In today’s digital world, brands are facing shrinking marketing budgets and increased competition. Marketers are under more pressure than ever to uncover actionable strategic insights quicker and at lower costs. And while technology innovations are disrupting many marketing strategies, technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are creating opportunities for market researchers to increase efficiency.
From Uber’s self-driving cars to Amazon’s warehouse robots, AI seems to be reaching human-level dexterity nearly everywhere. Computers and robots won’t render human researchers useless, but they can indeed help identify better insights cheaper. Companies in need of qualitative research should strongly consider next-gen automation tools.
Consider the case of Danone, one of the world’s leading food companies, which recently turned to SKIM to understand consumer consumption drivers for a new product category. With the help of Voxpopme, an automated video research platform, SKIM was able to deliver qualitative insights to inform communication claims within a very tight timeframe. All without compromising the depth and quality of insights (it can be done!).
(Wo)man vs. Machine: From competition to collaboration
With the goal of learning the benefits and drawbacks of using research automation, SKIM and Danone launched “(Wo)man vs. Machine” a head-to-head competition between human researchers and automation technology. Each team was tasked with analyzing self-recorded consumer videos using different research methodologies. One team had access to automated tools, while the other team of SKIM researchers relied on traditional human methods of analysis. In total three reports were produced and judged by William Serfarty at Danone:
- Mostly automated
- Combination human and machine
At the end of the project, William Serfaty, global strategy and insights manager, Danone, summed up the findings:
“The outcome was a nice surprise! Now we can get a report faster that provides the level of detail you’d get from a traditional report.”
Getting started with automation in market research today
Collaborating with machines can indeed enhance efficiency, without compromising the depth and quality of insights. It’s important that insights teams don’t expect machines to provide the answers. AI outputs are most helpful for the starting point for human analysis. SKIM recently introduced an automation solution to our qualitative research offerings, . We use this solution as a standalone methodology, pre/post task, or to replace traditional open-ends in surveys to capture in-context insights at speed. If you need qualitative insights around category exploration, customer experience, concept testing/NPD, or communications development, to find out how you can take advantage of AI and automation!