March 15, 2017 | Marketing
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” - Albert Einstein
Artificial intelligence (AI). Machine learning. Big data. Deep learning. These are some of the key buzzwords the industry is talking about. Most of us visualize AI as a world where robots are trying to replace the workers. In 2015, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warned the world of an apocalypse as a result of artificial creations. Yet the research industry is marching toward a future led by intelligent models and machine learning algorithms. So, the question is, “Are we moving toward an apocalypse or a huge industry transformation?”
The future of market research is envisioned as a world where AI and researchers will work hand in hand toward creating insights that were previously unobtainable. This new wave of AI has implications in every industry for market researchers. Professionals can leverage this intelligence for predicting shopper behavior. For example, what will the customer buy, how can a customer be engaged, etc.
Companies are using machine learning to improve customer engagement. Recently, United Services Automobile Association (USAA), an insurer and finance company based in the US, partnered with Intel for AI. The company has started using Intel’s Saffron platform for predicting consumer behavior. USAA, through Saffron, collects data on consumer product inquiries and how consumers are going to contact them. The company is then able to plan their customer service staffing more efficiently, which has led to cost savings and better customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence will have a deep impact on product development and qualitative research, which will eliminate the need for elaborate and unrealistic testing. Companies such as easyJet are already using AI for predicting consumer demand through sales forecasting. easyJet uses predictive analytics for planning flight times and destinations, as well as for items they serve on their flights. The predictive capability of AI can help all organizations better understand and plan for their business needs.
Price optimization is another area where professionals are utilizing machine learning. Airbnb created their AI pricing software in-house to aid their customers in estimating their house rental rates. The tool offers dynamic pricing based on changing market conditions. For market research procurement professionals, in the future AI will help in spotting savings opportunities, identifying products and services within organisations where market research is required and in identifying the right suppliers in the industry.