Micro Moments: When Your Boss Rushes in With an Urgent Market Research Question
By Charu Gupta

InCrowd’s Director of Client Success Molly Simpson recently spoke with Jim Bradley, a former senior insights manager at a major pharma, about how his team used real-time microsurvey methodology for an urgent “micro moment” market research project.

Molly Simpson: Jim, welcome! We’re excited to talk to you about how you think about “micro moments,” or quick, iterative, pulsed market research that is needed quickly – either on a regular basis or sometimes without any advance warning.

Now, this is something I hear a lot from my clients: My boss just came into my office and wants three questions answered – by tomorrow. Has that ever happened to you and what do you do?

Jim Bradley: We had a situation just like that, where we were up in New York at an ad agency gathered around a meeting table, when texts and calls started to come in from a senior leader, the North American President in fact. He had a question about something we were providing with one of our products. And the question was, “This seems very valuable to us, it seems like a great idea, but are doctors really using it, and do they really appreciate it?”

MS: I remember working on that project with you, Jim. I got your email at 11:24 a.m., and we had the answer back to your president by 12:12 p.m., 45 minutes later. What’s so telling about that incident is that you know that’s going to happen, you just don’t know when it’s going to happen. And that’s true for market events and surprises as well, you know they’re going to happen, you just don’t know when and you don’t know what the impact will be. What you do know is that you’re going to need answers – fast.

JB: Oh yeah. This was an example of just that, a “micro moment” for us. Our president said, “Can you answer this?” And we had an answer in less than an hour for him: “Yes, X% are actually using this product.” To him, really, it just looked seamless like we have all the answers all the time.

MS: Can you talk about how this kind of micro moment research fits into your definition of innovation?

JB: For me innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be the fancy face recognition or the new shiny toy. It could be doing something better, faster, or at a better value. So when we think about “micro moments” and using the MicroSurvey – I think we hit all three of those things. It’s seamless because we don’t have to go through a procurement process every time we fire something up. We can pick up the phone and give our market research experts at InCrowd a call and get a crowd out there soon. And it happens so fast that we feel we get a pretty good random selection.

MS: I agree, your Crowd should never be the same 25 people answering every survey.

JB: I’ve been to conferences where I have seen the same doctor in two different research projects on other sides of town before. The capability you get with MicroSurvey is to pick it up and do it in five minutes. First of all, this brings in people who aren’t doing this for a living, which is really what we want, doctors who are hands-on clinical practitioners. So that’s a big advantage. Second, I think we get a more diverse, more reflective population from the crowds that we work in.

MS: The Crowds we used for your project were pulled from thousands of people and we created targeted crowds for surveys. And, you have a bank of credits so we are always ready to target crowds and send out surveys exactly when the surprise or urgent “micro moment” arises.

JB: Exactly. I just pick up the phone and give you a call or send you an email and you get a crowd out there quickly.

MS: It’s a two-way street isn’t it? We want to give them a tight and engaging survey experience so when they see our invitation, they think, “Oh, this is going to be a really quick survey” and you get your results quickly.

Thanks for sharing your micro moments with us, Jim.


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