AI Learning – Sounds Scary – It’s Great.

We had the opportunity to run an online “AI” powered focus group last month on behalf of one of our clients. At every industry event we have been to this year artificial intelligence (AI) has been discussed: it’s imminent, intimidating and inevitable. When we had the opportunity to employ AI in a qualitative format with a quantitative sized group of respondents, we were both anxious and excited. The result was extraordinary.

Our client needed to assess and confirm their brand position and select a package design from four options to help them get to market fast. Working with our strategic research partner, Persuadable Research, we identified a new learning platform where we could gather 130 of our identified target consumers online for one hour. What made this especially unique was the use of AI to take the consumer’s verbatim responses and, using the program’s language learning software, immediately identify common themes and reactions to the package concepts. In a matter of minutes, we could see what resonated with consumers and, of course, what didn’t. We received thousands of affirmative responses to the winning concepts. Within 60 minutes we understood what resonated with consumers from a positioning standpoint (in their own words) and identified the preferred package design, which was NOT the one we’d thought it would be. And most importantly, we understood why they chose that design and the emotions it elicited.

Net: in just 60 minutes using AI, we were able to get quantitative data in a focus group setting, giving us confidence in the choices we are making to launch the brand. And importantly – its cost is roughly 1/3 of the cost of in-person focus groups, while yielding both qualitative and statistically significant, quantitative results. It’s not so scary after all. In fact, it’s amazing.

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