Market research is a crucial function for all companies. It helps the management to understand whether their offerings are likely to generate demand, from which channels and from what types of customers.

Effective market research provides the company with actionable data that can be used in decision making. Data collection methods and the sample size are two of the important steps to achieve this. About 2.5 billion gigabytes of data is generated daily. Statistics have also shown that mobile data traffic alone reaches 11 billion gigabytes a month, with a large possibility of it rising higher in the future. For market research, this represents tremendous opportunity for more data analysis. However, efficient systems will be required to filter out the relevant information.

This is exactly where Artificial Intelligence (AI) steps in, to enhance existing business intelligence. It has the capability to draw meaningful conclusions from unrelated sources of information. To put it simply, using AI will allow quicker, more efficient, and more accurate way of collecting data and drawing insights.

How AI Improves Market Research

Users leave digital footprints all over the Internet. It is extremely tedious and difficult to gather and analyse these online data through human effort. Think about all the time that is spent writing surveys, conducting in-depth interviews, holding focus groups and generating reports. Now imagine cutting that time in half, or even less. Hence, AI is striving towards analysing data on a large scale in a shorter time span.  

One approach of using AI for market research is digital ethnography. Digital ethnography helps to uncover detailed analysis across extensive data sources. Sentiment analysis is a part of digital ethnography that classifies opinions, with the ultimate goal of understanding the attitude of the author. With the continued development of different AI features like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG), AI is growing its capability through machine learning to understand different qualitative and quantitative data and even predictive behavioral patterns.

Three ways AI enables an in-depth impact on market research:

1.     Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping is the visualisation of a typical consumer’s experience. It is a way to see how a potential customer will respond in relation to the product offer. For instance, it allows marketers to revise the marketing funnel and improve pain points. Enhancing this journey with AI, they can evaluate different calls to action and target the right moment to invite customers to engage in the desired activity, from the first touch to the final sale.

AI-driven intelligence can identify which step in a customer journey makes the biggest impact, when a customer is going to make his next purchase. All these predictions are automated and in real-time, based on historical data, and via machine learning.Otherwise, marketers will target particular segments without personalisation. This leads to sending the same marketing communication to all customers in a segment.

2.     Knowledge Graph Mapping

Using NLP, AI conducts semantics analysis to detect consumption signals and indicators. All findings are presented in the form of a knowledge graph which gives the complete overview of the consumer behavior patterns and how they are related to one another.

The same system is used across multiple industry verticals (finance, marketing, etc.) to reveal previously unknown relationships and help make better business decisions.

3.     Virtual Market Research & Forecasting

Depending on sample size and the length of a task, it can quickly eat away at a research budget. One proposed idea to reduce this cost and stretch insights budgets further is to build a virtual panel of respondents based on a much smaller sample.

The theory is that sample sizes naturally restrict a brand’s ability to understand the behaviour of every potential consumer and customer. Therefore, taking this sample, representing it as clusters of behavioural traits and building a larger, more representative pool of virtual respondents from the clusters offers a more accurate prediction of behaviour.

The Benefits of AI-Driven Consumer Market Insights

AI plays a major role in contemporary market research, but we can hardly overestimate its potential to influence the way companies are crafting their business strategies. Besides planning, there are a few more highly practical benefits of using big data analysis:

1.      Actionable Insights

The purpose of market intelligence is not to display generic conclusions but to provide clients with actionable insights. Using AI-based services, you can get practical suggestions on how to improve your products or services.

2.     Predict Industry Trends

Analyzing the opinion of your target audience, you can predict industry trends and prepare for the future challenges. Industry leaders don’t want to follow trends – they want to predict, create, and shape new industry tendencies.

3.     Competitor Analysis

If you want to keep the business competitive, you have to keep an eye on the biggest industry rivals. AI analysis can help you in this field as well, giving you fresh information about their moves and activities.

AI is Reshaping Market Intelligence

Running a profitable business is impossible without some serious investments in market intelligence research. Using the AI-powered analysis, you can gain actionable insights and make data-driven decisions that will take your business to the brand new level of effectiveness. Although the technology is still in its infancy phase - thus preventing a highly sophisticated analysis - it already proves to be a powerful game-changer that will soon impact all industries globally.