2024 Predictions: The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It

Having built a business upon understanding the irrationality of people as both humans and consumers, we at Behaviorally should know well enough that making predictions about the future can be a fool’s errand. That said, one can also take the view, as Peter Drucker aptly stated, that the best way to predict the future is to create it.

In keeping with one of our core values of “defining tomorrow, today,” and executing successfully against a strategic roadmap developed 12 months ago, it’s been the case that in 2023 the Behaviorally team has created our own future. This perhaps explains why, in an unusual twist, the four predictions I made at this time last year have come to pass: most notably a year of product innovation linked to adoption of AI across our own product stack.

As we turn our attention to 2024, I’m certain that the determination and discipline possessed by the talented Behaviorally team will once again allow us to create the future: so, what can we predict the next 12 months shall bring?

In full disclosure, this blog has been written with the assistance of ChatGPT. This is perhaps the first clue to a theme that underpins each of our 2024 predictions: that the role of AI in shaping the agenda for both Behaviorally and the insights industry at large will continue to expand.

For me, this may also be the understatement of the decade! In our view, AI places us all in the insights industry at the precipice of a wave of transformative change analogous to the adoption of online research in ~2000 or discovery of the behavioral sciences ~2010. Like breakthrough innovations that came before, the impact of AI will take a decade to fully mature. But be in no doubt, AI will transform the insights sector: how we do what we do and the impact we will have. But I digress, as the task of this blog was to pen predictions for the next 12 months…

Over the next 12 months, our view reflected in the Behaviorally product roadmap, shows AI expanding in application and impact beyond prediction enhancement: this has already been achieved through development and rollout of metrics such as PackPower Score, a one-number score that can pinpoint sales impact of packaging change.

GLADYS LogoSpecifically, we’ll see in 2024 AI deliver exponential gains in the speed and effectiveness with which consumer data is curated and insights uncovered. This is from both structured and unstructured datasets. Indeed, Behaviorally’s GLADYS (“Generative Learnings Attitudes and Decisions of Your Shoppers”) qualitative platform launches fully in January 2024 and does exactly this, providing real-time thematic summary of qualitative consumer feedback aligned with our proprietary model for human behavior and integrated into both existing and connected quantitative behavioral datasets.

Much work will also be undertaken in 2024 to integrate data-driven insights into new and existing creative and design processes: this is where substantial energy of the Behaviorally team will be focused. If our behavioral datasets are, for example, able to predict and explain pack effectiveness, then by logic they must also be able to play a more prominent role in generating pack design itself. The true power of generative AI will likely not be fully felt across the insights sector until later in 2024 and probably beyond, but capability in this area is already an investment priority for any owner of robust, proprietary, and accurate datasets. Better to invest in creating this future than be disrupted by it.

The opportunity AI presents for the insights industry to transform does though give rise to one final prediction: one on which very much hope to be proven wrong! Throughout previous waves of change, progress has been slowed by two factors: reputations have been built on research being “right” and thus any change is a threat to the perceived accuracy of tried, tested (but sometimes wrong) methods of the past, and the perennial crisis of confidence that sees the entire insights industry too comfortable reinvesting efficiency savings in methodological debate versus confidently assuming the elevated role we can and should to drive commercial value. History is usually a good predictor of the future. Let’s hope this isn’t the case in 2024, and we all, across the insights industry, rise to meet the opportunity AI presents to us. If we don’t, someone else will, but that subject is for another blog.

Look forward to seeing you all in 2024. Predict it’s going to be a great year, especially if we embrace the massive transformation opportunity in-front of us. For the fantastic Behaviorally team, let’s continue to create our own future!


Based in New York, Alex Hunt is the CEO of Behaviorally. He is a recognized pioneer in the practical application of behavioral science to shopper marketing to help clients realize the most valuable moment in marketing: when a sales transaction occurs. Alex is acknowledged as an industry thought leader and a regular contributor to industry events as an advocate for the power of consumer insights to fuel commercial growth. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexHunt84 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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