While artificial intelligence (AI) is not new — in fact, the building blocks were laid way back in the 1950s — we are now starting to see this scientific approach make its way into the market research world.
First of all, it is important to highlight that the market research community’s rather slow adoption of AI — compared to other fields, like finance, communication, media, and so on — is not due to closed-mindedness, fear of change, or a desire to maintain the status quo.
Rather, it is because market research professionals understand that there is a categorical difference between using AI to automate tasks (which has been done for decades), to relying on AI as a means to accurately lead the way on activities that require true intelligence. In other words: market research has been leveraging the “artificial” part of AI for many years, but only now is starting to leverage the “intelligence” part.
Here are three ways that AI is evolving market research:
Helping reduce bias.
AI can penetrate a massive amount of data — such as what a participant did or wrote online years ago — to help reduce and correct for bias, which is always a risk in any market research project.
Finding the right people to participate in a study — and then ensuring there are enough of them to glean statistically significant insights — is a major challenge in market research, and typically the biggest problem that businesses face. AI has the potential to making identifying and segmenting participants much faster, easier and cheaper.
Despite their best efforts, unless they are being asked about their in-the-moment impressions (such as during a focus group while they are seeing or doing something), participants must rely on memory — which means there is invariably doing to be some data loss. AI can help minimize or in some cases eliminate this loss by generating hard data that is not linked to participant memory, such as geolocation information captured by smartphone, wearable or vehicle.
Obviously, this is just the beginning of what is invariably going to be an evolution in the field vs. a trend. Just as computers took market research to the next level in the middle of the last century, AI is going to drive a profound shift during this century. This is good news for market research professionals, and even better news for businesses that want and need to glean actionable insights to make smarter, faster and more successful business decisions.
If you need help deciding how to implement artificial intelligence into your market research strategies, contact Communications for Research today! You'll speak to our Co-CEO Colson Steber who can help you decide which strategies to implement and how to get the best answers to your business questions.