The Development of Market Research with AI

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Read the latest blog on iTMunch titled The Development of Market Research with AI

For large organization, artificial intelligence helps companies become more human. It is a paradox, but when companies spend so much time on research, they forget the main element as to why they started doing so in the first place, which is the customer. With the help of AI in market research, professionals can create a data collection system which will be more efficient, more accurate, and at a lower price.

Changing the Human Behavior Aspect of Market Research

There is a vast amount of information that consumers are exposed to today. This makes it imperative for marketers as well as companies to understand the many triggers that affect human behavior, emotions and decision making.

But the question that arises is, how does one combine the indecisive human behavior with technology and create insights for brands that are qualitative and quantitative?

One solution is to make use of social media, various chat apps and collect other behavioral data, and then combine it with machine learning algorithms to create an understanding of the respondent’s thoughts, ideas, emotions and more. The data collected can be from videos, images, text, and sound, which will take behavioral and emotional research and bring it to the next level.

All this can be possible with the sheer number of engaged respondents, along with a lot of experience and data. It is possible to build innovative products and research methodologies which are based on the continuously evolving digital consumers along with the numerous triggers that will help in generating actionable insights for marketers. This will help in targeting today’s connected consumer in-situ for brand activation.

The Growing Capabilities of AI in Market Research

There is continuous development of many different AI features such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG). This means that AI is always growing its capability to understand different qualitative and quantitative data that is being fed to it. This results in programs that are able to write individualized reports which are based on keywords or subject areas, whichever the client requires. This will help save hours of work.

The Efficiency of AI

The reason why AI can produce accurate data simply because it reduces the chances of human bias. When you put people in a focus group, all the information that is collected is done by interacting with these said people. The one conducting the interview will remember things a certain way, therefore, creating a subconscious bias that will show in the final report. When companies use AI, this bias gets removed altogether because the program processes informational factoids only.

Another added benefit is that AI can improve customer relationships. Artificial intelligence is responsible for taking care of data collection and processing. This means that teams have more time to investigate interesting findings and personally connect with the client.

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The Key to the Future of Market Research

The market research industry now has to deal with new-age technology which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, the internet of things and artificial intelligence. This holds the key to data collection and insights that are made from the ever-evolving digital consumers. The new-age market research companies need to, if they haven’t already started experimenting with ways in which they can make use of these technologies that will help in gathering insights.

With this shifting paradigm, it is possible to experiment with machine learning-based adaptive research along with AI-based sampling. Machine learning and market research can be a match made in heaven if used optimally. The market research industry has barely begun scratching the surface.

Ways in which AI Helps Market Research

Analyze open-ended text responses from across channels

It is nearly impossible to manually review hundreds of thousands of open-ended survey responses, social media comments and contact center call logs, and do it without error.

With the help of AI one can dive into those millions of words and come out with an understanding and analysis of what your customers think, feel and want by conducting powerful, accurate text analysis. By using NLP and sentiment analysis that are automatically running across tens of thousands of pen text comments over various platforms, it is possible to see trends clearly and create an understanding of the prevailing sentiment, which can all be done in real-time. AI takes the ability to gather data and help companies actually process it and take action.

Ask the follow-up question, to the follow-up question

Market research companies can now build algorithms that will ask survey follow-up questions that most marketers could never have thought of, which will be based on what the algorithm has learned from all of its previous respondents. The basic function is to help companies dig deeper into customer responses. All of this can be done without the need to predict every possible response ahead of time individually and then create a map of convoluted pathways on your own. This makes collecting feedback and insights conversational and easy, which is something that’s been proven to gather far more robust data from respondents.

Find Respondents Faster

There is no need to wait till all the data has been gathered to start using AI. Market researchers can now see the usefulness of using artificial intelligence earlier in the process. One can use AI to review a wider pool of respondents, after which it can remove those who don’t suit the client’s requirements. This will leave marketers with a better shortlist of potential candidates.

Use the Already Collected Data

When people start rushing and using data to help optimize surveys and gather better data, it is easy to forget the large amount of data that has already been collected within old company records or in the public domain. AI helps in unlocking operational data that could have been forgotten about or written off as ancient history. They can be combined with current and personal experience data and used to mine for great insights.

Save Time Writing Reports

What happens usually is that most market researchers spend nearly all of their time in writing reports, which can be solved using AI, if you consider research findings to be data points. It is easy for an algorithm to just learn to make certain assumptions and judgments about the collected data, and then generate reports for you. This will free up a lot of time which can be used to focus on higher-value tasks such as establishing hypotheses, validating AI-produced findings and communicating findings to stakeholders or clients.

Remove Bias from Data Gathering and Assessment

The biggest risk to data integrity is bias. It could be a leading survey question, or one of your survey respondents remembering some things but not the rest, or anything as such to skew up the data. By using AI, market researchers can produce higher-quality data by removing the unconscious human bias and remembering everything equally as simple data.

Focus on More than Admin Work

Automation is not a new thing, one can look at their computer screen as evidence. Automation only frees employees from repetitive tasks, ones that can be performed by a computer the same way every time. With the help of AI technology and machine learning, it is possible to start passing over more complex and repetitive tasks which are considered to be tedious to most researchers, such as localizing surveys for different regions, or data cleaning.

Increase Engagement with Community Members

Online communities and panels help internal insights team have a constant conversation with their customers and ensure that they’re at the heart of their organization. AI can support market researchers by maintaining engagement, reducing churn and getting higher-quality results. This is done by using predictive modeling, analysis of factors such as logins and dwell time, to help in identifying members who are at risk of dropping out. The researchers then step in and incentivize them to stay.

Conduct Extensive Secondary Research

Companies of small and large sizes need secondary or desk research when they want to look into new markets or work on pricing strategies or review their suppliers. This takes time though, which often makes way for primary research. AI can simplify this process by analyzing all the secondary research in seconds and show marketers trends and themes in the available data. With the age of digitalization, everything such as newspapers, magazines and reports are online, which gives AI a lot of material to work with.

Improve Surveys Continuously

There will be no need to ask for help in writing questions or lessons on how to design a survey because AI can act as a final QA to any surveys that are sent out, and a constant aid as the survey gathers responses. By using artificial intelligence, it is possible to see where the questions require tweaking or reveal any bias, and then capitalize on machine learning to optimize surveys based on past respondents.

SEE ALSO: How to Drive a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

Conclusion

The biggest fear is that by implementing AI, people will lose their jobs. While this may be true initially, because it will cut administrative jobs, but in the long run AI has the potential to create more jobs that require a more specific skill set such as collaboration, communication and creative problem-solving. The companies that use AI will add more jobs than they cut. AI will bring about a change within any company that will enhance growth and reveal new opportunities within market research.