At Shapiro+Raj, we are excited about the potential for AI to revolutionize the way we conduct market research. One area we have been pioneering is the use of AI-generated avatars to represent customer personas. These virtual personas promise significant time and cost savings, while still providing insights into real consumer thinking.

By training our AI models on research and other data, we can create avatars that closely mimic the core beliefs and behaviors of our target demographics. The AI extracts patterns and key features from research participants to create synthetic avatars. With our expertise in AI training techniques, we fine-tune these models to provide very accurate and lifelike persona representations.

These AI-powered avatars open up new possibilities for market testing that would be costly and time consuming with traditional research groups. Instead, we can test messaging, pricing models, product concepts, and more using these AI subjects. The AI approach saves considerable time and expenses related to recruiting and incentivizing human participants.

As we feed more data into the models, the personas become increasingly realistic and nuanced. We augment our core training data with secondary sources to round out their preferences, attitudes, and decision motivations. This data helps the AI learn the intrinsic qualities that make each persona unique.

On client projects we are seeing outstanding results using AI personas for concept and message testing. The AI delivers responses that closely match what we would expect from flesh-and-blood participants. Our approach showcases the disruptive potential of AI to transform the market research process.

Here’s an example of this approach used to deliver successful results to a technical hiring solutions client.

Our client was struggling to grow due to ineffective messaging that failed to resonate with high-value segments. Without a clear understanding of their ideal customer, they found themselves stuck in the mud, spinning their wheels in an evolving industry. They engaged us to help uncover these critical insights and kickstart tailored messaging to rev growth.

They needed to clearly define their ideal customer profile (ICP) and develop detailed buyer personas to guide targeted outreach. However, they were constrained by tight timelines and budgetary restrictions. It was a tall order – they required “champagne results on a Coca-Cola budget” as the CMO put it.

Our solution was a novel one – leveraging our tech-empowered, human-inspired approach that we call TechManity™. We leveraged our proprietary AI engine, Stella, to work smarter, faster, and within budget constraints. Stella synthesized terabytes of internal and external data, using advanced natural language processing to analyze job postings, LinkedIn profiles, and more. Stella rapidly generated an ICP hypothesis based on attributes like company size, hiring volume, and industry. Stella also created initial personas for key roles like recruiters and hiring managers, including details like demographics, pain points, and preferred communication channels.

We then refined Stella’s outputs through qualitative interviews. By engaging with people matching the ICP criteria, we refined the personas and added more nuance. The interviews also explained intra-persona relationships that weren’t described in the secondary data. Finally, we brought the research to life for the client through an interactive virtual workshop with their marketing and sales teams. Role-playing exercises using Stella’s AI avatar functionality kicked off tailored messaging development grounded in the persona insights.

Our TechManity™ approach accelerated the project timeline by 1 month and lowered costs by 40% versus traditional research. It also established a foundation for further AI testing and refinement. The client CMO raved “I’ve been doing this kind of work for 20 years and this is the best ICP and persona work I’ve seen.”

Our TechManity™ approach of blending AI data science and human insight unlocked growth for this client by delivering rich insights with unprecedented speed and cost-efficiency. As the CMO acknowledged, the quality exceeded their expectations and prior experience. This unique impact is why we were the top choice, leading to additional project requests. Our approach drives results.

Reach out to us today at [email protected]. to learn more about our TechManity™ approach and how AI-generated avatars can drive results for your business and brands.

About Shapiro+Raj

Shapiro+Raj, the sixth-largest independent insights company in North America, generates Future-Forward Insights for Fortune 500 clients. Recognized as the top-5 most innovative research company, the #1 strategic insights consultancy, and the largest Nationally Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Shapiro+Raj operates from Chicago, New York, and Pune, India, serving global clients. For more information, contact Shapiro+Raj at (312) 965-2319 or visit