LONDON,UK — June 9, 2017. Marketing theory has long recognized the impact of new technologies and developed the e-marketing and m-marketing domains. Now it’s time for it to go even further and to start sketching the r-marketing domain – the marketing theory of robot consumers, says Professor and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Research at Varna University of Management, Stanislav Ivanov.
“The consumer robots are currently perceived simply as technological products, produced by companies and sold to final customers. However, the current and future functionalities and artificial intelligence algorithms of home robots allow them to search, filter, select and purchase various products and services on behalf of their owners. Amazon’s Echo,for example, powered by Alexa intelligent digital assistant can order pizza from Domino’s, Uber taxi, play music or control the smart home appliances
This means that home robots and AI powered digital assistants interfere in the consumer behaviour of their owners by determining the options their owners can choose from. This raises the question whether it is really the robot owner who makes the decision to purchase or it is the robot (and the AI algorithm behind it) that has greater share in the final decision than the owner himself,” says Professor in the recently published scientific paper “The robot as a consumer: a research agenda“.
“Marketing and consumer behaviour theory explicitly assumes that by default the final consumer is a human being with specific needs, wants, preferences and characteristics, but now it is probably time to challenge this assumption. The Amazon’s Echo is just a hint of the future we will face quite soon,” he added.
Who is the consumer – the robot or its owner?
Professor Stanislav Ivanov argues that, in the near future artificial intelligence will blur the boundaries between human-consumers and AI powered robot-consumers. This could create a new niche market and open doors for developers and AI companies to fulfil a whole new industry.
“Currently marketing theory completely disregards robots and AI powered machines as potential consumers, explicitly assuming that only human beings can be consumers. The reality is going to change and marketing theory needs to stay up to day or even shape it,” summarized Professor Ivanov.
Data sourced from “The robot as a consumer: a research agenda”,Social Science Research Network; additional content by NicheHunt.com staff