The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has dramatically changed the way that businesses and brands understand and communicate with their target audiences. Nowhere is this truer than in the field of market research
Despite media headlines focusing heavily on the potential negative implications of AI, marketer research have embraced the technology as a way to improve the accuracy and efficiency of their research, In fact, Qualtrics’ research shows that 93% of market researchers describe AI as an industry opportunity, while 80% believe AI will make a positive impact on their field.
So just how exactly is AI set to change the world of market research? And what are the specific benefits that this new technology brings to those already working in the field?
Understanding what customers really want
AI gives market researchers access to tools like powerful text analysis, which can analyse millions of words and emerge with an understanding of what customers think and want. With natural language processing and sentiment analysis running alongside, market researchers can see trends and sentiment in real-time across multiple channels.
Asking the right follow-up questions
Algorithms can learn from previous respondents and ask bespoke follow-up questions in subsequent surveys. Gathering feedback and gaining insights becomes easier and leads to more robust data from respondents.
Finding respondents faster and with greater accuracy
Using AI, market researchers can review a wider pool of respondents and remove those who aren’t suitable, leaving you with a better, more tailored shortlist of potential candidates. In this way, it speeds up the process of finding the best possible respondents.
Making use of existing data
In the rush to use AI to gather better data, it is easy to overlook the huge amount of extant data, that might come in the form of old company records for example. AI can unlock and process that operational data that might have been ignored and combine this with more recent experience data to ultimately mine for clarity and insights.
Saving time on content and reports
Let’s face facts, most of a market researcher’s time is spent writing reports. Fortunately, with AI, an algorithm can learn to read data points in research findings, make judgements about that data and then generate a report for them. This frees the market researcher to focus on more important tasks.
Removing bias from data assessment
Bias is a huge risk to the integrity of data and even minor slips such as a leading survey question or survey respondents misremembering some things, have the potential to skew the data. However, AI is able to remove unconscious human bias and process all data sets equally. For instance, we sought to address the potential of bias to ruin data through our Experience Management Platform. It employs the Survey Review, a tool that uses AI to analyse questions and make real-time suggestions on improving survey and data gathering.
Focusing on the rewarding parts of the job
Mundanity and repetition are terrible for employee engagement, generally contributing to a less than positive atmosphere in an office. However, AI automates mundane and repetitive tasks, freeing up market researchers to focus on the more rewarding elements of their jobs.
Keeping community members engaged
Predictive modelling can be employed to maintain customer engagement, by analysing elements like logins and length of time a customer spends on something, which has the effect of identifying members at risk of dropping out.
Conducting extensive secondary research
Secondary research is an essential tool for small and large companies alike, but it can be time consuming, which results in primary research taking priority. Using AI means that market researchers can analyse secondary research in seconds and identify key trends and themes in the data.
Continuously improving surveys
The quality assurance aspects of AI cannot be overstated. AI can pinpoint areas where questions need improving or where there is bias. Machine learning can also be used to optimise surveys based on previous respondents.
As artificial intelligence evolves and its use becomes more mainstream, the potential benefits for market researchers — and businesses as a whole — will only increase. By incorporating these technologies now, brands and market research firms can start to develop timelier, more accurate, and ultimately, more insightful, data into their customers, employees, products and brands.
About the Author
Ian McVey is Enterprise Lead at Qualtrics. Qualtrics Experience Management (XM) is the only software platform that helps brands continually assess the quality of their four core experiences—customers, employees, products, and brands. With Qualtrics XM, organizations can be at every meaningful touchpoint, for every experience, and predict which changes will resonate most with stakeholders.