MRII study: Market researchers show positive AI work attitudes

The first of its kind global study among market research professionals examines their perspectives, usage, expectations and predictions regarding AI in their jobs and companies


Market Research Institute International (MRII) has released the first round of data from its global study among market research professionals about their profession and what factors are impacting their careers and job development. This first report, “AI in Focus: Market Researchers Weigh in on AI’s Workplace Impact for Today and Tomorrow,” covers the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) from the researcher’s perspective, based on what they think about AI, the impact it is having on them, and their views about its future.

Ed Keller, Executive Director of MRII, said, “The results are fascinating and can serve as a guide to leaders in our industry about the ways their workforce is thinking about AI, as well as for any researcher who wants to benchmark their views against peers. The study also reveals an overall optimism about the role that AI can play in the daily work life of market research professionals, and sheds light on the importance of training and learning about AI.”

Some key findings include:

  • One-third of researchers currently use generative AI, and it is the fastest-growing tool used in the industry, jumping up 25% from the previous year’s MRII study
  • Nearly 60% of respondents believe that both generative AI and AI/machine learning will be some of the HIGHEST impact skills of the future, for which training is needed
  • Seventy-four percent of market researchers feel favorable about AI as it relates to their job and company, with 72% who believe AI will make their job better
  • Most researchers are not worried about losing their jobs to AI: 60% show no concern; 37% have “a little” concern, few are very concerned
  • Consultants and agency-side researchers report they are more likely to use AI in their work (47%), while corporate researchers have been slower to adopt the technology with 25% reporting current usage

Overall, the study reveals that market researchers are feeling positive about AI’s potential to enhance job performance by improving efficiency, accuracy, and insights generation. They do report some concerns regarding data privacy, implementation complexity, and the necessity for upskilling.

The results show that as AI adoption expands, proficiency in AI skills will become increasingly vital for the insights industry as a whole. The key insights into the sentiments of market researchers and insights professionals shared in “AI in Focus: Market Researchers Weigh in on AI’s Workplace Impact for Today and Tomorrow” can help shape the future of AI integration in the insights field.

The research is based on an online survey of 369 market research professionals worldwide, interviewed between February 22 and March 27, 2024. The quantitative survey was conducted by MRII sponsor QuestionPro. In addition, MRII sponsor Brand Riffs conducted 7 one-on-one interviews with survey respondents that provides further qualitative insight into the role of AI in the worklife of market researchers.

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