If you’ve read “The Future of the Professions” by Richard and Daniel Susskind, you’re already familiar with the fragility of your expertise: give it enough time and most of us will be out of a job, or at least out of ‘this’ job, whatever job it is you currently do. However, up until recently, it felt like the transition to systems taking over our jobs was still distant.

Yes, automation is nothing new and no one is safe from the inevitable march of history, yes, digital assistants are semi-useful, and software development has made it easier to skip the middleman for things such as taxes or survey building… But up to now the reality on the ground felt mostly like business as usual.

In the field of market research, I’ve worked with countless solutions that promise to do your job for you by analyzing people’s opinions and feedback, creating charts, or generating sharable reports – all logical and helpful places to innovate.

Despite the efforts of many talented people, it’s been hard to feel threatened by these tools. They undoubtedly help reduce human error or sieve through large amounts of data, but it’s unclear whether they’re really saving time, and they almost never provide insightful results on their own. At no point does it ever truly feel like you’re dealing with a tool that is smarter than you.

Consequently, I was skeptical about the immediate impact of automation in my field, but that’s mainly because I wasn’t looking in the right place. In recent weeks, it has become clear that work has changed forever. I am, of course (along with everybody else), talking about ChatGPT, the chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022.

Interacting with ChatGPT

When you play with ChatGPT it’s impossible not to be impressed with its capabilities. As human nature dictates, I was eager to test the limits of the system. My exploration started with basic questions, similar to those asked of Alexa or Google Home, but quickly became more complex and human-like.

After exhausting various versions of the trolley problem, I settled on assessing how the tool would help me in my job – maybe I could write a blog on that, or maybe it could do it for me? So in an unequivocally meta move, I asked ChatGPT how it could impact market research and to please make its answer a blog. As you’ll now see, it’s going to be difficult not to rely on this heavily for future content creation. It even gets the structure right.

ChatGPT’s response

Market research is a crucial aspect of any business as it helps companies understand their target audience, identify market trends, and make informed decisions about product development and marketing strategies. With the advancements in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, chatbots like ChatGPT are becoming increasingly popular as a tool to assist with market research.
Here are five ways in which ChatGPT can help with market research:
Data Collection: ChatGPT can automate the process of collecting data from various sources such as websites, databases, and social media platforms. This can save time and increase the accuracy of the data collected.
Sentiment Analysis: ChatGPT can perform sentiment analysis on large volumes of customer feedback, reviews, and social media posts to provide valuable insights into customer opinions and preferences. This information can help companies understand what customers like and dislike about their products and services, allowing them to make improvements.
Text Summarization: ChatGPT can be used to summarize market research reports, industry articles, and other long-form text to provide an overview of key findings and insights. This can be especially helpful for busy professionals who need to quickly understand the key points of a large body of information.
Predictive Analysis: By leveraging its machine learning capabilities, ChatGPT can analyze market data and provide predictions about future trends and customer behaviors. This can help companies make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and other key business decisions.
Customer Service: ChatGPT can be used to interact with customers and gather information about their needs, preferences, and experiences. This information can be used to inform market research and product development decisions. By providing customers with a convenient and efficient way to share their feedback, companies can gain valuable insights into their target audience and make improvements to their products and services.
In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way companies approach market research. With its ability to automate data collection, perform sentiment analysis, summarize information, provide predictive insights, and interact with customers, ChatGPT can provide valuable insights and save time and resources. Whether you are a small business owner or a market research professional, ChatGPT is worth exploring as a tool to assist with your research needs.

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Beyond ChatGPT’s response

ChatGPT’s points are valid and promising. I would add to this that it will likely drastically change the way we do due diligence or secondary research, but I’m quite certain I’m yet to fully appreciate its power and reach. The funny thing is that’s not what I am using it for, really. More than anything, I find it a fantastic tool to help me think — not do but think. Here are some of my latest queries by way of examples:

  • How can the Jobs to be Done theory apply to visiting museums?
  • What cognitive biases can be exacerbated when using a digital product?

I’m not looking for practical answers here, not in the way I shamelessly had ChatGPT effectively write half of this blog. These are questions I would typically jot down on the corner of a notebook for future consideration, but why not open the debate to an AI? ChatGPT has provided insightful responses and suggested useful references.

Wrap up

This use of the technology may not be specific to market research, but it is fundamental to the work we do in market research. I truly didn’t expect the next ‘tool’ to improve critical analysis, and that’s what has me so excited at the prospect of working with it.

In a way, using ChatGPT brings back memories of getting my driving license or accessing the Internet for the first time back in the late 90s. A mix of “I can’t believe they’re letting me do this” and “Oh my God I can go anywhere”.

The vast potential of this technology is exhilarating, and I’m excited that we now all get to explore it. Let’s see where it brings us, for better or worse. For now, I just love its ability to stimulate thought and act as a smart colleague… Maybe I’ll call him Hal.

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