How to Use AI for Consumer Research: Ideas to Streamline Your Insights Generation

According to an Adobe survey, nearly every worker—92% to be exact—says AI is making their jobs better. And the realm of consumer research isn’t an exception.

The same survey found that the most common productivity gains reported from AI use at work include time-saving (67%), increased work speed (61%), and the reduction or elimination of tedious tasks (45%).

This statistical backdrop sets the stage to explore how AI can revolutionize consumer research. Not only does AI mitigate the pains of laborious, repetitive work, but it also streamlines your workflows, leading to more efficient insights generation.

Let’s dig into how you can leverage AI for these gains in your consumer research work, and how you can enhance your qualitative research processes from data collection to insights generation.

First, a fly by of the tools that make AI an ideal assistant for market researchers.

Key AI Tools and Techniques for Consumer Research

Several AI tools and techniques are pivotal in revolutionizing consumer research:

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): Interprets and analyzes consumer survey feedback, transcripts, or social media conversations.
  2. Machine Learning Algorithms: Identify trends and patterns in consumer behavior.
  3. Sentiment Analysis: Gauges your consumers’ opinions and emotional responses to your products, brands, or campaigns.
  4. Predictive Analytics: Forecasts future consumer trends based on current data.

Each of these tools plays a crucial role in elevating the data collection and analysis processes. But how do you apply them to streamline your path to accurate insights generation?

Ideas to Streamline Your Insights Generation with AI

AI can speed up the consumer research process by assisting in three main aspects: data collection, data analysis, and insights generation.

Streamlining Data Collection with AI

AI has significantly improved data collection methods in consumer research:

AI-driven Surveys

With AI, you can create surveys that adapt their questions based on how respondents answer in real-time. This leads to more relevant data collection.

For example, if a respondent indicates a high interest in a particular product feature, the AI can delve deeper into that feature with follow-up questions, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of consumer preferences.

Example Prompt for ChatGPT: “Create a survey for consumers aged 25-40 interested in eco-friendly products. Include adaptive questions that explore deeper preferences when a high interest in sustainability is indicated.”

Efficient Survey Generation

AI tools like Voxpopme’s Smart SurvAI can generate surveys based on research objectives or interview topics. This reduces the time and effort typically spent on writing questions and structuring surveys.

Smart SurvAI, qualitative research survey preparation with AI by Voxpopme

For instance, you can provide a survey objective, such as ‘customer satisfaction with online shopping,’ and it will generate a comprehensive set of questions, covering various aspects of the topic.

Example Prompt for Voxpopme SurvAI: “Generate a survey focused on customer satisfaction with online shopping experiences, including questions on website usability, product variety, and customer service efficiency.”

If you haven’t tried Voxpopme’s Discussion Guide generator, you probably don’t know it can save 89% of your time in writing discussion guides. In our AI vs Humans: The Qualitative Research Showdown webinar, we demonstrated writing discussion guides with the help of AI in 13 minutes where it takes an experienced human researcher 2 hours.

AI vs Humans The ultimate qualitative research showdown webinar replaY

Watch the replay: AI vs Humans: The Qualitative Research Showdown

Social Media Listening Tools

These tools use AI to analyze vast amounts of data from social platforms, helping you gauge consumer sentiment and trending topics. By analyzing posts, comments, and reviews, you can gain insights into public opinion about your brand or a specific product. This method is particularly useful for capturing real-time, unfiltered consumer opinions.

Online Behavior Tracking

AI can track and analyze online consumer behaviors, such as website visits, search queries, and purchase history. This offers a clear picture of consumer preferences and habits. For example, AI algorithms can identify patterns in website navigation, highlighting which products or pages attract the most attention.

These AI applications facilitate the gathering of diverse and large-scale consumer data, offering a more comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior. But there’s more.

Transforming Data into Insights: AI-Powered Analysis

AI’s power lies in its ability to convert vast amounts of unstructured data into meaningful, actionable insights. Its proficiency in data mining, pattern recognition, and trend analysis is indispensable for revealing insights.

Moreover, AI significantly reduces biases and human error, leading to a more precise interpretation of consumer data.

Data Analysis and Insight Generation

AI can sift through large datasets to extract critical insights, allowing consumer researchers to quickly identify trends, sentiments, and significant findings.

For example, an AI system can analyze customer feedback data to identify common themes or sentiments, helping businesses understand the most prevalent customer pain points or preferences. This is done seamlessly within Voxpopme’s AI Insights product.

Voxpopme AI Insights generating insights from video research recording

And remember: AI comes with immense speed. Where a human takes 5 hours to analyze in-depth interviews, AI Insights does it in 14 minutes. (This is also from the actual demonstration from our AI vs Humans webinar).

Data Quality Improvement

AI tools can enhance data quality by spotting and correcting errors, inconsistencies, or inaccuracies. This process ensures the data you rely on for research is accurate and dependable.

For instance, you can use AI Insights to validate and cleanse customer data collected from various sources, ensuring consistency and reliability with this prompt: 

“Review the consumer survey responses in this project for any inconsistencies or errors and suggest corrections to improve data quality.”

We also demonstrated how fast this can be with AI Insights. Where a human did it in 4 hours, AI Insights did it in 16 minutes.

Summarizing Long Transcripts

AI can efficiently summarize lengthy transcripts from interviews or group discussions. This capability allows researchers to quickly derive the essence and key insights from extensive dialogues.

You can try it: AI can condense hours of focus group discussions into concise summaries, highlighting the main points and sentiments expressed.

Example Prompt for ChatGPT: “Summarize the key points and prevailing sentiments from these focus group transcripts discussing our new service offering. [ATTACH TRANSCRIPT AS A DOC FILE]”

Customized Data Analysis

AI’s adaptability means it can tailor data analysis to specific business needs. Researchers can program AI to focus on specific aspects of the data that are most relevant for decision-making.

Say, you have a product launch, AI can be set to analyze customer data that’s relevant to that product launch, giving insights into the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Speeding Up Decision-Making: AI for Rapid Insights Generation

AI’s efficiency in processing data translates into quicker insight generation, drastically reducing the time from data collection to decision-making. Real-world examples demonstrate how AI-driven consumer research can deliver insights much faster than traditional methods.

Democratizing Research

AI plays a pivotal role in making market research more accessible. By automating complex tasks (like sharing insights using a showreel), it allows a wider range of professionals and stakeholders to participate in research activities, regardless of their level of expertise in data analysis.

It’s also worth mentioning that AI Insights helps you share insights in 11 minutes, where it would’ve been a very manual process taking 1 hour 30 minutes.

Branded showreel

Real-time Insights

AI’s capability to provide instantaneous insights during customer interactions is transformative. This feature allows businesses to make immediate adjustments to their strategies or operations, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience.

For instance, AI can analyze customer feedback received during a service interaction and instantly suggest improvements or personalized offers, speeding up the process which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

These are all amazing ideas for using AI in your research work, but what about the challenges?

Overcoming Challenges in AI Consumer Research

While AI offers many advantages, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Issues such as data privacy, the complexity of integration, and the need for skilled personnel are common hurdles. However, with some changes, these won’t be an issue for you.

For instance, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, you worry about the confidentiality of your interactions and the security of your data such as your consumer insights. But there are private, secure, and proprietary versions of AI available—such as Voxpopme AI Insights—that give you the benefits of premium ChatGPT without your data or insights being included in any AI model’s public domain, including OpenAI’s. AI Insights also integrates seamlessly with your research workflow.

Another common challenge with AI in consumer research—probably the one dissuading many researchers—is hallucination (or generating inaccurate information). This shouldn’t turn you away from taking advantage of this marvel in technological advancement. It just calls for careful handling and validation. Here are some strategies to mitigate this challenge:

  • Cross-Verification: Always cross-verify the information generated by AI with trusted sources. Double-check the data and insights against reliable databases, industry reports, or primary research. For example, Voxpopme’s AI Insights always relates insights generated back to specific parts of your input data (video feedback or consumer interview recordings) that it was generated from. You can also ask it to provide the actual video survey or transcript that supports the AI-generated insight. So, you can use AI to verify AI’s insights.
  • Expert Oversight: Involve subject matter experts or domain specialists who can review the AI-generated results. Experts can identify inaccuracies and provide guidance on the validity of the information. Remember that AI is a tool to assist with market research, not a replacement for critical thinking and problem-solving. Use AI in conjunction with human expertise to ensure accuracy and relevance in your research.
  • Critical Thinking: Encourage a critical mindset when interpreting AI-generated insights. Avoid blindly accepting AI-generated data and always question its validity and relevance.

In Summary…

AI provides a powerful means to streamline consumer research, offering faster, more accurate, and deeper insights into consumer behavior. It can help you, as an insight professional, stay ahead of the curve and make data-driven decisions with greater efficiency. As long as you keep in mind that AI is just your assistant — but a powerful one.

What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?