Embracing the new era of marketing research

Editor’s note: Adam Mertz is the senior vice president of product and marketing at Discuss.

The inflection point from early adoption to the mass adoption of generative AI will be surpassed

The massive potential that generative AI represents across the research life cycle, especially for qualitative research where the entire process and data sets are relatively unstructured, will not only be realized but there will be a multitude of solutions available to accelerate the time to insights. By using machine learning algorithms, generative AI can identify patterns and themes in large data sets, assist with coding and categorizing data and help researchers do anything from craft personas and screeners to identifying emergent themes more quickly. Brands and agencies will continue to explore and implement new generative AI features into their market research processes to improve efficiency and gain insights more quickly.

Platformication will drive business success

The idea of bringing multiple technology solutions together into one platform will continue to gain ground. These platforms need to be able to more easily connect to ecosystems and marketplaces to drive the most value and to rapidly scale up or down to account for changes in market demands. This allows companies to access tools more easily without a large upfront investment and to grow at their own rate. It also gives them the flexibility to adapt and change course without impacting their bottom line. 

Most big brands will conduct in-house market research

With quantitative and qualitative research more seamlessly connected within a single cross-platform flow and generative AI becoming mainstream, we will see more in-house teams feeling confident in running their own market research projects with less reliance on outside agencies. Bringing agile methodologies and concepts to qualitative/in-depth feedback processes will enable companies to conduct qualitative research at a quantitative scale. All the key puzzle pieces will fall into place for big brands to unlock research, especially qualitative research, at-scale across their organization.

Quantitative research will be in a state of crisis

Online fraud will continue to be pervasive and threaten the integrity of the market research industry especially when it comes to quantitative research where people are completing surveys on items they don’t use or buy. The introduction of generative AI is exacerbating the problem by making it easier for fraudsters to use tools like ChatGPT to generate responses to survey questions. Market research will need to rethink its budget allocation, as it’s typically weighted more heavily towards quantitative research and vendors vs. the qualitative side. 

If you’re not embracing the new era of market research, you’ll be left behind

This last trend is a culmination of the previous trends mentioned. Market researchers who embrace these approaches and integrate them into their workflows will be more productive and successful. 

There is a huge opportunity for investing more in qualitative research to get deeper insights faster and using gen AI to eliminate menial tasks so you can focus on providing more value and earning a seat at the table among your company’s top executives.