There has been an exponential rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) usage. However, brands still use traditional research methods to make data-driven decisions. AI has a huge potential to change the research landscape and make it more- 1) accurate, 2) agile, 3) actionable, 4) bias-free, 5) collaborative and 6) faster.
Irrespective of your chosen research method, you can always complement it with AI. You don’t need multiple AI tools or a special team of experts to get started. In this article, we discuss how to use AI in your research methods.
Whether you are a fresher or a seasoned market researcher, this article will equip you to make the best of your research endeavors. So, let’s get started, shall we?
P.S- Skip to the 9 Ways You Can Use AI in Research if you are already familiar with the basics.
What is Research?
Research entails generating new knowledge and/or using pre-existing knowledge innovatively. It is conducted to produce novel ideas, approaches, and comprehensions.
Characteristics of Research
- An organized process is used in good research to collect precise data. While making observations or drawing conclusions, researchers need to uphold moral principles and a code of behavior.
- The analysis uses both inductive and deductive reasoning and is based on logic.
- Actual observations made in the context of the natural world are the source of current facts and knowledge.
- All data gathered undergoes a thorough analysis to ensure no irregularities.
- It paves the way for the development of fresh inquiries. More research opportunities are made possible by existing data.
- To ensure that there is no room for interpretation, it is analytical and uses all the information at hand.
- One of the key components of research is accuracy. The details must be true and correct.
Purpose of Research
Research aims to solve three main purposes-
To serve this purpose, researchers conduct studies to delve deeper into a set of questions. It's possible that the solutions and analyses don't resolve the alleged issue. It is started to deal with fresh issues that haven't been looked into before. This exploratory procedure creates the groundwork for more thorough data gathering and analysis.
In descriptive research, data collection is more focused towards solving current concerns. It enhances the knowledge by studying a single variable and fulfills three main objectives- validation, explanation and description of the collected results.
Explanatory research tries to examine the impact and their specific changes. For example, the effects of rebranding on customer loyalty.
Types and Examples of Research Methods
1) Primary Research
Primary Research refers to studies that have involved the gathering of unique data that is special to a given project.
- Interviews and Focus Groups
2) Secondary Research
When conducting secondary research, the researcher summarises or synthesises data and literature already collected, edited, and published by others. Researchers use and examine data from primary research sources when conducting secondary research.
- Literature Reviews
- Statistical and content analysis
- Case studies
3) Quantitative Research
Quantitatative Research is the collection of measurable data. It systematically analyzes the data using computer, mathematical or statistical methods.
4) Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research is used to better comprehend concepts, opinions, or preferences or experiences. It entails gathering and analyzing non-numerical data. It is mainly used to get in-depth subject knowledge about a situation or to generate fresh study concepts.
How to Choose the Right Research Methods
Specific strategies for gathering and analysing data are known as research methods. Your research design must include the development of your research methodologies. There are two important choices you will have to make when planning which method to go for-
1) Determine your data collection strategy first. Your research question's data requirements will determine your methodology.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative: Will the data gathered be presented as words or numbers?
Primary vs. Secondary: Will you use data acquired by someone else or gather new data independently?
Experimental vs. Descriptive analysis: Will you experiment or collect measurements of something as it is?
2) Next, choose your data analysis strategy.
Use statistical analysis techniques to test the associations between variables for quantitative data.
You can employ techniques like thematic analysis to interpret patterns and meanings in qualitative data.
9 Ways You Can Use AI in Research
Once you have decided which type of research you want to conduct, it is time to bring out the big guns- Artificial Intelligence.
Before we get started with this section, if you are not familiar with the importance of AI in market research, you can learn more with this article- How to Leverage AI in Market Research
#1 Ad Testing
In ad testing, you show your ad, trailer or poster to a group representing your target audience to evaluate the performance before or after launch.
How to Use AI in Ad Testing?
You can use AI to identify the areas that need improvement, like characters, colors, supers etc. Using heatmaps and gaze plots are a great way to understand how your audience interacts with your ad and how you can make it stand out.
#2 Product Testing
In product testing, you try to understand what elements in your product must be optimized to improve attention, engagement and purchase intent. This can be done pre or post mass production and launch.
How to Use AI in Product Testing?
A product’s package has multiple elements that can make or break its performance. For example- the brand logo, the character, depiction of the contents, colors etc. To get pin-pointed insights, you need AI. Using technologies like Predictive eye tracking, you can understand what captivates the audience and what does not.
#3 Concept Testing
In concept testing, a thought or idea is tested by exposing it to the target audience. This is important to understand the feasibility of the concept and helps you eliminate any bad ideas.
How to Use AI in Concept Testing?
AI can be used to remove bias from the stated responses you receive. By getting accurate information about what your target audience feels about your concept, you can confidently go forward with it. Facial coding and Voice AI are two AI technologies that can help you eliminate bias and get reliable feedback.
#4 Content Testing
In content testing, phrases and words are tested to ensure that it piques the consumer’s interest in the product. The audience can misinterpret words, often leading to backlash and bad publicity.
How to Use AI in Content Testing?
AI can pinpoint the emotion hidden behind certain words using NLP (Natural Language Processing). By doing this exercise, you can optimize and choose the content that conveys your brand message without risking your brand image.
#5 Consumer Satisfaction & Feedback
Consumer feedback is often misleading. It is prone to generosity errors and response bias. Maintaining and improving brand health and loyalty becomes a task in this scenario.
How to Use AI to get Consumer Feedback?
The key to a satisfied consumer is understanding. As a brand, you need to understand what consumers want, their grievances and their pain points. The best way to do that is through feedback. AI helps spot trends and patterns in their behavior, opinions and preferences. It also helps eliminate bias and derive the accurate emotion felt by the consumers. Facial coding, Eye Tracking, Voice AI, Brainwave Mapping are popular Emotion AI technologies used by brands to decode the reality behind stated responses.
#6 Marketing Communications
In an attention economy, people are exposed to anywhere between 4,000-10,000 ads daily. Moreover, marketing emails, notifications about offers and calls flood phones on a daily basis. So how do you ensure that your marketing campaigns are effective? Through targeted marketing communication.
How to Use AI for Optimizing Marketing Communications?
AI helps you create targeted content and helps you narrow down on your target audience. Moreover, AI quickly analyzes consumer data to help you tailor your brand message in a way that will guarantee engagement and improve conversion rates. Some popular AI tools marketers use are ChatGPT, Bard, Copy.io etc. You can also use AI technologies like Eye Tracking to validate the interaction of the consumer with your campaign.
#7 Shopper Testing
Shoppers and Consumers are not the same, even though used synonymously. Consumer research focusses on the consumer’s perception utility while shopper research focuses on the purchase intent. Moreover, even if your product performs well individually, it may not perform well in-store. This is because, the product’s placement, accessibility, findability etc. play a role in the product’s shopability.
How to Use AI for Shopper Research and Testing?
AI helps you get in-depth insights about the shopper’s attention, engagement, visual appeal, purchase intent etc. The best way to get such insights is to use a combination of virtual shelf-testing with predictive eye tracking to analyze your product performance and get actionable shopper insights.
#8 Data Analysis
Data is everywhere. But processing and analyzing relevant consumer data takes time and often leads to duplication of work.
How to Use AI for Data Analysis?
AI makes data analysis simple. It does this through processing large volumes of complex data and visually representing them in consumable formats like graphs, charts, tables etc.
#9 Research Platforms
We always save the best for last. The best way to make use of AI is through a research platform. Here is why you should consider subscribing to one-
- Eliminates the need of using multiple AI based tools
- Enables you to conduct research, store it , analyze the data and share the research findings, all in one place.
- Helps you identify important information by segmenting them into tags and highlights.
- You can generate Action Items, Summaries and Reports.
- Use Emotion AI technologies like Facial Coding, Eye Tracking and Voice AI.
- Auto generate Transcripts and Translate them.
If you don’t know which research platform can suit your needs, try Decode. It is a simple, user-friendly and completely DIY research platform enabled with ChatGPT-3 and Emotion AI technologies. You can now try Decode yourself, with the 14-day Free Trial (no credit card required!).
Should You be Using AI in Your Research Methods?
YES. AI is not just a buzz word. Every brand is moving towards AI-enabled research processes because of the various advantages it offers. If you are still using traditional research methods, you are missing out on a great opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. Brands like Amazon, make 35% of their revenue through AI based recommendations! So, are you ready to take AI for a spin?