The Four Factors Driving the Emergence of New MarTech

01 Sep,2022


By Ashoke Agarrwal


Ashoke AgarrwalA recent special issue of the Journal of Marketing focused on the interaction between the emergence of new technologies and the domain and practice of marketing (Journal of Marketing 2022 Volume 86-1). It is worth a read.


Technology changes marketing practice on various dimensions, with some changes being quite disruptive. For example, the emergence of the World Wide Web and Social Media over the past two decades are mature technologies with far-reaching effects on marketing.


New technology is defined as new when its early in the adoption cycle for firms and is in the innovator or early adopter phase for consumers. In this column, I will briefly examine the emergence of new technologies and their effect on the practice of marketing along four factors.


The first and central factor that new technology impacts marketing results from new forms of consumer and firm interactions, be they consumer-to-consumer, consumer-to-firm, firm-to-consumer and firm-to-firm. The emergence and maturing of online digital communication platforms have already played a disruptive role in marketing. Over the next couple of decades, the emergence of AI-mediated online digital communication will be the new technology that will be central to changes in marketing practice.


The three factors that result from the central factor of the emergence of AI-mediated online digital communications are:

:: Marketing Innovations

:: New Data and Analytic Methods

:: New Strategic Frameworks


Marketing Innovations like AI-driven recommendation engines and chatbots are beginning to appear across product categories from e-tail and entertainment to health care and public services. Augmented reality in fashion retailing is another innovation resulting from the emergence of AI-mediated interaction. Finally, in the B2B arena, Livestream Selling is a fast-spreading innovation spurred by pandemic restrictions.


The new form of communication and marketing innovations lead to the emergence of New Data and Analytic Methods.


For example, reams of consumer interaction data allow the mapping of AI-mediated chatbots in various categories. For example, extensive studies on the effectiveness of AI-generated word-of-machine compared to human-generated word-of-mouth have resulted in critical insights regarding the Automation versus Augmentation debate regarding the use of AI in marketing.


Another emerging data stream and analytic method are making informed product launch and product retirement decisions based on the rate of disengagement with old technology. This type of analysis is becoming increasingly important as new technologies emerge in categories like transport, energy, lighting and entertainment.


In the B2B arena, the use of Computer Vision methods to analyse the effectiveness of salesperson’s facial expressions in Livestream Selling is emerging. Genetic data and analysis to better target consumers and new product development is an outlier in the latest data and analytic methods arena. The use of genetic data in marketing is predicated on the increasing popularity of Direct To Consumer Genetic Testing (DTC GT) like 23andMe. In 2018, Spotify allowed users to upload their genetic data with the promise of creating playlists that match their ‘genetic ancestry’. AeroMexico launched a ‘Genetic Discount’ based on the percentage of ‘Mexican-ness’ as posited by the individual’s DNA profile!


The above three factors of new forms of communication between consumers and firms, marketing innovations and new data and analytic methods lead to the fourth factor of change in marketing – the emergence of New Strategic Frameworks.


An example of a new strategic framework is the emergence of a given product category’s Utilitarian and Hedonistic determinants to resolve the Automation versus Augmentation debate.


Another example of a new strategic framework is the emergence of a new consumer segmentation framework consisting of Leapfroggers, Switchers, Opportunists and Dual Users when resolving the response to emergent new product technologies in terms of new product launches and product retirements.


Brands as Platforms is another strategic framework emergent from the new streams of data and analytics emerging from AI-mediated consumer and firm interactions. I have written about brands as platforms in my MxMIndia column dated February 3, 2022 – “Big Brands, The Digital World and The Promise of Brand Platforms.”


New marketing trends dictated by emerging new technologies are rapidly emerging. These include the emergence of real-time and automated decision-making, AI-based new product development and in the determination of go, no-go decisions, the automation versus augmentation debate and the emergence of new marketing funnel structures and dynamics in the virtual, augmented and metaverse ecosystems.


Most of the above trends are related to the four factors delineated in this column. I plan to write about specific facets in future MxMIndia columns, including:

:: The Automation versus Augmentation debate and its relationship to the Utilitarian and Hedonistic framework for product categories

:: The new consumer segmentation framework Leapfoggers, Opportunists, Switchers and Dual Users when making decisions about new product technologies

:: The use of Computer Vision in Livestream Selling and other applications

:: The new marketing funnel structure and dynamics will likely emerge in the virtual augmented and metaverse ecosystems.


Readers’ thoughts on the above topics are welcome.


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