Meet the finalists: Microlaunch - bringing market research training to life
Having spent his career in one of the world’s largest agencies, Mike Roe took early retirement. He began working on his research training simulation, Microlaunch, as a hobby. It proved so popular that he soon turned it into a business and today it is an online success story.
Mike Roe spent the last 10 years of his market research career involved in training. This led to him inventing a market research game called Microlaunch. Microlaunch educates participants in evidence-based decision making by modelling a marketing programme, based on a real-life FMCG case study.
Microlaunch complements marketing research teaching and lectures, bringing the theories to life. It challenges individuals or small teams to design, develop and launch a new brand during the game, by applying marketing insights from six pieces of research. The students have to structure the research projects in the correct order, keeping within a tight budget and timeline.
Taking the plunge to go online
Microlaunch was originally designed as an offline workshop that lasted all day. As clients started looking for a quicker, more cost-effective approach, Mike decided to take the plunge and develop an online version.
Now students work on-screen in a virtual office, where they’re guided by ‘the judge’, Mike’s digital avatar. Interacting with the avatar throughout, players receive final scores of spend, initial correct choices and errors. At the end of the one-hour simulation the winner is announced – creating an air of anticipation and excitement.
When participants go back to their jobs, they realise how much Microlaunch has helped them because it’s a practical exercise. ‘People still remember it five years on,’ says Mike. ‘I was determined to keep the fun and excitement in the online version.’
Mike is shortlisted for the Independents’ Day Award for Microlaunch online, which carries the MRS logo. More than 700 people have taken part in the online version in year one, so Mike now has a benchmark of what’s a good score. Clients include universities and business schools, client organisations and national research bodies internationally.
‘I’m proud to claim it’s the world’s first online market research training simulation,’ says Mike.
An independent focus
A lot changed during Mike’s long career, especially with technology but, as he says, ‘Market research 101 remains the same.’
‘I know a big agency would have appreciated this project but as an independent I’ve been able to focus on it exclusively,’ he says. ‘A big thing for me has been developing it at my own pace and entirely as I want.’
About The Independents’ Day Award
Microlaunch is one of four independent research consultancies shortlisted for the 2018 Independents’ Day Award. The Award, run jointly by the Independent Consultants Group (ICG) and the Market Research Society (MRS), is designed to recognise the contribution of researchers working as independents.
The winner will be announced at the annual MRS Awards dinner on Monday 3 December.
Microlaunch website: http://www.microlaunch.co.uk