This article is an adaptation, the original can be found here
We usually hail the near-instant availability of information as a good thing, but it has its drawbacks. People are used to having their needs fulfilled almost on command. In this environment, waiting for anything — even high-quality research — can feel like an imposition.
For market researchers, this rush for more and better insight is stressful. Not only do decision makers want superior data, they want it broken down into usable graphs and in their inbox by lunchtime.
It’s fair to say that the end users of market research don’t always realize the amount of work it takes to produce accurate, consistent and timely information. Fortunately, advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enable market researchers to unleash the three E’s and make it happen.
What are the Three E’s of Market Research?
The three E’s are what every researcher is striving for: efficiency, effectiveness, and enhanced results. Let’s see how AI is helping them reach these goals.
There is good news for people who wanted their market research yesterday: AI can greatly reduce the time and effort spent on developing studies. Instead of using precious time in the setup stage, AI-based market research tools let researchers choose from pre-built models. Within hours, they can select the right types of survey questions and identify their ideal respondents. The finalized questionnaire is sent out, and the incoming data is captured automatically by the AI platform — all within a matter of hours or a few days.
This data is available in near real time, so no more waiting for sample data to come in. Visualization apps can be connected to this incoming stream, allowing users to track study progress and manage any problems as they arise.
This kind of approach is founded on years of human experience. Basically, we’ve stopped reinventing the market survey every time we need some data; we just customize what we have and get it out there. This is a tremendous time savings.
Research 101 fact: Survey design is crucial to data quality. What if surveys could mold themselves to the individual survey taker? We’ve already discussed how researchers can use AI to find the right audience; they can also use it to keep respondents engaged throughout.
Most humans have a relatively short attention span, so a survey must be designed to grab and hold interest. Some companies have successfully used AI-managed interactive surveys that change based on
how the respondent answers. There are also some interesting experiments going on involving the use of chatbots and speech-based surveys. Neither of these would be possible without AI.
Admittedly, the above techniques are very cool. We are discovering ways to move faster and understand more about markets. We can get information pretty darn close to real time, and we can generate insights from it faster than we ever thought possible. But what about the future?
Think of what we could do with technology ten years ago. Compare it to today. If technology keeps at this pace, these abilities (astonishing as they seem) will become commonplace, or maybe even old-fashioned. Right now, machine learning has enabled AI systems to learn from the data they process. They are designed to keep improving their performance. We can expect AI to become more sophisticated, to move faster and analyze in greater depth. In other words, AI systems will keep enhancing performance — theirs and ours.