a few years already. However, most sampling frames require specific LSM groups, and to determine a respondent's LSM group takes 30 questions, thus the practical application of mobile interviews was limited in South Africa.
Millward Brown and TNS (both part of WPP's Kantar Group) joined forces to develop Quick LSM, a simpler classification system that is as good as the traditional method - using only some of 30 variables.
Quick LSM is ideally suitable for mobile research. This new methodology needs only four to five questions to classify a respondent into a LSM segment, compared to 30 questions on the traditional formula.
South Africa is the only country in the world that has developed a sophisticated statistical lifestyle segmentation model (LSMs) that is free to be used by anyone. The LSM model has become so popular that even non-researchers use it freely and understand what is implied.
Comparatively, the UK uses a class segmentation (A, B, C1, C2, D) to indicate upper to lower classes. This is based simply on the occupation of the respondent, and it's doubtful whether this is either a wealth indicator or a lifestyle indicator. It certainly is not suitable for Africa - or any of the developing nations.
Q-LSMs were unveiled at the SAMRA conference. Millward Brown and TNS have agreed to make this available to the industry at no charge. The technical paper explaining how Q-LSMs works is available on the SA Marketing Magazine site: http://www.samktmag.com/, click on the Q-LSM's tab at the top of the page.
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