Artificial intelligence in market research takes manual processes (often analytics) used 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.
Artificial intelligence in market research has been building momentum like a wave since the early applications circa 2005. The growth in market research applications has been the most 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.
Artificial intelligence 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.
Artificial intelligence 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 artificial intelligence 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 artificial intelligence 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 evolve into voice virtual interviewers in the coming 36 months. Artificial intelligence will see market research applications improve 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.