Can I Ask You A Quick Question?

Updated: Jan 3

Written by: Evan Goodfellow


The Rise of the Microsurvey

In a recent article by Tom Lancaster entitled Six Reasons Why Microsurveys Are a GRIT 2016 Trend to Watch, the CTO for InCrowd discusses how microsurveys have gone from being a talked about approach in research to being real and present today. Like most trends in technology, the emphasis seems to be on staying simple, short, and requiring less than a few moments of attention. Microsurveys seem to meet each of those criteria, and this perhaps may be the reason why they are taking over other survey methods such as behavioural models, biometrics, and wearables, according to Lancaster.  Having been involved in the market research industry for a long period of time, we have found that market research online community meet the needs of busy community members. With a market research community we have found that sending short microsurveys out on a weekly basis to our community members allows us to get the information needed by our clients, as well as better fit the time constraints of our members. That is why we believe wholeheartedly in what Lancaster has to say about microsurveys.


Lancaster shares Greenbook Research Industry Trends (GRIT’s) statement when he cites, “The two approaches that show the largest growth in adoption are Mobile Surveys and Microsurveys, underscoring the trend towards agile research.” These two trends are up 10 percent since early 2015. Lancaster goes on to state that, of the one third using these methods there is another one quarter considering using them. This upward trend to using these research approaches has to do with the inability to engage certain demographics in more traditional market research and that is why we believe that mobile optimized communities are so important. The GRIT report cites a market research executive as saying, “There are demographic groups who are simply refusing to engage in research these days: high-end C-suite, young males and essentially anyone who is busy.” So if there are certain demographics that are just not responding, then there comes a need to meet them in a way that they will respond, and this is through short, simple surveys that take up very little of their time. Microsurveys are defined as a survey that takes less than two minutes to complete and are fewer than 10 questions. These questions are usually formatted for smartphone and or other mobile devices.  This mobile optimization includes steps such as ensuring that all buttons are finger sized and that there will be no horizontal scrolling required.


Microsurveys Focus on the Now

Lancaster writes how the microsurvey focuses on prioritizing what you need to know now, and leaving the other inquiries for later, with later being the not-so-distant future. He comments on the prioritization factor for many companies, saying “as they started using microsurvey technology, they began to wonder why they’d always felt the need to ask so many questions.” He goes on to break down the benefits of microsurveys into 6 key points.


The six benefits according to Lancaster that companies can immediately experience through microsurveys are as follows:


1. By reducing the questions, the survey becomes more focused and response rates increase.

2. Respondent feedback becomes immediate.

3. Data is less likely to be skewed as under-representation becomes less likely.

4. The convenience factor increases willingness on behalf of the respondent.

5. These respondents participate more often in the future. You can follow up the results with another microsurvey.

6. Lastly, Lancaster mentions how microsurveys are able to produce first impressions more quickly and accurately, making it easier to get first impressions after product launches, conferences or sales rep visits.


Market research has always relied on asking good questions, and with the current trend of shortening attention spans, combined with the increased competition for attention, means the need for focused short questions has never been more critical. We agree that microsurveys are the future of market research, and we believe that the best format to deliver microsurveys through is an online research community. We help companies build communities so that they can ask their customers microsurveys frequently, so as to gain the benefits of continual feedback in a format that the respondents enjoy.


If you would like to find out more information about how we can help you satisfy your market research needs, feel free to contact us.


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