A somewhat new concept in market research, the effects, and impacts of AI on the industry are still being studied and questioned. However, according to one Qualtrics survey, a solid 93% of current market researchers believe AI presents an excellent opportunity and will be used extensively in future market research.
Of course, there is debate about how this technology will impact jobs in the sector. 26% of survey respondents believe that AI will present more market research jobs, whereas 35% think it may reduce the number of available jobs. 39% don't think it will change much.
Regardless, most can agree that the industry does have much to gain from the introduction of AI, and many researchers are learning to use AI and automation to free up their time for more creative pursuits. Let's take a look at how AI is likely to impact the market research industry and how that may impact you in your business.
The below list is not exhaustive, but it highlights the four major advantages AI can bring to your approach to and results of market research -
Online community engagement keeps loyal customers interested and attracts the attention of new ones. With AI, you can effortlessly track your community's engagement with your brand. You can track login patterns, page visits, and more. Through the tracking of this data, the AI can identify which members are at risk of disengaging. You can then act on this information to increase engagement. The AI itself can often be programmed to act on this information for you by initiating a programmed series of emails, private messages, and more.
So long as you provide the AI with enough information, you can leave it to make decisions for you. As explained above, AI can often set specific processes into motion for you. It can send email series based on consumer engagement. It can display ads based on where your customer is in the buyers' journey. It can alter your ad placement and audience based on who is and is not interacting with your current ads.
An example of this is when Kia used a particular AI to choose a social media influencer to represent them in a Superbowl ad. They told the AI what traits they were looking for, and the AI screened social media profiles for vocabulary and activity that lined up with the desired characteristics and selected a quality candidate. This saved Kia a lot of time browsing potentially hundreds of profiles themselves.
Secondary research is valuable and important, but it can be slow, expensive, and without the help of AI, it's limited in how quickly and expansively it can be performed. Add AI to the equation, and this type of research gets done much faster.
AI can scan and process information much faster than a human, and from there, it can also learn themes and identify trends. This function is useful when creating new products, looking to enter new markets, or even to assess the competition's performance.
Artificial intelligence isn't without its challenges, and this article wouldn't be complete without addressing those. Of course, we should also have a look at how technology can directly benefit your company.
Due to its relative newness and the ever-evolving nature of AI, there is currently a skills gap that can pose great difficulty. The number of people adept at AI isn't growing fast enough to meet the growing demand. A company that wants to employ AI in its marketing strategy needs someone who can not only use and manage it but also correctly read the results it produces. It's these people that are lacking and therefore slowing down the introduction of AI to the companies that want it.
Even if a company can employ someone highly trained and skilled at AI, it can be challenging to build the required infrastructure as it needs to be robust. AI will process high volumes of data all the time, so it needs sufficient hardware. Unfortunately, this is often quite costly to set up and keep running, not to mention the frequent repairs and updates it will need on an ongoing basis. The fact is, not every company has the budget for this.
Companies may want to use it for the efficiency, but perhaps they have trouble believing in the accuracy - at least at first. On the flip side, customers and members of the "general public" tend to be suspicious of AI as well. For example, if a recommendation software makes too accurate of a suggestion for a customer, they may feel concerned or even violated. This is why it's essential to not only find a balance when using AI but to maintain transparency with customers.
AI requires information to learn and function. For example, a recommendation software needs information on the target customers to provide suggestions. As useful as AI can be, companies need to ensure they're not illegally invading anyone's privacy or going against any data storage regulations. The most significant difficulty that many companies will face here is that regulations differ from region to the next.
Saving time is one of the main selling points when it comes to AI in any industry - everyone wants to save time. Moving faster and being more efficient means better results on any given day, but it also means you save money. Time is money, and better efficiency means a healthier bottom line. It can be a hefty initial investment, but it often pays off in the long-run.
Once you get everything set up and provide the AI with the necessary information, parameters, or whatever else it may need, the program should run perfectly. Computers don't make the same mistakes as humans, so you won't have to check as thoroughly for errors.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to AI. What you have now could be better in a year, and better again in another year, and so on. Even individual programs are capable of learning once they've been implemented. The longer they do their jobs, the more they pick up on central themes and ideas, making for an even faster and easier process. Once you've made the investment and integrate AI into your company, the only place to go is up.
Whether you want to learn more about AI and how it can help you, or you want to begin integrating it into your company, Outsource2india can help. We specialize in technology adaptation for support in market research, economic research, and much more.
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