Artificial intelligence in market research builds to tsunami
Richard Burrage, Managing Partner, Cimigo presented at the M2 event in October 2017 on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on market research, media and marketing.
Artificial intelligence takes manual processes (often analytics) in market research and automates them. Artificial intelligence uses algorithms (formulas!) and exponential (growing really fast) processing power. Artificial intelligence is an overused term that could also described as hyperbole! Essentially for market research, artificial intelligence provides augmented intelligence thereby improving researchers. It provides faster, mostly better and eventually (once it hits critical mass) cheaper research.
AI has been building momentum like a wave since 2005 in market research. The growth in market research applications has been marked since 2010 and continues to evolve. The real tsunami impact of artificial intelligence on market research is imminent, as the many tools converge and become readily available at scale through online platforms.
AI commenced with the automation of reporting of longitudinal data or replicated studies in circa 2005. Firstly eye tracking for shelf, pack and communication tests and secondly facial imaging to read emotional repsonses to stimulus became commercially scalable in 2010. This is where the interest on the impact of artificial intelligence on market research really came to the fore.
AI spurned a new market research field of social listening circa 2011, as algorithms could be deployed to conduct sentiment analysis on large volumes of open text responses gathered through dredging and scrapping social media.
Between 2012 and 2016 new AI market research applications have become more commercially viable (quick and cheap enough) including virtual reality testing environments, predictive analytics and live dashboards for automated analysis, visualisation and delivery. Automated sample selection (akin to programmatic online advertising) and survey design have now reached a scale that makes do it yourself research extremely easy, fast and cheap. Happi is an example of automated micro surveys for mobile market research.
Looking ahead Cimigo is currently piloting chat bots for asking surveys as AI enables market research surveys to go beyond sentiment analysis to improved forms of language comprehension placing questions and answers in the context of an ongoing conversation. These chat bots will also evolve to voice virtual interviewers in the coming 36 months. Artificial intelligence will see market research applications improve for advanced pattern recognition enabling fast analysis of patterns across multiple market research studies to unveil new insights.
The tsunami is building, the impact will be greatest as all the artificial intelligence enabled market research tools converge and become readily accessible through online platforms. The market research landscape will be redrawn over the coming five years.
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