Top 4 AI market research tools in 2024

Kelsey Sullivan

AI has been a hot topic for several years now, but many market researchers are hesitant to integrate it into their work, whether it’s from fear of being replaced or (especially in the market research industry) fear of the effect it can have on data quality. 

As revealed in a Forbes Advisor survey, 77% are concerned that AI will cause job loss in the next year. But in the same breath, according to World Economic Forum research, AI is predicted to create around 97 million new jobs, countering workforce concerns, and 65% of consumers say they’ll still trust businesses who use AI.

While these initial reactions are valid, if used correctly, AI can be beneficial for the market research industry and open up opportunities for market research professionals to do bigger things.  

In this article, we’ll cover how to use AI in market research, the benefits of using AI tools for market research, and a list of the top tools to help you get started.

Artificial intelligence will unlock a new role for insights teams

Check out this article by Steve Phillips, founder and CEO at Zappi, for his predictions on how AI will affect insights teams in the not-so-distant future.

What is market research?

For the purpose of this article, we looked at market research in its broadest sense. Market research is the process of gathering information about consumers, economic trends, and target markets and then analyzing that data to make informed business decisions.

By conducting market research, businesses can gain a better understanding of their target consumers’ preferences to create better products, services or experiences that will perform well in-market. And big brands like McDonald’s and PepsiCo, have a team of market research or insights professionals on their workforce to run this research.

McDonald’s spots winning McFlurry flavors

Learn how McDonald’s uses early-stage testing to spot the McFlurry flavors that would appeal to consumers and meet specific company goals at the same time.

For example, let’s say your business wanted to release a new flavor of an already top-selling potato chip. Instead of simply throwing out ideas in a boardroom and voting on the best one, market research is used to allow your consumers’ voices to be heard. By presenting your ideas to your target audience and running research to see which resonates most with them, backed by data, your business is better positioned to create another hit on the shelves.   

But that's just one basic example of how market research can be used to gather consumer insights. Let’s get into some of the benefits of integrating AI into your market research process.  

Consumer insights: What they are and how to use them

Check out our article for more on consumer insights

The benefits of using AI tools for market research

Now that you have a better understanding of market research and how it can be used, let’s get into where AI fits in. There are a number of benefits to bringing AI into your market research process. Here’s a list of our top three:

1. AI will free you of menial tasks

We’ll always need a human in the loop when it comes to market research and consumer insights, but when used correctly, AI can help free you up from the menial or time consuming tasks in your day-to-day.  

This can be anything from summarizing mass amounts of data, to creating lists from your data, to pulling key themes seen across your research. 

With AI integrated into the research process, market research teams will have more time to think deeper and focus on the bigger picture. 

“AI helps spark ideas, giving you ideas you haven’t yet thought of…So don’t use it to validate or predict but to help you be more creative and more open.” 

- Christian Niederauer, Global Head of Insights at Colgate-Palmolive

2. Generate ideas faster

In the past, companies used to start with a blank page when coming up with a list of new ideas to present to consumers. But with AI in your toolkit, you can get a head start in far less time. How? Because now AI can be used to go through your consumer data to help come up with new ideas that would appeal to consumers. However, it’s worth noting that for security reasons it’s up to you to choose what your AI tool has access to, and you should always make sure it’s a tool you can trust before sharing sensitive or confidential data. 

AI can also be more creative because it doesn’t limit itself like human beings do. For example, a company’s marketing and insights teams are often so entrenched in their category and their own brands or constrained by the world they’re familiar with, that they struggle to think beyond incremental improvements. But AI doesn’t have those limitations. 

It is worth noting that while AI can certainly be used to a researcher's advantage, you still need to rely on humans to make sure your data is being interpreted correctly and kept clean. So of course, the market research team still has to optimize and validate the ideas from there, but AI will help to give you a head start.

3. Summarize large amounts of data

We briefly touched upon it earlier, but opportunities like summarizing and organizing large amounts of data are another massive benefit AI can provide.

Using AI to sort through your data to summarize or even group your data into different buckets can make it much easier to spot trends across past campaigns. For example you could ask your AI tool things like: Can you look across the data for any mention of “love”? Then can you group that with any other positive verbatims? Can you also create a separate grouping of negative verbatims? 

By making it that much easier to look across your data, you can discover better learnings by connecting your insights over time to better understand what your consumer likes and dislikes.

How top brands are using AI for consumer insights

We held a panel earlier this year with market research leaders from top brands to hear how they’re using AI in their research processes. Check out our article to hear what they had to say.

Top 4 AI market research tools in 2024

There’s a constant flow of new and emerging AI tools that can help you work more efficiently. We looked for tools specific to the market research function that meet the following criteria:

  1. The tool is generative, meaning the artificial intelligence component can generate new ideas, not just analyze existing ones.

  2. It has integration options to help you complete those menial tasks right in the platform.

  3. The tool has the ability to summarize, organize and group large amounts of data.

After analyzing dozens of AI market research tools against this criteria, here are the top four tools I recommend.

1. Zappi ActivateIt - AI powered concept optimization 

Zappi recently released an AI-powered concept optimization feature on Activate It, a concept solution in the Innovation System. Activate It allows you to get your product ideas (otherwise known as product concepts) in front of consumers for feedback so you can identify the potential in those ideas. The AI-powered optimization feature takes verbatim feedback from consumers and selected key performance indicators (KPIs) to revise your concept. It gives you  new versions of what your concept description might look like if the feedback from your survey was applied directly. 

This revised concept also includes an explanation from the AI of why it changed the concept in this way and a review from a synthetic respondent, based on your target audience, who will tell you what they think of it. 

Why is this useful? 

  • Faster iteration: Because this AI tool swiftly analyzes consumer feedback and incorporates it in new concept variations, you’re able to iterate at speed and generate as many variations as you like in no time, giving you a massive head start on your concept optimization.

  • Valid recommendations: Even more important, you can trust the results. We keep our data clean and have seen significant improvements in performance of concepts optimized by our AI agent. When testing the AI optimized concepts with consumers, 20% of key concept metrics saw significant improvement when compared to original concepts. 

  • Summarize key themes: Our tool also uses a Large Language Model (LLM) which does a fantastic job at summarizing large amounts of text. On top of a revised concept, you will also get rationale for the revisions, including key liked, disliked and polarizing themes, making your analysis of consumer feedback more effective.

Overall, this tool is great for providing market researchers with a head start on concept optimization. We all know human expertise is the most effective when it comes to the big decisions, but this tool provides a great starting point and will help you tweak concepts more efficiently and effectively.

Get in touch

To learn more about this new tool and how it can streamline your innovation process, reach out to us.

Gong is a tool that’s best used for customer intelligence. It's typically used by sales teams, but there’s also benefits of the platform that are ideal for market researchers. 

ts AI-powered platform records calls with customers or even survey participants that are then transcribed. Gong uses AI to create summaries with discussion points, keywords, action items and overall highlights — making it a great tool to listen in on what your current customers are thinking and feeling.

3. Crayon

Alternatively, Crayon’s platform uses AI to gather intelligence on your competitors. Their AI tool sifts through mass amounts of information on your competition, from publications to websites to reviews and more to create profiles you can look across. 

It also creates metrics for you to stack up against using “battle cards” and sends alerts when anything new pops up. While this is another AI-fueled platform that benefits sales teams, it’s also beneficial for market researchers to get their hands on when conducting market analysis on packaging price points, messaging, customer sentiment and more. 

4. ChatGPT  

Last but certainly not least, the one we all know and love: ChatGPT. While you’ve likely already heard of it or used it, there are some benefits worth mentioning specifically for market research that you may not be aware of. 

For example, did you know that ChatGPT can analyze demographics and behaviors of your target audience to create personas for you? Or that it can sort through data from social media posts, reviews, and more to highlight any trends or get a read on customer sentiment? It can also help you create a different array of survey questions to present to consumers when running research.    

There are so many AI tools out there that can help you, but that’s our short list of the ones that can help you in your day-to-day market research role. Now let’s walk through some steps to get started. 

How to use AI for market research

One of the most common ways AI is used within market research is to remove more menial tasks such as summarizing and organizing mass amounts of data to help you filter and sort through more easily. Here, we’ll walk through the steps to help you do this.  

Step 1: Determine your goal

Are you trying to compile competitor pricing information? Or summarize transcripts from customer calls to gather learnings? What about simply pulling key themes from your data? 

Step 2: Select your AI tool

Based on your goal, you can easily sift through your AI tool options to find the best fit.  

💡 Zappi Tip: From pricing and other internal company factors, there can be other considerations to take into account, but always make sure you remember your goal when making your selection. 

Step 3: Create the right prompts for your data

Before you run the process, you need to set up the proper prompts that will help you reach your goal. If summarizing data, think through the specifics of what you need the AI tool to pull. 

For example: Can you look across the data for any mention of “love”? Then can you group any other positive verbatims? Can you also create a separate grouping of negative verbatims? If the goal is to organize and summarize large sums of data, this will help you easily organize what you’re looking for. 

Step 4: Run the process

Now that you’ve set your goal and selected which AI tool and prompts you'd like to implement, it’s time to run the process! Keeping with the data summary example, this is when you’ll need to upload any information you’d like summarized into your AI tool of choice and set criteria for what you’re looking for in the summary based on your goal. 

💡 Zappi Tip: It’s worth making sure the tool allows you to download the summary and any criteria you set (such as key highlights) in a format that’s easy-to-read and share.  

Step 5: Analyze the results 

Once you get the results, it’s time to analyze what comes back. Did you get the results you were looking for? Can you easily interpret a summary of the information you sent over? What are the key highlights? 

💡 Zappi Tip: It’s not only important to check to that you got the results you anticipated and set criteria for, but also to have a human eye check the results. 


There are many benefits to using AI within market research when used correctly. The biggest being freeing you up from menial tasks, giving you a head start on generating new ideas and allowing you to grow and focus on big picture tasks. 

Using the tips and recommended tools we listed in this article will help you use AI to your advantage; better positioning you and your business for growth.

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