How Generative AI Is Transforming Consumer Research Focus Groups

How often have you made changes to your consumer research Focus Group Discussions? If this is something you have yet to consider, read on to find how Generative AI is bringing about a shift in consumer research and within qualitative research processes like Focus Group Discussions.

Author

Kham Chakhap

Date

November 29, 2023

If you are a research enthusiast, you would be familiar with Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). A room with a group of participants who have gathered with the intent to discuss a typical product or service would come to mind. A moderator who guides the conversation and tries to fill in probable awkward silences is usually involved. With modern ways of research coming into the picture, FCGs are undergoing a massive change in making things simpler to collect relevant consumer data.

This article will focus on modern changes in FGDs brought in through technologies like Generative AI (Gen AI).

The Impact of Generative AI on Market Research

A recent article by the Forbes Business Council brings to the forefront the changes Generative AI is bringing to market research. While traditional methods bring in valuable data, they have their limitations. Gen AI has the capability to process and analyze vast amounts of unstructured data. It also has enhanced search and summarizing capabilities, which can translate to rich, unbiased insights.

Apart from details given out in FGDs, you can now mine available information in different formats like texts, audio, and videos. AI technologies-based tests like sentiment analysis can help you identify patterns and indicators that might have been missed through traditional research methods alone. With the democratization of data, information is made accessible to all kinds of businesses. Generative AI can classify and organize relevant data together to bring cohesiveness into research processes within a short amount of time. Together, all these changes make it possible for brands to bring in personalization in research. Here, precise information according to individual requirements’ needs can be derived and catered to for enhanced consumer experience.

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Challenges in Focus Group Discussions

1. Study Setup and Design: A successful FGD depends on several factors. An unbiased study setup and design, a reliable analysis of the data provided, and should have the capability to be replicated at scale.

2. Survey Respondents: The questions and direction of conversation for FGD should correspond with the group taking part in the research process. Getting the right target respondents with the required exposure to your product or service is crucial to getting the right results.

3. Moderator Selection: Keeping things unbiased in a Focus Group setting means your moderators need to be experts at steering group conversations toward the neutral ground when required to find helpful feedback and information at the end.

4. Data Analysis: Qualitative research studies are usually indirect since they answer the hows and whys that might evade quantitative studies. There is also the possibility of processing and analyzing a lot of data. While doing this manually can be an arduous task, this is where Gen AI can step in to extract and summarise critical insights.

5. Extracting Clear Insights: Data collected from qualitative research like In-depth Interviews and  FGDs can be a minefield of random information. It requires deep analysis to find themes and patterns consistent with the consumer data provided.

The Generative AI Advantage in Focus Group Discussions

So, with all the advantages of Gen AI, the next question is- How does this translate to FGDs? Let us look at some benefits of incorporating Gen AI into your current focus group research.

Unearthing Unfiltered Insights

Traditional focus groups can often make participants uncomfortable due to the unfamiliar place and people around them. This might discourage them from giving their opinions and revealing unbiased insights. 

Participants can now take these tests from the comfort of their homes, where they will likely be more candid and open to sharing genuine information. Geography is not a limit in this case. An FGD can be conducted with respondents from different corners of the world simultaneously. Also, with information already available regarding users, Gen AI can be proactive with how they mimic human thoughts and craft relevant and focused questions for individual respondents to unearth deep insights.

Advanced Data Analytics

With data repositories making information available across all types of businesses- big and small, it can do the hard work of analyzing vast amounts of qualitative and quantitative data. Gen AI can sift through previous data stored in repositories to find hidden patterns and provide insights that might not be possible through traditional consumer research methods. Since Gen-AI can also mimic real-life conversations, it can decipher the tone, sentiment, and other emotional nuances of respondents, which might drive consumer responses.

Privacy and Security

Ethical considerations pose a huge challenge in the current research scenario, where consumers might need help finding it safe and comfortable to share information. Gen AI can take measures to safeguard or remove participant information like PII and remove challenges of sensitive data sharing.

Embracing Generative AI in Consumer Research

Entropik’s Co-pilot feature is an example of how you can integrate Gen AI into your qualitative and quantitative research process. Analyzing your past and present data in an integrated platform has become accessible, and as the research landscape evolves, so should our methods. Consumers are also changing, with higher brand expectations regarding the products and services being provided. Gen AI, in conjecture with other types of AI technologies like Facial Coding, Eye Tracking, etc., has the capability to keep up with these ever-changing needs and preferences.

The labor-intensive means of consumer research are being replaced with more innovative, faster methods. Brands must be able to integrate and navigate Insights AI tools like Gen AI to stay ahead of the market. It is not just a technology shift. It is a change in the way you perceive and adapt to the dynamic changes in consumer behavior.

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Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
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Author Bio

As an intrepid explorer of both physical and intellectual realms, Kham seeks to unravel the intricacies of the human experience and merge them with the transformative power of AI. On odd days, she can be found wandering around trying to find that elusive scenic and quiet café where she can sip on matchas and get lost in the written word.

Kham Chakhap

Product Marketing Specialist

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