AI will change everything about Market Research

AI is poised to revitalize the market research function, and that will change everything about how market research is conducted and used worldwide.

 

To understand the potential for AI’s transformative effect on market research, it’s necessary to appreciate the factors that contributed to the decline of the sector in its traditional form. Traditional market research projects are labor intensive, expensive and time-consuming, and they require advance knowledge of what information is needed to formulate business strategy. That’s why market research has been used almost exclusively to make high-stakes decisions on big-ticket items like branding, product design or pricing — it’s too costly and time consuming to use for more granular decisions.

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Another drawback to traditional market research is that the data and insights generated are closely held by a small group and not leveraged across the enterprise. The results are usually used one time to answer a business question and then consigned to the scrapheap.  And while insight is the product traditional market research generates, users are left to define next steps on their own.

AI will virtually change all the dynamics that define traditional market research — and it is already doing so. The use of algorithms and Machine Learning is making market research faster and cheaper, cutting down project timelines from weeks and months to hours and days. That change alone is making the use of market research feasible beyond big decisions; With quick results, it’s possible to apply AI-driven market research to day-to-day decisions.

The ability to include real-time data from a variety of sources in market research projects is another fundamental change. Now, it’s possible to add up-to-the-minute data from sources like sales, texts, social media, behavioral information, and passive data, which can transform market research from a backward-looking analytics function to a future-focused discipline.

In light of these developments, it’s a good time for companies that have cut back on their market research efforts (and those that have been priced out of the traditional market) to consider how AI-driven market research can deliver scalable impact. The companies that incorporate AI-driven research into their operations first can gain a sustainable edge, as AI gets smarter over time.

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