Fasten Your Seatbelts – Expanding the Horizons of the Insights Industry

By Dmitry Gaiduk

Reflecting on Our Industry’s Journey!

Nearly 15 years ago at the ESOMAR Congress in Montreux, Switzerland, I was struck by the slow pace at which market research was embracing digitalization, especially compared to sectors like media and advertising. Our transition from traditional questionnaires to CATI and online platforms marked the early, cautious steps towards digital adaptation. Though we took longer to adapt, I believe market research is now on the brink of a substantial and beneficial transformation.

>> Generative AI: Top 5 Reasons to Shape the Future of Market Research 

Looking forward, generative AI is expected to revolutionize market research and insights. It will transform how we develop methodologies, questionnaires, and discussion guides, acting as a crucial and reliable assistant and co-pilot. Generative AI will propel us beyond the confines of traditional mathematical models to more innovative, efficient, and scalable solutions.

1. A Paradigm Shift in Data Collection on the Horizon
We are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in data collection methods, transitioning from quantitative to automated qualitative techniques. Qualitative research, traditionally hampered by the complexity of unstructured data, is set to become more accessible and efficient through generative AI. This technology will enable rapid, automated data collection in any language and country, achieving a depth comparable to professional moderators.

2.  Large Language Models and Big Data
In the near future, Large Language Models (LLMs) will play a pivotal role in managing and analysing big data. Their ability to process and interpret vast, unstructured datasets will be crucial for companies seeking to derive actionable insights.

3. Proprietary Datasets and AI Model Training
The creation of proprietary datasets for training business-specific AI models is anticipated to be a significant step forward. Companies will increasingly use synthetic data and consumer profiles to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of their research, supplementing traditional surveys with augmented research approaches.

4. Innovations in AI Tools and Products
We are likely to see the emergence of new products and innovative combinations of AI tools. The use of generative AI, in conjunction with predictive AI, will offer new insights into campaign performance, providing a level of predictive accuracy previously unattainable. Neuromarketing and behavioural science technologies will be an important part of new insight tools.

Neuromarketing and behavioural science with AI
Neuromarketing, rooted in the study of cognitive and emotional responses, provides insights into the subconscious factors driving human consumer choices. By integrating neuromarketing principles into AI-driven research tools, we gain a deeper understanding of how consumers react to stimuli. For instance, attention-measuring technology, coupled with AI, can help to automatically edit advertisements, eliminating dull moments and leading to more targeted and engaging marketing strategies.

Behavioural science, on the other hand, offers a rich understanding of decision-making processes. AI can leverage this knowledge to predict consumer behaviour with greater accuracy. By analysing historical data through the lens of behavioural science, AI can identify patterns and trends that might elude traditional models. It will help to predict behaviours and personalize users’ experience.

In summary, the fusion of neuromarketing and behavioural science with AI heralds a new era of insights and innovation in the industry. By harnessing these disciplines, we unlock the potential to further understand consumers on a profound level, and create more effective marketing strategies.

5. The Democratization of Research 
AI-driven research methods are expected to become more widely adopted, democratizing the field. These methods will offer rapid and accessible insights, influencing marketing and business decisions that were previously based on lengthy (and costly) research, or intuition. Even the most expensive neuromarketing research is already democratized—from advanced labs it goes online and allows not only automated analysis but also ensures great ROIs.

>> Challenges in the AI Era

The rapid advancement of AI, including both generative AI and LLMs, presents significant challenges such as data privacy, quality control, and technological dependence. The effectiveness of these technologies will largely depend on the quality of their training data, which might not always capture the full spectrum of human emotions and cultural nuances. As researchers, we will need to bridge this gap by providing enriched datasets and integrating advanced tools like neuromarketing with AI.

>> The Evolving Role of Researchers 

Researchers will find their roles evolving towards data governance, methodology creation, and data enrichment. Understanding not only how AI works, but behavioural science and neuromarketing will be increasingly important to complement the capabilities of AI in data collection, analysis, and prediction. 

Our deep knowledge of consumers, coupled with access to data will make us perfect candidates to utilize the power of Large Language Models (LLMs) as developers’ tools, and create innovative applications for market insights. By incorporating the principles of neuromarketing and behavioural science into their skill set, researchers gain a holistic perspective to explain the ´Whys´ of consumer behaviour. They become adept at crafting surveys and data collection methods that account for emotional triggers, cognitive biases, and cultural nuances. Moreover, researchers can leverage their knowledge of neuromarketing to design experiments that probe deeper into consumers’ subconscious reactions. Eye-tracking studies, implicit tests, and biometric measurements can uncover valuable insights that traditional surveys (and, of course, AI) alone cannot capture.

>> Conclusion

In 2009, the advancements we are anticipating in generative AI and market research seemed like imaginative science fiction. The exponential nature of technological advancement suggests that the possibilities are endless. Today’s groundbreaking innovations may soon become the standard, urging us to keep an open mind and adaptable strategies as we navigate this dynamic landscape. Researchers equipped with expertise in behavioural science, neuromarketing, and AI are poised to drive innovation in data collection, analysis, and prediction. They bridge the gap between cutting-edge technology and the complexities of human behaviour, making them invaluable assets in the quest for market insights.

The future of insights is not just bright; it’s dazzling, dynamic, and ever-evolving. Let’s embrace this exciting transformation, and look forward to what 2024 and beyond will bring!

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