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How the emergence of AI tools will transform the way market research works in the future

When facing challenging times, humans inevitably find new and creative ways to tackle the problems of the day – and this time it looks like artificial intelligence could be one of the keys to open the doors to a brighter future.

With much of the world facing a global recession, the focus has turned to a number of emerging technologies that have leapt into the mainstream over the last few months and are sure to open up new opportunities.

As governments and businesses search for new ways to trigger growth and to build consumer confidence through a financially testing economy, we have seen OpenAI and ChatGPT (along with lesser-known unstructured and semantic visual AI capabilities) take to the stage.

“While the fields of market research and consumer goods development can sometimes be guilty of always looking for the shiny new method that is going to be the silver bullet, it feels like these technologies could potentially be totally disruptive. These AI tools could become engaged and embedded in everything that we do,” says Catalyx founder and CEO, Guy White.

“At Catalyx, we are completely embracing these developments, as well as keeping an eye on how other companies across industries are using the technology in new and exciting ways.

“We think AI will be instrumental in the way that we are able to process qualitative data at quantitative scale, which is ultimately how you get closer to the consumer truth.”

Despite $76 billion being spent on market research every year, 95% of innovations fail – and it’s the same in the consumer world where 95% of products fail.

While market research isn’t the driver of that failure, it remains a pretty poor hit rate taking into account the level of investment. Could new technology help to improve results?

“There’s plenty of excellent market research that is being done by lots of extremely smart people but clearly the old ways of testing, developing concepts, testing products and launching products could be improved – because it’s an awful lot of wasted money. It’s driven by the fact that people are being dazzled by the speed of data access,” says Guy.

Fast growing technologies have of course allowed us to survey and gather data on anything for tens or hundreds of dollars in a short space of time, but this has led to not really understanding what actually leads growth.

“We’re seeing a shift in the pendulum from our clients in the industry who are really forging ahead,” says Guy. “They’re recognising that it’s not the data that supports the growth, it’s the insight – and insight remains an elusive and difficult task to produce effectively.

“Tools like AI and ChatGPT are so interesting because for the first time ever they’re able to process smartly and with great nuance more behavioural unstructured data at crowd-sourced scale. This cuts out the pitfalls of human-led coding to be able to understand what people are saying en masse, and that’s very exciting.”

While this year at Catalyx is going to be about continuing to help our clients gather crowd-sourced data in the most behavioural way possible (and then processing that data to tell stories that drive businesses forward), we’re very excited by the emerging analytic capabilities that essentially allow us to do that at a bigger scale and far faster.

Combined with our innovative consultancy overlay, it is sure to prove invaluable when solving challenging problems for clients and will help us to help businesses to really unlock growth.

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