Tag Archives: market research

The State of Market Research

In the late 1930s, curiosity struck John Gallup and he became interested in collecting public opinion. That was the beginning of the American Institute of Public Opinion, later known as the Gallup poll. This research institution conducts polls on a variety of topics but is well known for their political polling. The Gallup institution is centripetal in propelling the ongoing relationship between market research and the political sphere, due to their legacy of reliability in election polls and presidential approval ratings. In fact, the Gallup presidential approval poll was introduced shortly after the American Institute of Public Opinion was created. Although, Gallup was later acquired by SRI Research, their tradition of political and socioeconomic polls remains a longstanding tradition.

Gallup initiated the relationship between market research and politics, but many other market researchers have begun gauging public opinion through a variety of methods. Politicians, media officials, businesses, and several other parties are highly dependent on this data collection. This can be illustrated in the ongoing dispute regarding the election prediction polls during the 2016 Presidential Election. Public opinion allows political parties to orchestrate their marketing plans and show them what audiences to focus their attention. It can also provide a sense of assurance or urgency among the voters depending on their candidate’s status among the public. During the 2016 Election, the majority of the polls did not render the correct outcome. The 2016 Election served as a pivotal moment for market research. Conversations regarding data accuracy and survey methodology are still circulating although President Trump has already taken office.

Despite these challenges, market research is still prospering in the political sphere. President Trump and his administration are proceeding through the first 100 days and implementing their plans announced on the campaign trail. Simultaneously, market researchers are gauging the public’s response to the new implementations and measuring the public approval rating of the president. Media outlets are utilizing this data in the reporting which creates conversations between the presidential administration, the media, and the public about “the facts.” These ongoing conversations encourage more market research to be conducted in order to increase reach to specific audiences and improve data quality. As a result, the Trump presidency will substantially impact the growth of the research industry.

Although market research has always had an important role in politics, the importance of public opinion only seems to be growing. The market research industry became the center of conversation during the election. Data quality and accuracy are now being heavily considered by politicians and media outlets. Market research and public opinion data will be the tools used by political parties to validate their efforts. While media outlets are dependent on data for reporting. It is reasonable to expect that market research is an industry that will surely thrive over the next four years.

Take Valentine’s Day Marketing Off Autopilot

The holiday marketing calendar seems to function on autopilot. After the last bit of discounted Christmas decorations are cleared from the shelves, Valentine’s Day candy and stuffed animals quickly furbish the “seasonal” aisle. Pink and red advertisements grace the windows of retail stores and pop-up Valentine’s’ Day ads for flower orders appear on our digital search screens. The turnover between the holidays is automatic and consumers are acclimated to this method. Retail industry professionals know that Valentine’s day is generally a high profiting holiday and the marketing effort behind it follows a pre-fixe methodology. Valentine’s Day sales reached a record high in 2016, but that number is expected to decrease in 2017. Retailers will need to explore new opportunities to maintain Valentine’s Day sales momentum through market research.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) consumer spending for Valentine’s Day 2017 is expected to reach $18.2 billion this year, which is down from last year’s $19.7 billion record high. The decrease in consumer spending is congruent with the decrease in people who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which has dropped from 63% in 2008 to 54% for this year. With roughly 50% of Americans considering themselves as single, retailers will have to market towards a wider audience and repackage the holiday marketing plans that move away from the cliches.

Valentine’s Day is often marketed towards couples, but consumers are also celebrating Valentine’s Day with family and friends. According to Entrepreneur, 20% of people who searched the term “Valentine’s Day Gifts For…” followed the phrase with “friends.” Also, NRF data shows that the average person is spending about $26 dollars on gifts for family members. This shows that Valentine’s Day is not just a holiday for spouse and significant others. Retailers could benefit from collecting consumer insights from their customers in order to create more effective marketing campaigns that reach a broader audience. For example, a cosmetics retailer could conduct a study to find out what are their customers’ Valentine’s day plans, how they celebrate the holiday, and their relationship status. This will help the retailer identify if they should conduct a “date night” theme campaign or one for “Valentine’s Day beauty treatments with friends.” Instead of marketing products for the holiday through traditional modules, a more inclusive approach could gain access to  a broader audience and increase sales. The “one size fits all” module needs a more creative approach to attract a broader audience.

Ultimately, marketers have grown far too comfortable with traditional Valentine’s day campaigns. In order to boost the reception of their holiday campaigns and see an upward sale trend, it is imperative to conduct market research. Research studies that gather consumer insights about how people are spending their Valentine’s Day and their shopping spending habits provide key information.  This data will help marketers develop a campaign that is relevant for today’s consumer and expand their customer base. Subsequently, retailers will see more sales during the holiday season.

If you are looking to conduct a research and need quality sample, please contact us at sales-team@qsample.com

Survey Accuracy For Actionable Results

 

On July 24th,1824 “The Harrisburg Pennsylvanian” printed a report of a straw vote taken in Wilmington, Delaware. This vote showed some of the early methods used in market research. Although, this event was not market research in itself, it used some of the early methods of market research. However, it was not until 1901 that evidence of market research became frequent enough to indicate that a new business field had made a prominent start. The need for knowledge had several businessmen looking for theories and methods to better understand the market, which ultimately created the market research industry we know today. Market research encompasses numerous methodologies, but the most common one is survey research.

In order to conduct any type of research, it is necessary to have a quality sample of the targeted audience. Reliable sample is pivotal in market research. One of the key factors involving sample is selecting the correct sample size. This is crucial when conducting a study, if a sample size is too big this will lead to a waste of resources. Consequently, not having enough sample will lead to an inaccurate representation of a population. Survey accuracy is another qualifier when attempting to gather quality data. Researchers are constantly asking questions such as, are the results accurate? Is the sample reliable?  There is no magic formula but here are a few things to consider when conducting a survey.

Margin of Error

There are two measurements that affect data accuracy. The first one is the margin of error (or confidence interval). In sum, this is the positive or negative deviation allowed on the survey results for the sample. In other words, is the difference between the opinion of the respondents and the opinion of an entire population. In order to better understand this statistical explanation, suppose that you set a margin of error of 5% on a study you are conducting about soccer. The results of this survey indicate that 90% of the respondents like to play soccer, a 5% margin of error indicates that you can be sure that between 85% (90%-5%) and 95% (90%+5%) of the entire population likes to play soccer.

The second measurement that affects data accuracy is the confidence level. This measurement indicates how often the percentage of a population actually lies between the boundaries of the margin of error. Following the example above, the confidence level tells you how sure you can be that between 85% and 95% of the population likes to play soccer. Suppose that you choose a 95% confidence level,  this interval will indicate that in 95% of the time, between 85% and 95% of the population like to play soccer. A 95% confidence level is standard in quantitative research, since a higher confidence level such as 99% indicates greater accuracy but represents a higher cost.  

After understanding the two measurements that affect data accuracy you can use an online calculator to determine the sample size of a population or you could use the formula presented below.

ss= Z 2 * (p) (1-p)

     ____________

              c 2

Where:

Z = Z value (e.g. 1.96 for 95% confidence level)  

p = percentage picking a choice, expressed as decimal

(.5 used for sample size needed)

c = confidence interval, expressed as decimal

(e.g., .05 = ±5)

Screener Questions

Screener type questions are used to qualify respondents and determine if the respondents are eligible to participate in a research study. For example, when conducting a study on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, a researcher will need respondents who consume alcoholic beverages. Therefore, a screener question should be implemented to eliminate possible respondents that do not consume alcoholic beverages. Consider the question below:

How often do you consume alcoholic beverages?

a) Once a year

b) Once month

c) Every other week

d) Every week

e)  Every day

f) I do not consume alcoholic beverages?

If respondents choose option F the survey will be terminated since the respondent will not qualify to participate in the study. This type of question at the beginning of a survey helps increase data quality.

Data Sanitization

Data sanitization involves the detection and removal of errors and inconsistencies in a data set due to the incorrect entry of the data. Incorrect or inconsistent data can create a number of problems which can lead to the drawing of false conclusions. Therefore, sanitizing a data set can improve the accuracy of survey results but it has to be done with care in order to avoid problems such as, the loss of important information or valid data.  

In sum, there are several elements that dictate survey accuracy. When conducting a survey it is imperative to keep in mind the sample size, margin of error, screening questions and data collection practices to ensure data accuracy and ultimately data quality.

 

The Force Behind the Retail Industry

In 1852, a dry goods store was opened at 137 Lake St. in Chicago, Illinois. This store later became the great Marshall Field and Company empire. Although Marshall Field’s was later acquired by Macy’s, the birth of the modern retail industry is commonly denoted by the humble origins of Marshall Field’s. Today the retail industry exist in multiple mediums outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar structure. Consumers are now shopping online, through mobile applications, and even on social media. Simultaneously to the growth of the retail industry, market research has also made innovative strides. The driving force behind the retail industry is the trends followed by the consumers. Market research is essential to track consumer behavior, investigate the consumers’ response to new products, and identify platforms for brand engagement. Retailers can utilize online research panels that include respondents ranging in interest level – from brand loyalist to infrequent shoppers. The data can be used to promote methods that can boost sales.

Consumer behavior is constantly changing, but retailers can keep up with the trends by surveying panelist about their shopping behavior. Conducting survey through online research panels can offer insight into the consumer shopping preferences. The panels allow access to consumers that are outside of the retailer’s reach. Retailers can collect data from non-customers to learn how to attract new clients and grow their brand. The panels can also help retailers understand the general consumers’ impression of the brand and identify key factors that can be revised to attract the targeted demographic. The research panel can also be used to identify customers that already frequently visit the store or shop with that brand. The data collected from that subset of respondents can pinpoint the areas in which the brand is performing well. The research collected can serve as the cornerstone of brand promotion and awareness.

In addition to using research panels to identify brand perception, retailers can also utilize panels to collect information that assists with product development. Collecting information from consumers during the infancy of product development can provide valuable feedback and foresight into the success of product sales.  Online research panels allow access to customizable audiences that align with the goals of the study. Retailers can survey the targeted audience to identify the consumer’s product preferences. This data can help product developers design product lines around the consumer’s needs and wants. Research panels can also help retailers identify appropriate price points for their products. In return, the data collected can assist product development and boost sales.

Another way to boost product sales is to use research panels to identify how the targeted audience engages with a brand. In today’s digital landscape people are shopping using multiple platforms. Research panels can produce a snapshot of consumers’ shopping behavior patterns. This data can show retailers the areas to allocate resources and capture the attention of their targeted audiences. This information can tell retailers whether they need to open a new store, redesign their website layout, boost social media efforts, and much more.

Ultimately, the retail industry is a fast-paced world that thrives due to trends and consumer behavior. Market research is essential for retailers to stay knowledgeable of shopping preferences and brand impressions within the market. Retailers that conduct research through online research panels have access to customizable panels that target audiences ranging from general consumer to frequent customers. The information collected through this research methodology can aid brand awareness efforts, assist product development, and identify key factors in brand engagement.

 

Type of Questions To Keep Respondents Engaged

When conducting quantitative research, market researchers and programmers need to be mindful of survey fatigue. This is a problem that occurs when individuals get tired or bored while taking a survey, which often leads to the survey not being completed or terrible data quality. Surveys designed with aesthetically pleasing elements and interactive tools tend to keep respondents’ engaged and reduce survey drop-out rates. In addition to to the aesthetics of the survey, research practitioners can implement dynamic questions with captivating interfaces. These varying question styles foster interaction between the respondents and the survey. Dynamic questions also serve as alternatives to single select, grid, rating and open-ended questions, which often can be tedious and unstimulating for the respondent. Therefore, we have compiled a list of question styles that can add variety to a survey and minimize fatigue.

Slider

Keeping respondents engaged can be achieved by using slider style questions, which allow respondents to answer a question on a scale by dragging an interactive slider. This is an alternative to rating scale questions since users can interact and create unique distinctions through comparisons among related items.

Sliders questions are not as beneficial when there is little to no interrelationship between question topics. For example, when asking a set of attitude statements that are not related.

 In the example, there is no relationship between the three questions options. When using a slider question it is important to understand that respondents will make relative comparisons among related items. If there is no relationship between the items, it will be more beneficial to use another type of survey question such as multiple choice.

Image Heat Map

Another way keep respondents engaged is by using an image heat map question. This type of question allows users to identify the areas they like or dislike about a specific image. This type of question provides flexibility and has a number of potential applications. For example, it can help collect feedback on a new website layout. Using an image heat map facilitates feedback through interactions and sustain user engagement.

Rank Sort

Rank sort questions are another alternative to keep respondents alert and engaged by using visual indicators. This type of question allows respondents to rank items by clicking or dragging them into the desired order. This offers an alternative method to numerical inputs which respondents might find tedious. The use of visual indicators provide the respondent with an interactive experience and can improve survey participation.

Card Sort

Another question style that promotes interaction is card sort questions. This question style serves as an efficient alternative to grid questions, where a list of attributes are rated on a scale. For card sort questions, respondents are shown animated text or images, one at a time. The respondents are able to drag these elements into the desired category. This allows the collection of multiple data points while mitigating fatigue and dropouts.

In sum, survey fatigue is an ongoing problem in the data collection process. When crafting a survey, researchers need to keep in mind their audience and the type of questions needed to minimize survey fatigue. Collecting quality data relies on respondents’ engagement, therefore the use of interactive questions will improve participation rates, minimize dropouts and ultimately keep respondents engaged.

 

Think Like a Consumer: Knowing your Audience

 

In today’s technology-driven landscape, consumers can have a packaged delivered to their door with a few clicks of a button and information can be disseminated across multiple platforms in a matter of seconds. The most pivotal shift is that consumers are keeping up with all of these advances with mobile phones. Today’s consumers have adopted a lifestyle where they are juggling multiple tasks, interests, and responsibilities. Retailers, media outlets, and other companies are all competing for the consumers’ attention and research panel providers are not exempt.  To attract the right respondents to join a panel, panel providers must adopt the mindset of the consumer. Consumers’ lifestyle, habits, and preferences mold the way respondents participate in research.

Moreover, social media plays a large role in the general consumer’s lifestyle and their behavior models the usage of various online technology platforms. Aside from socializing with friends and family, social platforms are a place to become informed about news, events, and products as well as share opinions.  According to a 2016 study conducted by Facebook, the average person spends about 50 minutes using Facebook or Facebook platforms daily. Social media platforms are attractive to consumers and to mirror this same magnetic approach, online panel providers must establish their company’s presence on social media platforms, to attract respondents to participate in research.

It is imperative that the platforms that respondents utilize align with the convenience consumers are accustomed to when using social media or other mobile platforms. Consumers have become acclimated to simplified platforms that are easy to use on both computers and mobile devices. It is important to match this same sense of convenience, even when it comes to research data collection.

In sum, the ability to think like a consumer and become familiar with the audience will attract respondents to participate in a panel and ultimately increase response rates to studies. The general consumer is gathering information, making purchases, and socializing in a fast paced environment that is accessible through online platforms and mobile devices. The attraction to platforms that are fast and simple has become a standard expectation. Research panel providers use this familiarity with the consumer as a way to recruit panelist, keep them engaged, and ultimately increase survey response rates for clients.

 

Top 5 Healthcare Trends Impacting Market Research in 2017

The healthcare industry is always evolving based on changes in the public landscape. The sensitivity to consumers’ needs and perceptions is quintessential to the success of new develops in healthcare. The new year introduces a new set of trending topics that yearn to be explored through market research. Therefore we have compiled the top five trends that will impact market research strategies in 2017.

1.Emerging Technologies

As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and drones become more common, the healthcare industry will be adopting these new technologies. These developments will have a direct impact on business models, operations, and cybersecurity. Healthcare organizations will have an increased need to understand the outcomes and potential risks that these emerging technologies will have on their operations and consequently their patients. In order to target this new business venture, market researchers need to employ strategies that will directly answer the implications of these new technologies.

2. Nutrition and Population Health

Health organizations are now focusing on nutrition as a way to prevent costly medical problems and improve the overall health of the population. The start of a new year presents an opportunity for individuals to get back in shape and an avenue for healthcare organizations to fuel innovation in the nutrition sector. Market researchers have another avenue to focus on healthcare providers’ perception and promotion of new methods and practices among individuals. The research that is conducted on this topic will need to be creative and induce innovative ways to find solutions to the matter at hand.

3.Consumer Skepticism and the Rise in Non-Traditional Methods

Consumers are having an increased lack of trust in traditional health system due to the more side effects and potentially toxic ingredients found in traditional methods. The increase competition and lack of trust from consumers have encouraged healthcare organizations to provide high-quality services that meet consumers demands.

This new trend associated with lack of consumer trust and increase use of non-traditional methods is a profitable avenue to adjust market research strategies and target those organizations looking to increase their brand loyalty. A good way to approach this trend is by providing healthcare organizations research objectives that will provide a solution to increase consumers’ trust.

4.Patient-Centric Health Systems

There has been a shift from fragmented health care models to integrated approaches. Now organizations, communities, and social care providers have united their efforts to provide integrated services to patients.

In order to provide integrated services, healthcare organizations need to create sustainable business models and integrate technologies that enhance interconnectivity. This is another avenue where  organizations can change their existing market research strategies and provide a methodology that will allow potential clients to find solutions to their business needs.

5.Aging Population

The increase of technological advances have provided means to increase life expectancy across the globe. As generations grow older, long-term care and chronic diseases services will be in higher demand. Research is necessary in order to understand the implications and needs of this aging population. Therefore, this presents an excellent opportunity to adjust market research strategies that will increase the knowledge base of the Baby Boomer population.

In sum, the healthcare industry will see a great amount of changes in 2017, with the emerge of new technologies, innovations, and transformative business models. The new trends in the healthcare industry will provide several opportunities for market researchers to explore the professional and public perception in regards to these developments and trends. Market research conducted with research panels will provide ample insights that can propel and refine new findings within the healthcare industry.

In an Evolving Research Landscape, Giving is a Two-way Street

One phrase we often hear repeatedly from research practitioners is that: “Survey participation is declining and online data quality continues to plague the industry.” After investing a great deal of time, resources, and effort, they are often unsatisfied with the quality of data collected for their research. After all, the research is meaningless if the survey results are inadequate. “How can I effectively increase survey participation and data quality,” they want to know, “without extensive data scrub?”

The first area of focus is often the data collection methodology. The next area of focus, naturally, is the instrument – the actual language used in the survey, particularly for online, direct mail, or mobile surveys where no other guidance is available. Survey incentive is usually the last variable that companies look at as a means to boost response rate or to address data quality issues. Given consumers exist in a culture driven by rewards, it should be natural for survey respondents to expect an attractive incentive in exchange for their time – and rightfully so.

Unfortunately, research practitioners and panel companies alike undermine the significant role that incentives play when it comes to data collection. In fact, some researchers view survey incentives as something that could potentially create bias in their data collection efforts, based on the assumption that respondents will not provide honest answers to survey questions and are only driven by the reward.  Although this is not completely incorrect for a small number of research participants, it is, however, not the norm.

As stated earlier, our society is already reward driven. Just look around – in business, in commerce, in our day-to-day life. They are passed off to staff and packaged in wellness programs that encourage pedometer steps and healthy eating habits. They are plaques presented to sales reps reaching quotas. They are the points we earn, the loyalty cards we shuffle in our wallets and the frequent flier miles we stockpile. Even our bonuses and raises are forms of reward and incentive.

In marketing, rewards are indispensable tools. We donate portions of proceeds to causes. We employ games, contests, points, and loyalty cards – all to motivate specific behaviors. Incentives help us broaden word of mouth marketing, increase revenue, shrink advertising cost, expand into new markets, and keep customers coming back for more. Marketers use incentives because they work. So why should this be any different for market research?

Without data, there is no research; without respondents, there is no data; Panel providers must incentivize their respondents fairly and act as good ambassadors for their panelists. Research practitioners, on the other hand, must be realistic and understand that the world has changed. Volunteer survey participants are almost extinct. High earning CEOs or influential individuals receive monetary incentives to give lectures, speeches, or to provide their expert opinions to various organizations. Their opinion is never questioned due to the value of their speaking fees. Survey participation and data quality will continue to plague the research industry until research practitioners understand the value that rewards play in our daily lives. It may be too late for them to realize that without incentives, there are no respondents.

 

 

AI: The Future is Now

 

Comedian TJ Miller, of HBO’s Silicon Valley, performs a standup in which he tells of an entertaining, yet extremely terrifying time in which he suffered a life-threatening brain malformation. He was in the middle of pitching a movie idea when he collapsed to the floor while seizing, and was rushed to the hospital. His story continues, he explains that he suffered from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) hemorrhage, which is essentially an abnormal connection between the veins and arteries.

When Miller awoke from his coma in the Cedars-Sinai ICU neurology ward, he found a nurse standing over him saying, “Your doctor cannot be here, but a proxy will be here in just a bit.” He then explains how he was given little to no information about his condition. Next thing he knew, what looked like an iPad on a Segway rolled in the room and on the screen, was his doctor, who was video calling from a different location. This robot-doctor then began explaining Miller’s condition and how lucky he was to be alive. Miller, who at this point is more shocked about a robot wheeling into his room and diagnosing him, asks his doctor the humorous yet, understandable question of “…Am I in the future?”

While TJ Miller had only been in a coma for a few days, his question of “Am I in the future?” is certainly one that most of us would wonder. The idea of autonomous Segway-like robots wheeling around hospitals, video-calling to doctors across the country or around the globe sounds like something out of Star Trek or a Kubrick film. These proxies that Miller mentioned are known as telehealth robots and are being integrated into all aspects of hospitals. NBC’s, Julia Boorstin, describes how they can allow a stroke victim to be assessed by a specialist when every minute counts and there isn’t a specialist at the hospital. Telehealth robots increase the standard of care and allow more patients to be seen in less time, thus cutting down on the over-crowding and potentially saving money.

Additionally, robots are seeing an increase in popularity in rural hospitals for more than just improved patient care. For instance, Hamilton County Hospital in Kansas was very close to shutting down when telehealth robotics were brought onto the scene. Their chief executive, Bryan Coffey explained that “we brought in a telemedicine robot and started seeing an 180 (degree change). There’s been a 40 percent increase in (patient) volume and we’re consistently, month over month, 15 percent in growth.” Their investment of $36,000 for the robot yielded a substantial return on their investment leading to greater patient throughput.

These robotics are also being utilized by graduate nursing students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). UAH and other universities that have introduced similar programs are leading the way in terms of telehealth education. They are utilizing this technology to train students from off-site facilities as well as providing online students more of a presence in classrooms and hospitals. The nursing dean at UAH, Marsha Howell Adams explains, “It will allow our graduate students in our nurse practitioner pathways to actually be responsible for the management of the patient care in a simulation scenario.”

The full benefit of the telehealth industry has yet to be seen. In Miller’s case, while he awoke confused to what seemed to be a futuristic robot-doctor, there’s no doubt that the rapid care offered by telehealth robots quite likely saved his life. Telehealth allowed his AVM hemorrhage to be discovered in a timely manner as opposed to being discovered on the autopsy table. Through the advent of technology, a hospital visit can offer immediate care from a specialist on the other side of the country, allowing top-rate care in less time, all with the help of an autonomous robot on wheels – perhaps this is the future.

However, in many ways, it seems natural for robotics, science, and healthcare to merge and progress in this manner. A more noteworthy display of futurism emerges when seemingly far off technology leaves the scientific sphere and spreads into the social and political sphere.

Though perhaps not as visually shocking as a free-roaming robot on wheels that Skypes to doctors in remote locations, the artificial intelligence system known as MogAI is a game changer with far-reaching effects.

MogAI was created by Sanjiv Rai in 2004 and has accurately predicted the past three Presidential elections. According to a CNBC report, it gathers data from over 20 million points from around the internet, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, in order to create its predictions. MogAI works by monitoring social media and internet user engagements to anonymously gather information. It not only accurately predicted the election results, but also noted the fact that Trump would surpass the number of engagements that Obama had in his peak of the 2008 election, long before anyone could have made that prediction.

It’s important to note that these results were not expected. MogAI was not simply going along with media trends or regurgitating expert opinion. This is something different.

So why is MogAI more effective than traditional methods of prediction? It is not limited by human bias or the hesitancy attached to telling a stranger who you are voting for. MogAI monitors social media platforms, uses algorithms and improves with time. This program’s name is referencing Rudyard Kipling’s character, Mowgli, from The Jungle Book. MogAI, like Mowgli learns from interacting with its ever-changing environment.

Per CNBC, Rai explained that, “While most algorithms suffer from programmers/developer’s biases, MoglA aims at learning from her environment, developing her own rules at the policy layer and develop expert systems without discarding any data.” In other words, MogAI is not limited by the human error – it finds the best way of gathering data and does so without interruption. MogAI sifted through reactions of videos of the election process on Facebook and YouTube. It monitors likes and dislikes. It analysis metadata. It considers the opinions of those who only speak up only when hidden behind their online cloak of anonymity. Artificial intelligence systems like this display the pulse of our nation in a way that we have never been able to do before and this form of tech innovation will eventually affect our day-to -day activities in areas that we possibly can’t imagine.

Artificial Intelligence has enormous growth potential and a number of companies in various industries are already adding AI to their playbooks – manufacturing, retail, healthcare, technology, transportation and more. Even in market research, an industry that is often driven by empathy and emotional intelligence, is giving AI some strong attention. Of course, AI is not yet able to address the human aspect of research but some companies are looking beyond these challenges. QuestionPro, a Research Software provider, has recently launched “Locus” – An Artificial Intelligence bot that can help understand what type of survey the user is interested in to help them develop the survey instrument. While “Locus” is still in Beta, it’s a testament to the growing adoption of AI, to improve customer experience. Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of QuestionPro, explains that “Much like a conversation, Locus will continuously be “trained” to become increasingly effective at communicating with users and maximizing both the quality and efficiency of their QuestionPro experience. Eventually, the Artificial Intelligence Bot will boast even more capabilities within the product.”

The applications for this and other AI prediction systems are staggering. By analyzing data from places such as Facebook Live conversation feeds or Google analytics and then completely anonymizing this information, data predictions can offer fewer privacy violations and more accuracy than ever before in history. It is estimated that the Artificial Intelligence market will be worth $16.2 billion dollars, by 2022. If this estimate is accurate, this 62% compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2022 is staggering. While a major part of this growth is from the healthcare industry, AI is already making its presence felt in other sectors, as evident by the use of SIRI and Google Assistant in mobile technology. The reality is that AI is already here and its future looks bright. Whether it can take us where no human has gone before remains to be seen.

Market Research is the Key Ingredient

As usual, Amazon is on the move and presenting even more great ideas. In 2017, we have plenty to look forward to when it comes to shopping. Amazon will be opening the Amazon Go store to the public in early portion of the new year. The store will be like no other grocery store. There will be no cashiers, instead shoppers will use a mobile app to enter the store, gather what they need, and walk out. This takes artificial intelligence to the next level as innovative  “walk out technology” will track what  customers placed in their shopping bags and charge their Amazon accounts for those items. They are also making strides in their drone delivery system as well . The company’s first commercial drone delivery was announced last week. As large companies like Amazon strives towards creating an easy and fast shopping platform for users, these concepts leave room to be explored through market research. Amazon is accelerating technology and influencing consumer behavior. To complete these tasks effectively and keep the momentum going, an intense amount of market research is necessary.

With every new technological update or product release, there is a sense of unpredictability with how the consumer will react. This is where market research becomes pivotal. Conducting research before, during, and after the update can help understand the consumers’ mindset and the market conditions that affect their habits. Market research can also help shape and mold product revamps. Amazon is currently conducting research internally with their employee base. The Amazon Go store is currently open to Amazon employees, this a way to test the store before it opens to the public. Once the store is open to the general population, it would be helpful to gather a diversified sample of people who have been to the store and people who have not. Collecting their thoughts and opinions through an online platform could be beneficial in understanding what would draw more people to become customers.

 

Consumers’ behavior is also being influenced by Amazon’s innovations. This behavior is always changing due to what is made available in the marketplace. We have seen the preference of visiting brick and mortar facilities ebb and flow as online shopping has made great advancements. Amazon has ventures in both of these avenues and because of their impact on the market, it directs consumers towards their products. For example, the drone delivery service fuels the consumer’s’ need for immediacy. Although consumers are constantly shopping online, they still want the sense of immediacy achieved when they are shopping in-store. The drone delivery system marries the comfort and ease of online shopping with the sense of immediate access. However, Amazon will still need to conduct more market research to understand how consumers perceive their idea. With mixed emotions regarding the use of drones, market research could be conducted with a sample of the general population to gather public opinion. Amazon could also gather information to establish a price point for the service that  consumers would find acceptable, whether than the consumer resulting to other delivery methods.

 

Ultimately, market research is the key ingredient for a company to be successful. When new products or services are  introduced into the marketplace, in-depth market research offers insights into the consumers’ mindset and predictions on how the product or service will be perceived. Market research can help a company make changes or updates that fit the consumers’ lifestyle as well as show how much they are willing to pay for it. Companies like Amazon who are constantly releasing new innovations can benefit from collecting information through on-line sample.

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