According to market researcher AI was the missing link when analyzing digital media for consumer insights, but not any more!

Imagine yourself as a respondent to a questionnaire by a market researcher. With an expert market researcher staring at you, with spectacles lowered and a writing pad in his hand, isn’t it extremely difficult to maintain your objectivity?

Image result for my reaction when somebody stares me

Looking at the image you probably can figure out the what a respondent feels when being observed.

Hence, observational surveys are not always objective. Consumers tend to be influenced by a plethora of factors while being interviewed. This process, therefore, many times does not yield as accurate a response.

Social Media: A unique avenue to observe without influencing

‘Observation without intervention’ is a well-established philosophy for market research. However, when measuring something very niche and specific, how can a researcher measure without influencing? The answer lies in social media. The digital trail of people’s activity on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter is a goldmine of data, and, AI-based text and image analysis are the ideal picks and shovels to mine this data.

When it comes to doing research using social media, everybody talks about it but rarely anyone does it. Being one of the best applied AI research groups in the world, we at Karna-AI are on a mission to make this utopia a reality.

In this blog, we showcase how such a project works with a conceptual case study.

A Conceptual Case Study

Analyzing trending hairstyles using Instagram

Getting to know the pulse of women’s hairstyles preferences has always been a puzzling challenge for a US-based hair care brand. In the past, the brand used to solve this challenge by getting some researchers to travel to many different landmark locations in the US (like Times Square) and observe what kind of hairstyle women are sporting. This was a costly and time-consuming affair, and so it approached a market research agency for new ideas.

The agency got in touch with Karna AI and launched a study to analyze #hairstyle related posts by women based out of the United States on Instagram.

Collecting and Filtering the Images

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Karna AI collected ~250k relevant images using #hairstyle from Instagram. Our AI algorithms detected images with only women sporting prominently visible hairstyles and rejected all others images (such as images containing objects, men, and hair styling products)

Analyzing the Images

Using Karna AI’s visual analytics algorithms, the agency filtered out the noise, identified demographics and further zeroed in on the hairstyle related attributes like colour, pattern, length and (most importantly) the style that women are sporting. Armed with this information, further slicing and dicing of the data revealed interesting insights for the brand.

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Identifying Trends

The agency used Karna-AI’s algorithms to identify hairstyles women are sporting in the collected images and identified trends based on the frequency of their posts.

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Ponytail stood out as the emerging trend among the target audience and was likely to gather more share according to the trajectory. The brand can now alter its ad messaging to cater to growing number of women that are opting for a ponytail. This could become part of the brand’s guerrilla strategy of getting customers to switch away from a competing brand by appealing to their desire of having an awesome ponytail.

When women switch hairstyles, that is the time when they are most open to change their brand preferences. A brand armed with these insights can get a valuable edge over its competitors.

Social and Digital Media: An untapped goldmine of consumer insights

According to a report by We Are Social:

“In Q3 2017, approximately 80% of people with internet access actively use social media”

This makes it possible to conduct market research with an audience that is many times larger than what other marketing or media source can provide. What had been lacking was the right tools (i.e. custom AI algorithms) that can extract valuable information out of unstructured text and images on social media. But today, this constraint is disappearing.

If you are a researcher interested in looking at the research process in completely novel ways, please feel free to reach out to us. At Karna AI, we strongly believe that Artificial Intelligence will have a huge impact on the future of market research. We are doing our bit to drive this shift.

Want to increase your presence on social media? Click here to schedule a free demo.

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