2017 continued to usher in a market of unpredictably; longstanding institutions were overturned, new technologies emerged, and digital giants continued to spread their power and reach. In this maze of change and information, we saw that market research continued to move towards quicker and more accessible data about the customer.

As we look to the next year, we have compiled our top market research predictions for 2018.

AI, Machine Learning, and Automation Will Continue to Grow

Tech giants like Google and Baidu spent somewhere between $26B and $39B on AI acquisitions in 2016; the current rate of AI investments is 3X the external investment growth since 2013, and there are only signs of this investment rate increasing in the years to come.

While AI, machine learning, and automation all have slightly different nuances, they impact market research similarly. These technologies make it significantly easier to gather consumer and employee data, communicate with customers, help identify the “why” hidden in the market research quicker, and process data faster to glean important insights and make smarter business decisions.

 Smartphone Research Will Rise

Reports from Techcrunch show US consumers spend an average of 5 hours a day on their smartphones. Each of these hours provides an opportunity for data technologies and apps to gather insights about consumers including gender, age, location, purchase history, app usage, stores visited, preferences, interests, and more.

There are several current applications that help companies gather this permission-based information from smartphone users. These apps, in turn, can offer that information to other companies or use that information to improve their own company.

In 2018, smartphone user will only increase, and you can expect a rise in more applications that help companies better understand consumers.

Market Research Technology will Focus on Driving a Positive Customer Experience

Recent studies show that customer experience came in #1 as the single most exciting opportunity for 2017, beating both content and mobile marketing. Customer experience is taking over as the ruler in marketing world, and CEOs are prioritizing customer experience above things like product and price as brand differentiators.

In 2018, watch market research technologies focus their data collection tools to make to gathering customer data, understanding the voice of the customer, and gaining deep insights consumer preferences easier for brands.

 The Future of Marketing and Research Includes Chatbots

With the statistics above in mind about focusing on the customer experience, it’s interesting to note that in the 2017 study done by Myclever, more than 70% of consumers reported they prefer to engage via Chabot rather than via app. This study says consumers view chatbots as the fastest way to get help, answers, and content they want.

While the future of chatbots certainly is a prediction for marketers to keep in mind, market researchers can also benefit from finding innovative ways to use chatbots to collect consumer data.

Wrap Up

2018 promises to be a year full of market research growth. When making your market research and customer experience goals, make sure you have the market research software that helps keep you ahead of the game.