8 min read

AI is a transformation lever for IFOP – Interview with Christophe Jourdain and Julien Belin

Published on
January 15, 2024
Written by
Fernando Zatz
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Author
Fernando Zatz
Head of Growth @ Fairgen

With the surge of AI, the world of market research is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Our partners at IFOP, a leader in this transformation, have recently spotlighted its innovative strategies in an interview with the French magazine MR News.

IFOP spearheads AI-driven digital transformation in the research sector

The article explores how AI is changing research methods, highlighting IFOP's leading role in this digital transformation movement. It also sheds light on IFOP's crucial partnership with Fairgen, a collaboration that significantly enhances the ability to explore niche segments once too hard or too expensive to be analyzed.

Christophe Jourdain, General Director of the IFOP Group, emphasizes the revolutionary impact of AI, stating, “We are convinced that AI is a revolution of considerable magnitude” and describing it as a “disruption” in their field. This perspective underlines how AI is not just an add-on but a fundamental shift in how market research operates, influencing both data collection and analysis.

This transformation is not just about technology; it's about a mindset shift within the company. As Jourdain puts it, “We have made the decision to integrate AI into our daily practices and to make this technological advancement, along with the new uses associated with it, a real lever for transforming the company.” This approach reflects a proactive and integrated strategy, where AI is a core part of IFOP's DNA.

Julien Belin, Director of Data Management at IFOP, adds another dimension to this discussion. He notes the necessity of upskilling and diversifying competencies in the face of AI's capabilities. Belin remarks, “AI forces us to upgrade our skills and diversify them imminently: we must maintain control of what we produce with AI while maximizing its new potential.” This comment highlights an essential aspect of digital transformation: the human element.

The strategic partnership with Fairgen is particularly noteworthy. This collaboration revolves around the concept of what IFOP white-labels as 'Data Boost AI', a pioneering approach to data collection that uses Generative AI technology to augment under-sampled segments.

Overcoming skepticism, IFOP validates Fairgen after extensive technical testing

Belin describes the initial skepticism turned into a groundbreaking opportunity, illustrating how AI can boost the study of niche markets and under-sampled segments, previously a challenging endeavor due to the high costs and complexity involved.

Julien Belin on the initial collaboration with Fairgen:

"At first glance, it seemed a bit 'scary' (laughs), so our first reaction was caution. The key idea is that after surveying a significant number of people, AI can model how other individuals might respond. This opened up the possibility to better study rare targets, niches... a key challenge in our professions."

Julien Belin on the process to technically validate Fairgen’s technology:

"We have tested it on very varied issues. For example, on opinion topics, with people having very specific political beliefs. Or on customers of very small operators in the energy field, or on niches in the hygiene-beauty universe. In all cases, the approach allowed us to model the responses of rare and therefore expensive targets to investigate, and the results obtained by AI were validated by the results obtained through the traditional collection method."

Jourdain also points out the ethical and transparent approach of Fairgen, which resonated with IFOP's values. This aspect is critical in an era where data privacy and ethical use of AI are paramount concerns.

Christophe Jourdain on Fairgen's ethos and expertise:

"We were impressed by Fairgen's technical skills and the complementarity with our expertise. But above all, it was their 'philosophy', the fact that they are very scrupulous from an ethical standpoint and completely transparent about their practices that totally convinced us. Most of our clients are currently in a discovery phase, and some have already taken the plunge."

The IFOP-Fairgen partnership, therefore, is not just a technical alliance but a meeting of minds and values, setting a new standard in the industry. It's a testament to how strategic collaborations can propel organizations forward in the digital age.

In conclusion, IFOP's journey with AI, as articulated by Christophe Jourdain and Julien Belin, is a blueprint for digital transformation in market research. Their partnership with Fairgen is not just a leap into new technology but a thoughtful integration of AI into the very fabric of their company, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of their industry. The full interview, available at Market Research News, offers a deeper dive into these exciting developments.

We thank our partners at IFOP for the continued partnership!

Originally published at Market Research News