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  • Writer's pictureBob Rombach

The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Artificial intelligence in marketing: What has been done? What can be done? A conversation with Praveen Kopalle

Artificial intelligence in marketing: What has been done? What can be done?

Many believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are revolutionizing today’s world, making it hardly surprising that AI technologies have attracted interest from a wide array of (marketing) scholars. The seemingly endless possibilities of AI applications drive rapid technological innovations, but at the same time they raise questions regarding consumer privacy and other ethical concerns are becoming more pressing than ever.

In their recent IJRM paper “Examining artificial intelligence technologies in marketing via a global lens: Current trends and future research opportunities” (volume 39, issue 2), the authors analyze the evolution of AI technologies in marketing through a novel set of lenses: the global prism. They use the global prism to effectively explain the current state of AI technologies in marketing and raise questions for future research.



The strength is in the team

I spoke with Praveen Kopalle (Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College) about the paper and the people involved. Praveen accredits most of the project’s success to the quality and diversity in the team: “With this team, we could leverage our strengths by slicing the pie.” Interestingly, the team was formed by more than just the authors: “I must give most of the credit for bringing together this team to the special issue co-editors (R. Srivastava and V. Kumar); they formed the team by bringing all of us on board. “ The paper, he explains is the outcome of regular discussions with a group of diverse people: “To begin with, we put everything on the table; there are no bad ideas. Next, we distilled them.”


The essential components

Praveen takes us through the process of formalizing the conceptual idea. The main goal was providing a structure to the wide range of topics on AI research in marketing. This structure should describe past research, but also suggest exciting directions for future research. “Our first question was: what are the essential aspects of AI technologies in marketing?” First, they were thinking, one needs Human-Machine Interaction (HMI) to create value: “AI technology is often seen as human versus machine, but humans together with machines can be synergistic”. Second, the authors considered what AI does, analyzing various types of data such as text, images, audio and video.


A divider or a unifier of nations?

The next stage, described Praveen, was to examine these essential ingredients through three lenses: Country, Company and Customer. The first one, Country, is of special interest since it provides the global perspective. How do the economic differences between countries shape the way AI technology will be adopted and implemented? This can have a global impact! On the one hand, the benefits of AI may not reach poor nations. On the other hand, AI technologies may act as a unifier by providing economic opportunities to impoverished

countries. The authors suspect that the global concerns are strong and will likely affect the ability of firms to employ AI and will also alter the nature of human—machine interactions. Will the firms manage to make AI a unifier rather than a divider? The authors seem to be optimistic and believe that artificial intelligence will likely lead to a greater understanding of customer behavior across a wide array of local cultures and therefore will enhance the design and delivery of locally customized global offerings by enabling.



What are your thoughts about the future of AI? Are you interested in reading more about the evolution of artificial intelligence in marketing? Read the paper here





 

Meet The Authors

 

Praveen Kopalle

Signal Companies’ Professor of Management and Professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

If you were not an academic, what would you be?

“That is a great question… I never had a real job! During my internship as an MBA student, I was allowed in the management dining area where they had a 2-hour lunch. Amazing, truly a feast. I always finished all my work by Noon and went to lunch. My highlight of those three months was the lunch. That is when I realized I was not suited for the 9am-5pm real world”.


What makes life in academia different?

“Doing research keeps me intellectually stimulated and allows me to bring new stuff to the classroom. My goal is to create and disseminate knowledge; if I can’t explain my research in 30 seconds to an MBA student, it may not be that relevant. I want to work on projects that are novel and relevant. Honestly, my research productivity has been much better after my tenure. It made me realize how thankful I am to be in such an exciting position.”.



 

This article was written by

Bob Rombach

Ph.D. candidate at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (The Netherlands)






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