This is the final article in a five-part series entitled Market Research – Intelligence to Drive Your Business, contributed by Susanne Bowen of S J Bowen & Associates.  Susanne is one of our valued partners at DSE.

Generally speaking, what is important and trending in business is also important in market research.  Below are three of the most impactful trends in market research for 2018.  Each are having a significant impact across diverse markets and industries.

Artificial Intelligence

The role and usage of AI in market research is growing significantly as witnessed in highly analytical tasks that are now being performed. Machine learning is allowing AI to supplant analyst functions including processing large amounts of data to identify trends, pinpoint optimal pricing, analyze text and predict purchasing behavior and intent.

Other AI applications include:

  • Accessing smartphone users’ data and posing personalized questions in real time
  • Identifying product price to maximize profitability
  • Creating a persona for likely purchaser of good/service
  • Enabling researchers to deliver faster and more cost-effective insight

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is being used in the public and private sectors for problem solving, ideation and innovation. It is an iterative process that flows stage by stage to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome. The basic framework includes: define (issue/goal/problem), research, select, implement/execute and learn/adopt.

Design Thinking seeks to understand the user and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions.  Though the process remains the same, the names of the stages may differ depending on the sector and industry. Design Thinking’s focus on understanding the market or consumer is what makes it such a relevant and effective choice in this uber competitive marketplace with on-going disruptions.

Millennials and Design

Millennials want and expect their voices to be heard. When product development is involved, market researchers are reaching out more and more to this very influential market segment. Key to market success is understanding purchasing behavior, and millennials are happy to share their thoughts and opinions.


While gleaning information from prospective buyers relative to a new product concept is not new, the on-going conversation with a market segment is. We see this in the usage of lifecycle research and the critical importance of monitoring and collecting feedback from millennials via social media, chatbots and AI.  This real-time market research captures feedback from customers as they interact with a new product or service, and allows modifications to be made much more quickly than a structured study would allow.