Guess who has a longer attention span – you or your goldfish? You may be surprised to discover your goldfish is likely to focus and concentrate longer than the typical consumer. A recent Microsoft study found the average consumer’s attention span has fallen from twelve seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2016. In contrast, the attention span of a goldfish is slightly higher at nine seconds.

With shorter attention spans and more distractions, researchers must make efforts to capture survey panelists’ valuable insights in the most time-effective way possible. Cue the rise of micro-surveys. Micro-surveys are quick surveys with less than five questions and can be answered in just a minute or two.

Adoption of micro-surveys is growing in the industry with 35 percent of researchers currently using micro-surveys and 25 percent considering use in the future, according to the recent GRIT report.  With more panelists using their mobile devices to take surveys, attention spans will get even shorter and micro-surveys will become even more vital for successful research plans.

Micro-surveys are all about speed. These short studies provide quick answers with higher participation rates than longer studies. Because of the quick turn-around, micro-surveys are effective in capturing real-time insights on pressing issues. Panelists are much more likely to provide accurate, thoughtful responses when answering only two to three quick questions versus thirty questions on a typical long survey.

Results of micro-surveys make their way to clients much faster than longer surveys. The results are easier to interpret and analyze for the researcher than results from long, complicated studies. And because of the more focused nature of the study, developing strategies and taking action with the results is much more efficient.

However, on the other hand, because micro-surveys only include a couple questions, findings can be limited. Because of this, it is vital that the questions asked be the right questions. Micro-surveys need to include powerful questions that will drive the insights researchers need to address key business objectives.