Guest Blog: Role of Generative AI and ChatGPT in Market Research

Generative AI and the rapid growth of ChatGPT are changing market research as we know it. But is that a good thing, and how can you leverage it to get the most out of this technology?

The global pandemic changed market research as we know it. Consumer focus constantly kept evolving, and macro and micro-economic trends rendered past research obsolete. Insights need to be real-time and quick; hence, research is required to keep pace with the change in trends and requirements. 

With high-frequency research and longitudinal monitoring, researchers needed to adopt technology to conduct more innovative research, eliminate long surveys, focus on data quality, and complete online qualitative research. Eliminating tribal insights and siloed information meant that new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) moved to the forefront of technology. 

Fast forward two years and generative AI is now pivotal in moving research forward to Research 3.0 or ResTech, where the focus is on direct and non-direct research with the addition of extended media, chatbots, reduced human intervention, observational research, and more.

ChatGPT has transformed research as we know it! A generative and conversational AI tool, ChatGPT takes on a user persona and constantly learns to provide intelligent answers in a highly adaptive style.

Market research has seen the proliferation of ChatGPT in working better and faster. With multiple technical innovations and their involvement in various touch points in the research process, insights management as we know it is evolving. Market research industry leaders Jamin Brazil, Vivek Bhaskaran, and Leonard Murphy joined a live panel on “Live with Dan” to talk about ChatGPT and how it impacts market research.

Consolidation in research!

One of the most significant changes ChatGPT and generative and conversational AI tools have brought about in market research is research and insights management at scale. From building questionnaires and surveys, analyzing and condensing large volumes of data, deriving trend lines, smarter dashboarding, and learning from past research, the possibilities of how ChatGPT ties into market research are constantly evolving. 

Some of the ways generative AI is already at the forefront of insights management are:

  •  Survey and questionnaire creation: By integrating AI tools into survey platforms, users can now develop surveys and questionnaires on various topics to reach broad audiences within seconds. QuestionPro built QxBot, a generative AI tool, into the survey platform to spin up research studies within seconds, including complex logic, advanced quota management, and more.
  •  Data quality in market research: One can argue that users can game the system into completing surveys and scripting open-ended responses using ChatGPT, reducing the efficacy of research studies. However, with intelligent development, research facilitators like QuestionPro have already solved the problem of eliminating bad responses that are created with AI.
  •  Synthesizing & NLP in research: With the help of ChatGPT, researchers can now eliminate time spent synthesizing data, coding responses, and transcribing qualitative research data into nuggets of information that matter.
  •  Intelligent dashboards: Data can be construed in many ways. With generative AI, researchers can coerce data to find trends and patterns and build intelligent dashboards that are easy to configure, manage and distribute.
  •  Smarter insights repositories: By leaning on past data in the form that it exists in, conversational AI can make managing insights repositories obsolete. As referenced in this panel discussion on ChatGPT in market research, crunching data from vast mounds of research data, one can eliminate tribal insights, reduce siloed information and validate and build on hypotheses for better insights management. 

All the above need the right mix of technology, constant learning, and evolution in research processes to be highly effective. 

Evolution of market research professionals

There is a lot of discussion about how ChatGPT will affect jobs as researchers; the reality is that this doesn’t need to be looked at myopically. Market research professionals would not become obsolete and get replaced by intelligent AI engines. Research professionals can adapt and evolve to leverage the true prowess of such tools to get better at insights delivery.

By training generative AI to take on user personas that work for researchers and brands, there is greater scope to move the heavy lifting of mundane research processes and tasks to the tool to then focus on more intelligent insights generation and management.

Working in tandem with the tool helps research professionals to be strategic in navigating large mounds of data, accessing diverse user demographics, exploring new categories, enhancing creativity, and conducting agile market research. 

The evolution of experience transformation and delight as we know it with generative AI and ChatGPT

Research processes will get sleeker and faster with a large footprint of generative AI on market research. Research professionals will move from traditional statistical data modeling and management to insights management.

Research 3.0 as we know it is here, now. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools are limited in scope by the data they train on and cannot provide context to data. However, by training these tools to take on a user persona that works for you, experience transformation and delight will be highly agile, offer a higher bang for your buck, and unlock segments and industries that were traditionally complex.

About Dan Fleetwood

Dan Fleetwood is President of Research and Insights at QuestionPro, one of the industry’s leading providers of web-based research technologies. As President of Research and Insights, he plays a key role defining the research technology and innovation that QuestionPro develops in order to continue to be a leader in the research insights technology industry.

He has 15+ years of market research experience and is passionate about the role that software plays in helping businesses. Dan believes that software can help companies get better feedback, uncover actionable insights, and ultimately develop better products and services.

Dan attended both the University of Washington and Central Washington University and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. In addition, he is a member of the MRII Board of Directors and is Chair of the ESOMAR North America Representative team. 

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