Artificial Intelligence in Market Research
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is becoming a significant aspect of our everyday life visible in aspects such as Netflix movies and Amazon products recommendations, hobbies related advertising, Uber prices establishing, email spam filters, smart personal assistant (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant), text words prediction and correction, Facebook friends suggestion and so on.
Theses AI-powered tools widely ease our day-to-day existence, which makes one wonder how relevant are they from a work perspective? Interestingly, according to a Narrative Science recent study, 80% of executives believed that A.I. could improve work productivity and performance. Within the market research framework too, AI-powered tools can potentially assist marketers and researchers in a variety of ways as explored below.
- Data collection
Research algorithms with specific features and parameters such as research area, data type, sources, and topic, could reduce time on data collection and data processing, when used with existing databases, selected webpages and online libraries. A.I. is able to unlock and gather a large amount of data and information, and analyze it while using tools such as charts and radars. However, the type of data that can be gathered via A.I tools is limited in that several studies have found that gathering more in-depth data, especially data that addresses intangible aspects such as emotions, requires human contact. While A.I. can assist with data collection and gathering, using it is as the sole source of data can be problematic depending on the research objectives.
- Data accuracy
Due to existing perceptions, human biases can potential taint data collection, although using market researchers that are well trained and experienced can ensure avoidance of this issue. Alternatively, A.I. tools can help eliminate human bias, thus allowing for accurate data collection and analysis as they can serve as neutral agents that are solely focusing on factual data and information. The strength of A.I. tools lies in that it can understand and analyze unstructured data and give it a shape, a quantitative meaning for marketers and researchers. Additionally, due to its ability of being able to collect large amounts of factual data, A.I. tools can also assist in the design of more targeted surveys that are based on features such as consumption data, purchasing information, shopping frequency, area, gender, nationality, culture orientation, etc.
- Time taken
It is a well-known fact that market research can be time consuming work; A.I. could potentially assist in reducing the time taken by allowing for faster data collection. This could allow market researchers to focus more on analysis, implementation and strategic thinking. Researchers would be able to focus their energies on compiling actionable recommendations and deliverables based on the data gathered, as opposed to spending the bulk of the project timeline gathering data.
Having said that, A.I. tools (including the concept of big data) do present limitations from a market research perspective and at this stage they are not anticipated to entirely replace traditional market research methodologies. Panaly further explores this issue in another article titled “Does big data live up to its hype?”