Market Research and AI: Insights from Leger’s 2023 Symposium

June 27, 2023

At Leger, a crucial part of our mission is to empower our clients to make better decisions. Part of this means staying connected to market research trends within our industry, such as AI.

Recently, more than 300 Leger employees came together in Montreal for our 2023 Leger symposium, a company-wide event focused on levelling up our knowledge so we can better serve our clients and help them prepare for the future, navigate complex advancements, and, ultimately, make better decisions.

 

A photo of all of Leger's employees at the 2023 Symposium

Keep reading to discover the insights that were shared.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR MARKET RESEARCH AND AI

RAY POYNTER: GLOBAL TRENDS IN MARKET RESEARCH IN 2023

A photo of Ray Poynter

Ray Poynter, Founder and Chair of New MR and President of ESOMAR, gave a very interesting presentation about the global trends in market research in 2023, including how AI is playing a role.

THE WORLD TODAY: TUNA

Ray noted we are now living in a world that is characterized by the acronym TUNA: Turbulent, Uncertain, Novel and Ambiguous. People need research and insights more than ever, and as the world changes, so does research.

Some of the key trends he explored include:

    • The growth of tech-enabled research (which is critical to embrace alongside traditional solutions)
    • That qualitative research is holding its position, making up 15% of established research (and that post-pandemic, with the return of in-person qualitative methods, we are seeing a move back to tailoring qualitative research modes to research needs)
    • The importance of tactical research (e.g., choosing between two advertisements or selecting the colour of a bottle for a product), which has become more important with the shift from product centricity to customer centricity, and will become more important in the future

CHALLENGES OF AI

Ray also explained how AI is “the new steam”, in that it will revolutionize the way we do business as steam did during the industrial revolution. When working with AI in market research or otherwise, we must remember the following key challenges:

    • Hidden biases: AI is trained on a set of data in which there are biases, but we may not know what these are.
    • Hallucinations: One major problem with AI is that it may return incorrect information that is believable and plausible.
    • Too English-centric: Around 60% of available words on the internet are in English, and because AI tools use the internet as a training database, additional bias is introduced at the language level.
    • Unverified: It is difficult to know the extent we can trust AI, and we cannot rely on traditional confidence signals such as margins of error.
    • Ethics: We are not yet certain whether AI will do any harm.

Regardless of these challenges, Ray noted that it is critical for researchers to stay ahead of AI developments, as the industry evolves rapidly.

MAXIME COHEN: LEVERAGING AI FOR RETAIL EXCELLENCE

A photo of Maxime Cohen

Maxime Cohen, Scale AI Chair Professor at McGill University and Chief AI Officer at ELNA Medical, delivered an engaging presentation on artificial intelligence and its applications for retail. Maxime is also a co-author of the book, “Demand Prediction in Retail – A Practical Guide to Leverage Data and Predictive Analytics,” published by Springer.

THE THREE LEVELS OF AI

As he explained, there are three levels of AI—descriptive, predictive and prescriptive—which can help answer the following questions:

    • Descriptive AI: What happened?
    • Predictive AI: What is likely to happen?
    • Prescriptive AI: What should I do?

LEVERAGING AI IN RETAIL

In the retail space, AI can be used to help make business decisions related to:

    • Pricing and promotions
    • Targeted advertising and offers
    • Inventory and supply chain management
    • Assortment and planogram decisions
    • Personalized recommendations
    • Logistics and deliveries
    • Identifying new opportunities (such as opening a new store)
    • and more

In the increasingly competitive retail space, AI could be the extra tool your organization needs to come out ahead of the competition. Maxime also discussed the challenges related to AI and advocated that there is an urgent need to regulate this space.

USING MARKET RESEARCH TO STAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE

In addition to learning from industry experts at our 2023 symposium, our employees also came together to discuss how we’ve empowered clients to solve their most pressing business challenges.

Some of the ways we can help you include:

UNCOVERING ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS BY SURVEYING YOUR TARGET MARKET

Surveying your target audience is an excellent way to get insights into their perspectives. We have just the tool: our LEO online panel, with more than 400,000 members in Canada and the United States. The possibilities are endless, from asking your target customers which of your ads they prefer to how likely they are to complete a certain action in the future. Talk to us.

CREATING OR OPTIMIZING YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY

Leger DGTL, our internal digital marketing agency, can help you reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, empowering you to solve business challenges and come out ahead in the increasingly competitive digital space. We can help you with digital marketing strategy, content creation, design and production, campaign management and optimization, performance measurement, and more. Talk to us.

GO BEYOND “WHY?” AND MOVE TO “WHAT NEXT?” BY LEVERAGING ADVANCED ANALYTICS

Leger Analytics, our in-house analytics team, provides custom analytics solutions that can help you make better decisions. If you have data, we can analyze it (and if you don’t, we’ll help you find it!). Whether your objective is to size your market, go to market, optimize your products or services, acquire new clients, or retain and grow your customer base, we can help you solve your challenges and contribute to your organization’s success. Talk to us.


In addition to the above, we offer cutting-edge technological solutions like Cube (a remote user-testing platform that delivers valuable consumer behavioural insights through eye tracking and facial recognition), Medallia LivingLens (which provides richer insights via video feedback captured within qualitative or quantitative research) and more.

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