How to use ChatGPT for market research

If you have not been living under a rock, you must be hooked to the ChatGPT wave already. The technology took the internet by storm after launch and had millions of users within the first few days. So, it’s not wrong to say — ChatGPT is big. People have been utilizing ChatGPT for all sorts of uses. But the big question is — Can you use ChatGPT for market research? 

Do not waste time thinking about it (or blocking an hour on your calendars to test it out) because I took the liberty to test ChatGPT for market research. Reading this article will save time and help you discover how to use ChatGPT to conduct market research from scratch. 

Before we begin… 

Before you get all excited and pumped up, here are a few reminders — ChatGPT is an AI model you can use as an assistant. It has a lot of potential, but remember that ChatGPT is a trained AI model. So, setting the right expectations is essential before getting started. Here are some for this experiment: 

  • Assumption: I’ll act like a solopreneur who wants to start a new business in the pet food industry. My target audience is millennials. 
  • Expectation: Gathering data, identifying competition, and starting the market research survey process. 

If you remember the standard market research process, it’s all about: 

  • Setting the right goals;
  • Developing a research plan; 
  • Gathering data;
  • Analyzing the data;
  • Taking action. 

We have a simple goal — finding the market demand or opportunity in the pet food space in the US. We will now use ChatGPT to gather and analyze data to speed up things. Let us look at how it works. 

ChatGPT as a market researcher: is it worth your time? 

ChatGPT homepage

The whole world is screaming about the power of ChatGPT. Naturally, you are allured into trying it out to automate your routine tasks, get copy written, do some research, and assist you in your marketing and growth goals. 

But can ChatGPT help you perform market research? 

There are many YouTube videos, online resources, discussions, and Twitter threads (like the one below) about using ChatGPT for market research but can AI simplify market research for a solopreneur? 

We ran a small test and realized you can use ChatGPT for: 

  1. Identifying your competitors 
  2. Gathering, sorting, and presenting data
  3. Researching for relevant market research sources 
  4. Building and defining audience personas 
  5. Digging deeper into your competitors
  6. Asking for suggestions and recommendations to leverage untapped market opportunities, etc.

Let’s look at each of these use cases one by one. 

Using ChatGPT to gather core market research data.

The first step for market research is gathering data. There are many conventional ways — sending surveys, conducting interviews, etc. to gather data for validating your business idea. 

Basically, ChatGPT can speed up the process by giving you core data to take the first step in the right direction. 

For example, for our pet food industry business idea, I asked ChatGPT to help me with the core data about my target audience. Here’s how it went: 

Prompt: 

I want to start an online-only dog food brand for pet parents in the age group of 26-35 residing in the US. I would need specific information about their demography to get started, plus competitor information. 
Act as a market research assistant and gather all the relevant information related to 26-35 years age group residing in the US. 

Response by ChatGPT: 

As you see, ChatGPT gave us a headstart regarding market research. Moreover, it helps to stop procrastinating about market research and put some ideas forward.

Using ChatGPT to identify competition in your industry. 

Knowing who you compete against is the most important aspect of market research. Who knew ChatGPT could simplify this for entrepreneurs too? 

We asked ChatGPT about the top 5 competitors for our hypothetical business idea and it didn’t disappoint. Have a look: 

Prompt: 

Can you let me know the 5 major brands in the space. Research and let me know the D2C brands, big box brands, their market shares, and how popular they are among my target group?

Response by ChatGPT: 

Diving deeper into competitor research using ChatGPT.

While it gave a good list to get started, it was not enough to move forward. So, we asked ChatGPT specific questions about their website, Instagram presence, and some key facts about the competitors. 

Prompt: 

okay. can you make a table of the popular pet brands, their website url, instagram handle, and if possible some key facts and figures for each?

Once again, ChatGPT didn’t disappoint. It came up with a table consisting of all the information we asked of it. 

Response by ChatGPT:

Sure, here is a table with some popular pet food brands, their website URL, Instagram handle, and some key facts and figures:

  • Purina 
    • Website URL: https://www.purina.com/
    • Instagram Handle: @Purina
    • Key Facts & Figures: Purina is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world, and is owned by Nestle. They offer a wide range of products for dogs and cats, and have a strong presence in both big-box retailers and pet specialty stores.
  • Hill’s Science Diet
    • Website: https://www.hillspet.com
    • Instagram Handle: @HillsPet
    • Key Facts & Figures: Hill’s Science Diet is a premium pet food brand that is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. They offer a wide range of products for dogs and cats, and are known for their focus on science-based nutrition.
  • Royal Canin
    • Website: https://www.royalcanin.com/
    • Instagram Handle: @RoyalCanin
    • Key Facts & Figures: Royal Canin is a French company that offers a wide range of premium pet food products for dogs and cats. They have a strong presence in both big-box retailers and pet specialty stores.
  • Blue Buffalo
    • Website: https://www.bluebuffalo.com/
    • Instagram Handle: @bluebuffalo
    • Key Facts & Figures: Blue Buffalo is a premium pet food brand that is known for its use of natural ingredients. They offer a wide range of products for dogs and cats and are one of the most popular D2C brand.
  • Chewy
    • Website: https://www.chewy.com
    • Instagram Handle: @chewy
    • Key Facts & Figures: Chewy is an e-commerce platform that specializes in pet products. They offer a wide range of pet food products, including their own private label brand, and are considered one of the most popular D2C brand in the US.

Once someone has this information, he can start analyzing what others are doing in their industry to delight clients and grow their sales revenue. 

Using ChatGPT for building audience personas.

Market research is not just about looking at competitors; you also need to know about your target audience. If you recall, we gave ChatGPT a base target audience as an assumption in the first prompt. 

Why not use it to create a detailed audience persona based on basic assumptions? Here’s the prompt we used to create a detailed audience persona using ChatGPT: 

Prompt: 

you know my audience persona I shared above. can you create a detailed audience persona highlighting the following as key information: 
Demographic infoNeeds and preferencesWhat do they likeWhat do they dislikePsychographic information 

While the prompt could have been better, ChatGPT still worked hard to create a detailed persona. Here’s what ChatGPT came up with: 

Response by ChatGPT: 

You see, it provided in-depth insight into what they think, want, and their general behavior — something that you must focus on as a market researcher or entrepreneur. Plus, the good thing was that it gave me ideas to improve my understanding of the market further. 

Using ChatGPT to unearth opportunities for differentiation.

We know about our competitors, we know about our audience now. All this made me curious to see if ChatGPT can help us find market opportunities for differentiation. We asked it about that: 

Prompt:

are there any USPs or opportunities or pain points which current brands lack in when it comes to pet food ordering process online, specifically with the competitors shared? 
Can you find something about their reviews, audience’s perceptions, and any additional information? 

ChatGPT quickly responded with a list of pain points, opportunities, and USPs that can help drive product decisions. Have a look: 

There were some interesting opportunities and suggestions that are surely worth implementing. It felt like we have an on-call assistant who shells out everything we ask for. By now, we had a lot of stuff to start validating our business idea. 

But we thought, why not ask ChatGPT more about our competitors?

Using ChatGPT to get more specific about competition.

With so much in our hands, I decided to dig deeper into ChatGPT’s intellect to ask if it can suggest some market opportunities to beat the competition. 

Prompt: 

How can I improve my online ordering experience compared to existing brands like Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo? Is there some way I can reassure them that the products are safe or how can i leverage the opportunity?

I did not have any expectations, but it seems better than I expected. Here’s what it came up with: 

Response by ChatGPT:

The suggestions and recommendations were generic. This is where I thought of twisting my prompts and being more specific. 

Improving ChatGPT responses for market research. 

ChatGPT is good, but sometimes it gives bland responses. If you feel the same while trying it out, be clear about what you want. It complies very well with specific commands and prompts.

Here’s what I did when it came up with generic suggestions to beat the competition:

Prompt: 

These are pretty generic suggestions. can you get more specific regarding the differentiation opportunity? 

If you give it a clear direction, it follows you really well and comes up with interesting responses. In this case, unique differentiation opportunities: 

Response by ChatGPT: 

The suggestions were good — not extraordinary, but definitely, a good start to try beating the competition and standing out in the industry. 

Tips for getting better ChatGPT responses.

The quality of your responses with ChatGPT is largely dependent on the kinds of questions that you ask. Here are some best practices when asking ChatGPT-specific questions:

  1. Feed data and call back: If you want ChatGPT to be factual in responses, initially, it’s always better to feed it with actual data. I’ve seen it can fetch data, figures, and facts if you provide it beforehand. 
  2. Tell it what you want it to be: A pro tip is to set the proper context and expectation. If you want it to be a market researcher, tell ChatGPT the same. If you see my first prompt, I’ve done the same. However, make sure to be clear in exactly what you want, else leave ChatGPT to it.
  3. Be very clear about what you want: ChatGPT is a trained generative AI model. So, you can’t expect to beat around the bush and get quality responses. Be specific and clear about what you want and see it doing the hard tasks without wasting your time. 
  4. Don’t rely on it solely: No matter how good AI tools like ChatGPT gets, it’s always good to go to real resources like online reviews from real users and interviews. Don’t just rely on ChatGPT data. Instead, scan online reviews from real customers at scale to power up your market research.

ChatGPT’s ability to understand natural language responses can help you gain a more in-depth understanding of your customers’ sentiments and emotions, which can inform marketing and product development strategies.

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Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol Sachdeva

Anmol is an independent content marketing consultant who loves to pen actionable pieces on small business growth, marketing automation, email, research, and growth as a solopreneur.

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