[Video] The Future of Market Research: AI Insights from IIEX 2024

May 20, 2024

AI is rapidly transforming the market research landscape, but what do industry insiders really think about it? Brox.ai went to the Insight Innovation Exchange (IIEX) conference in Austin, Texas, on April 17, 2024, to find out. We interviewed dozens of experts and identified five distinct archetypes that represent the diverse perspectives on AI's role in the future of insights.


LEONARD MURPHY, Greenbook: In April 2024, the team from Brox.ai, a consumer market research engine, attended the Insight Innovation Exchange Conference in Austin, Texas. In this moment of technological upheaval, they interviewed experts from across the space of consumer market research to get their perspective on the future of market research, the impact of AI on the industry, and synthetic data that is created by AI. They fed these qualitative responses into the Brox.ai AI app, which structures and organizes open-ended video data to get a clear overview of what industry professionals are thinking right now based on the data they collected.

The Brox team used their AI power platform to generate representative archetypes and to sort the conference attendees into these archetypes. The attendees who came back on day two to see the results all correctly guessed which archetype they were assigned.

Archetype 1: The Tech Enthusiast

Tech enthusiasts are excited about the potential of AI and synthetic data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of market research. They're optimistic about the future of the sector and believe the technology will help to speed up decision-making processes and provide deeper insights.

TERRIN LAWRENCE, Market Researcher, Udemy: AI is a great assistant, but it does not replace a market researcher. I don't think it is possible for AI to truly know a human being the way a human being does. I think our skill sets will keep growing and I will think there'll be other technologies that we can add to that AI analysis that we would have that would add more richness and color to our story.

So if anything, I think it's creating efficiencies and not a replacement tool.

BOB TAYLOR, Managing Partner, Headline Research: I'm looking forward to the things that I don't like doing. I hate coding open ends and I think this is a brilliant way of doing it. Robots in production have been evolving for decades now, and you don't see that many job losses, you just see people moving to different functions.

BRENT SNIDER, Managing Director Global Business Development, Behaviorally: I don't think like anything, people are worried that AI is going to take their job. Yes, there may be cases that the human element to different processes is taken by AI, but with any new innovation, any new opportunity, he creates new jobs.

CASSIDY ASTUDILLO, Customer Success Manager, Zappi: I think AI can be a scary subject for some, especially maybe replacing human presence.

But I think that folks that are implementing a I went into their research platform and also into your brand. It's going to play an instrumental role. And getting those quick insights, helping tell that story, picking out themes before you even dive into the data.

ADAM LUCCHESI, Business Development Representative, Zappi: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. The only thing I'll add onto that is just this idea of letting it fuel your future innovations and creatives and having platforms that not only can report top-line summaries, but then also come up with the next big idea that you're working on.

So, yeah, there's a lot of powerful things that AI can do here.

CHARLIE RADER, Product Research Manager, NA BabyCare and FamilyCare, Procter & Gamble: I've been doing market research tech since about 2007. And every year, it's getting better and better, and even at this year, we're starting to see, I'd say, a major inflection point with generative AI. It's transforming a lot of things in the industry.

We have always been improving quality, improving the ability to connect with consumers and learn from them.

DEEPAK JHA, Founder & CEO @ XpBrand.AI: AI just happens to be a gazillion times faster than what humans can do. And when it is a decision to be made, it can be broken into parts and pieces, which humans then go into divisions and groups and have a division of labor to solve those business problems.

And it takes them a day, a week, a month, which I can do in seconds.

FRANK KELLY, Market Research Practice Lead, Virtual Incentives: If you're going to use a chatbot instead, which I believe is the way that the industry is evolving, Question of how good is the chatbot? And I've seen where we are today and that they're pretty good and they seem to be getting better exponentially very quickly.

So I expected in a few years, especially when you're doing studies in a specific product category, we've done several studies and trained it over time and you've put a body of research already into the system. It'll be better able to get people to Insights on somebody then a survey would be.

Archetype 2: The Skeptical Traditionalist

Skeptical traditionalists are cautious about the integration of AI and synthetic data in market research. They value the human element in research and are concerned about the potential loss of jobs due to automation. They're also wary about the trustworthiness of synthetic data.

MIKE RAMIREZ, Director of Sales, Dtect: Can't really hide that a lot of the data that comes through is, It's not valid.

A lot of it is fraud. A lot of it are folks who are pretending to be folks that they are not. So yeah, I'm not too sure. I think it kind of feeds into this machine of secondary research and how can we kind of explore, you know, human sentiment without getting close to humans. I think it is flawed a bit. I can see where it makes sense, but I can also see where I hope that's not going to be the new norm moving forward.

MARISSA BIONDI, Senior Scientific Advisor & Strategic Sales, Tobii: I think there is probably some good use cases and then probably some maybe scarier use cases, but generative AI can be really interesting when you're trying to create for emails or webpages. I actually use it sometimes, say I'll put in a prompt from an email and say, make this more professional or make this more fun.

So I'm open to see how it moves forward, but just making sure that our privacy is protected. For all of us as individual users.

Archetype 3: The Human-Centric Optimist

Human-centric optimists believe that while AI and synthetic data will play a significant role in the future of market research, the human element will remain crucial. They see AI as a tool that can enhance the work of researchers rather than replace them.

KAREN MORGAN, Owner, Morgan Search International: I'm optimistic for the future. I see AI as a really great tool. tool and certainly just to speed things off and be more efficient. But I don't think we need to be so fearful about the human element going away

ANDREW ELDER, Chief Research Officer, Illuminus: in the world of AI we're still over indexed on the ability to get all this richness of information. That's part of what's so compelling. I think the more that we understand the psychology of human response and where that's actually relevant in the buying process, the branding process, the customer engagement. That's where we're still going to have a lot of relevance,

JAYLA GENTRY, Consumer Measurement Sciences Group, Procter & Gamble: it's really exciting.

I think we're going to learn as we go. I think we're going to hit a learning curve and see what we learn. But I think it's going to kind of bridge the gap between some of the things that we're looking at now, like sensors and devices. I think that AI will elevate those.

KATE GOODINE, Head of Marketing Analytics, Miro: I think it just becomes our new baseline.

I don't even think we'll be thinking about it in two or three years. I think it'll just will be what we do. And so now I'm curious and how do we get better at it? And how do we really trust it?

LYSBET ZIMMERMAN, Co-founder & Chief Analytics Officer, Drumline: Machines have evolved all the time. I try to think on the positive side. Like, I don't see it as a replacement for humans.

I see it as a way that we get to use our brains more for decision making and insights and all that.

AUDREY BERGER, CEO, Drumline: We actually don't want to speak of the decision maker. We want it always to be an input into the process of decision making and to inform it, not to become like, The thing that whatever it spits out, that's what we do.

We don't ask questions. We don't add additional context. I actually don't want it to go there.

Archetype 4: The Change Embracer

Change embracers are open to the changes brought about by AI and synthetic data They see these technologies as necessary for staying competitive in the market research sector They're also confident in their ability to adapt to these changes and see new job opportunities arising from them.

NORIYUKI YOKOTA, Senior Manager Research and Insights, Nikkei America: Sometimes AI reduces my work. Sometimes, lose our work job. I think we reduce my work time here, and we can find out more deeper insights.

Interviewer: Would you say it's more positive or negative?

NORIYUKI YOKOTA, Senior Manager Research and Insights, Nikkei America: Yeah, I think both. Because if I don't use AI, someone uses AI.

Interviewer: Right so, so you think it's necessary competitively.

NORIYUKI YOKOTA, Senior Manager Research and Insights, Nikkei America: Yes.

REMAS, Manager of Research, Janus: I think low level jobs in market research industry will have to transform as now a lot of people start their careers, checking the tables, writing up reports, copy pasting data. That's going to go at some point. I hope for their own sake.

Archetype 5: The Data-Driven Innovator

Data driven innovators see the potential of AI and synthetic data to revolutionize the way market research is conducted. They're excited about the possibilities of using these technologies to gain deeper insights and make more informed decisions. They also see the potential for these technologies to improve the quality and speed of research.

ALI HENRIQUES, Global Director of Research Services, Qualtrics: Frankly, the market research industry has not evolved as quickly as other technologies outside of our space, so happy to see it happening.

EMILY CORNO, Research Manager, Qualtrics: Yes, I would say I'm very excited about it also because of the amount of data and technology that we're getting, we can have more efficient research, but it means more effective research. We can research more and deeper and better and not have to waste time in surveys just asking generic questions that we should already know.


LEONARD MURPHY, Greenbook: Based on the data the Brox.ai team collected and their analysis of the archetypes of IIEX attendees, it's clear that although there may be hesitancy in adoption based on individual comfort levels with AI, Everyone sees the disruptive potential for speed, cost, and increased business impact of AI based research.

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