Micro-surveys are tools that deliver on clients’ needs for more timely insights. Shorter surveys offer a number of advantages. When pharmaceutical representatives might only get 10 to 15 minutes of a physicians’ attention, it is an anachronism to expect a doctor to stay engaged with a 30 minute questionnaire. 

Why surveys are too long

Survey trackers are too long because over the years clients add questions, but rarely remove them. Different stakeholders like the longitudinal data. This stems from a time when data collection was slow and expensive, and programming an online survey took skill. When there is a relatively high fixed cost, adding a few extra questions is tempting. But this is a mistake. The relationship between survey length and data quality has been studied by Pete Cape, Knowledge Director at Survey Sampling. His conclusion? Around the 20 minute mark, data quality drops dramatically, and people speed up to get things over and done with.

The importance of mobile first

There is another reason why surveys need to be shorter. Nowadays, more than half of all web traffic is on mobile. Physicians are no different and take surveys on small screens, during short breaks. This is a threat to a long survey, but an opportunity for ‘in-the-moment’ polling. A third benefit of shorter surveys is that it leads to a more compact report, making it easier to digest for stakeholders. 

The rise of micro-trackers

A shorter survey will be a smaller investment. This in turn allows for either more sample or a higher frequency. Conducting the core elements of that tracker more frequently, on a 4 or 6 monthly basis, gives you quicker feedback on your Key Performance Indicators. It avoids a 12 month lag and allows brand managers to adjust campaigns. This is especially important at launch. McKinsey write in their report “Winning launches: using analytics and creativity to create superior share of insight” 

For 85% of pharmaceutical launches, the product trajectory is set in the first six months. Historically, limited real-life insights and an infexible commercial model made it impossible for pharmaceutical companies to monitor performance dynamically and make course corrections. 

Micro-surveys are tools that deliver on clients’ needs for more timely insights. Technology has made it possible to set up studies within hours. This in turn allows the client-side insights manager to meet business challenges and react to market events as they occur, rather than to wait until the annual tracker results are back in.