Q2 Insights has been an early adopter of AI to augment our marketing research consultancy processes. Our use of multivariate statistical analysis and predictive analytics for quantitative data analysis is complemented by AI, which enhances our ability to efficiently analyze both qualitative and quantitative data to uncover key findings and insights in a short period of time. Like multivariate statistical analysis and predictive analytics tools, AI is a tool. AI is not a replacement for humans, who have real world experience and knowledge and have excellent communication skills. Additionally, it will likely be decades before AI can emulate human brain processes. Combining AI and humans in the analysis of marketing research data enhances the strengths of both. Recognizing that AI is rapidly approaching the ability to assist with predictive analytics further strengthens this integrated approach.
Why is AI an Effective Tool for Marketing Researchers?
The key strength of AI is that it has the potential to enrich and streamline some of the interpretation of marketing research data. The strengths of AI include:
Speed and Cost Effectiveness
AI can process certain types of data faster than humans to identify findings and insights that help businesses make more timely and informed decisions. It also quickly and accurately analyzes large volumes of data that would take humans considerably more time to process. Use of AI is also very cost effective as it can reduce the need for hiring and training human researchers, especially for repetitive and time-consuming tasks. In the case of qualitative data, AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) aids in interpreting transcripts from Focus Groups and Depth Interviews, social media sentiment, and open-end responses to survey questions. These tasks are very time consuming for humans.
Objectivity and Pattern Recognition
Sometimes interpretation of marketing research data by human researchers is influenced by subjective biases or emotions. AI aids in the objective interpretation of data. Pattern recognition within complex and large-scale datasets can lead to findings and insights that may not be immediately apparent to human researchers.
As AI can be trained and customized there will be continuing advancements in machine learning, deep learning, and predictive analytics. As AI continues to improve its interpretation of data, it may surpass human capabilities in some areas.
Why Human Marketing Researchers are Unlikely to be Replaced by AI
To fully replace human researchers, AI will need to emulate human brain processes more closely. Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists know a lot about brains, but given the vast complexity of the brain, this knowledge barely scratches the surface of understanding. For this reason, it will be virtually impossible for AI to rival the human advantages offered by well-trained marketing researchers.
As a neuroscientist long working on some of the many mind-brain challenges, I emphasize that despite science’s extensive efforts over the past several centuries, our understanding of brains barely scratches the formidable surface obscuring its preeminent complexity. The intricate web of neural connections, subtle interplay of chemicals, and enigmatic nature of consciousness continue to challenge us at every turn. The brain remains a fascinating frontier of scientific exploration, but we still have so much to learn. – Paul L. Nunez, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University, and author of five books on brain science.
What are the human competencies we have as marketing researchers that are not offered by AI?
Real World Experience and Knowledge
Until neuroscientists and cognitive scientists more fully understand the human brain, it is entirely unlikely that humans will be replaced by AI in marketing research. Some marketing research functions may be replaced by AI, but this will be to the betterment of the discipline due to use of AI as a tool, and not to the elimination of the human-powered discipline. The intersection of human researchers and AI in marketing research is complementary. Any organization that fails to recognize that AI is a powerful tool, not a replacement for human marketing researchers, is likely to be left behind in a world that relies on data-driven decision making.
Kirsty Nunez is the President and Chief Research Strategist at Q2 Insights, Inc., a research and innovation consulting firm with offices in San Diego. Q2 Insights specializes in many areas of research and predictive analytics, and actively uses AI as one of the many tools her research toolbox.
For those interested, here is another article on AI in Marketing Research: https://q2insights.com/will-artificial-intelligence-ai-replace-marketing-researchers/
This entry was posted in Trends and tagged on April 22, 2023 by brett_adm