Editor’s note: Jill Larson is chief product officer for strategy and research at Qualtrics, a Provo, Utah-based research firm.  

Market research is crucial for success in today's competitive landscape. According to a new study by Qualtrics, nearly two-thirds (62%) of researchers say their company depends on their research and insights significantly more today than in the past two years. 

Not only that, researchers report their budgets are on the rise, despite broader marketing budgets remaining flat year-over-year according to Gartner. 

Several reasons are driving this surprising trend. Market research insights directly influence market share, provide ideas for innovative new products and help organizations establish enduring beloved brands – all top priorities for organizations in any economy.

How will researchers deliver in 2024? Qualtrics asked over 3,000 market researchers across 14 countries about how they are embracing new technologies, how their organizations are valuing their work and what their priorities are in the next 12 months. Four trends emerged.

Advances in AI are revolutionizing every industry sector and market research is no exception. Researchers have used artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for years and already have an increased level of comfort and understanding in their work. Nearly half (47%) of researchers say they are using AI in their day-to-day.AI provides the ability to automate repetitive tasks and quickly process and summarize qualitative insights, such as survey responses and focus group transcripts. This helps research teams do more with less – 43% of researchers say AI is enabling their teams to do more research with the same team size and budget at a time when efficiency is a top priority for marketing leaders. 

You can’t mention AI and automation without addressing fears of job loss. However, despite concerns around the world about...