Product, price, location, promotion, experience – how six technologies are transforming marketing

Launched in 2012, YourStory’s Book review This section contains more than 315 titles on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation. See also our related sections Turning, Tech-savvy Tuesdays, and Pieces of stories.

The technological transformations of marketing are well described in the book, Smart marketing: use new age technologies, by Professor V Kumar of BSI. New waves of technology are making marketing both more experiential and instantaneous, and require continuous learning.

The book is written in an academic style and the eight chapters are carefully referenced. But surprisingly, the book does not have an index or glossary of terms.

Each chapter traces the growth of technology, business impacts, use cases in marketing, and future trends. The efficient use of these technologies strategic rather than tactical level calls for major changes in organizational capacities, processes and culture, advises Kumar.

“Amazon has truly embraced an ever-changing digital ecosystem,” he observes, indicating the rise of AWS, Alexa, Prime, Managed Blockchain, recommendations and warehouse robotics. Netflix is another company that has effectively unified a range of technologies, data insights, content assets, creative talent, and business strategies.

Convergent technologies result in better detection, interpretation, adaptation and response capacity in real time. Hybrid human-machine collaborations also allow new types of business skills, says Kumar. There are also broader implications for society, governance, ethics and politics.

Here are my main takeaways from the 300-page book, summarized in the table below. See also my reviews of related books Technology of the future, Ultimate innovation, See digital, Future Fintech, Over-innovate, The next billion users, and Machine, Platform, Crowd.


AI combines insights into data, pattern recognition, predictive power, and decision making. Deep learning relies on layers of neural networks similar to the human brain. Applications include trip planning, smart homes, personalized learning, and self-driving cars.

In marketing, AI helps create customer profiles, organize content, decide product offerings, and personalize communication campaigns. Building deeper connections improves engagement and relationships with customers, Kumar observes.

Examples include L’Oreal (social media monitoring), McCann (scripting of advertisements), Spotify (organized weekly playlists), Ogilvy-Nestlé (nutrition assistant in China), and NS (real time price updates). AI has been used to improve email marketing, and social bots have been deployed in Japanese shopping malls.


ML focuses on the development, understanding and evaluation of learning algorithms. The machine is learned on the basis of existing data, via methods such as supervised teaching (for example for speech recognition, spam filtering), unsupervised learning (for fraud detection, image recognition), and reinforcement learning (for recommendation of news, self-driving cars).

Kumar showcases ML in action in Health care (PathAI for an accurate diagnosis), building management (75F), food waste tracking (Hitachi), facial recognition (iPhone), automatic e-mail filling (Gmail), financial planning (Olivie), smart homes (Nest), and credit rating (Lenddo).

Examples of marketing include voice interfaces for customer interaction, recommendation engines (e-commerce), route planning (Uber), dynamic pricing (Airbnb), fraud detection (American Express) and menu recommendations (Taco Bell).

Other cases cited are sales forecasts (German online retailer Otto), selection of custom artwork (Netflix movie titles), hotel room prices (Bavaria Boutique Hotel), fan promotions (Kansas City Chiefs), robot concierge (Hilton’s Connie), order forecasting (Domino’s), and in-store recommendations (Macy’s On Call).

Kumar identifies future trends such as the hybrid use of ML in online and physical environments, and ML complementing existing CRM systems. Due to some perceptions of unease and even loathing, it will be important to address some consumer confidence issues with the increasing use of machines instead of humans.


The term IoT was first coined by Kevon Ashton in 1999 and has now become a game changer in a range of industries at the level of individual (portable), organization (for example, traffic monitoring sensors by the Hamburg Port Authority), industry (fleet management, manufacturing), and nation (smart city).

Examples of Category Marketing in ‘4 P’ understand product (Diageo smart bottles), the price (Burger King geofencing for the countryside), place (beacons at Walgreens, Heathrow Airport), and promotion (Nivea Sun Kids bracelets for surveillance on Brazilian beaches).

Kumar also quotes examples like fitness trackers (FitBit), smart locks (Wyze), geofencing (location-based marketing by Sephora), smart homes (ambient assisted living) and asset management (Istanbul airport). Other cases include asset tracking (An Post), smart grids (Honeywell), fleet management (Bransys), Tesla (remote software updates) and Industry 4.0 (preventive maintenance by ABB, Hitachi).

An effective example of convergence is the “just walk out” technology of the Amazon GO store, with computer sensors, machine vision and a mobile application.

A number of smart city initiatives are also based on IoT, such as pedestrian and traffic monitoring (Mulhouse, France), water and parking management (Barcelona), environmental monitoring (Las Vegas), public service monitoring ( Padua) and energy management (Kashiwa-no-ha in Japan).

IV. Robots

Interestingly, the words robot and robotics were first introduced in literary works (Czech play, science fiction). The author traces the development of industrial robotics, robotic arms, vision robots and personal service robots and industrial cobots today.

Robots can perform tasks such as vacuuming (Roomba, Eufy), floor washing (iRobot, iLife), disinfection (UVD Robotics), swimming pool cleaning (Dolphin, Aquabot), window washing (Hobot, Gecko), the lawn care Robomow), butlers (Ugo, Moro), and even social camaraderie (Pepper, Buddy, Kiki).

Other robot capacities include movement assistance (Exo-Suit exoskeletons), warehouse management (DHL), retail store assistance (Bossa Nova from Walmart) and special needs education (QTrobot).

In the world of marketing, bots have contributed to the “4 Ps” – product (robotic products, e.g. Echo, Roomba, Walmart’s Dash standalone shopping cart), the price (shopbots – Nao, BizRate), place (senior caregivers), and promotion (store inspection, ‘pick and place’ of the product).

Other examples cited include Honey (coupon bot), eBay (shopbot), Finnish telephone company Elisa (Pepper robot for office service) and Heathrow Airport (robots communicating in multiple languages ​​with passengers).

Trends to watch include the rise of 5G for the “Touch Internet”, and regulatory changes as well as the acceptance of machines by citizens.

V. Drones

Drones have also been referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs). Originally used by the military, they are now spreading commercial, scientific, consumer and public service markets as well as.

Examples include aerial photography, wedding videos, drone races, construction site surveillance, irrigation leak detection, retail delivery and department store operations. Kumar also cites the application of drones in COVID-19 operations (monitoring in India, medical supplies by Zipline in Ghana).

Drones have been used for damage inspection by insurance companies (Allstate, Liberty Mutual) and power line inspections by utility companies (Dominion Energy, Oklahoma G&E). Creative borders include the transport of promotional leaflets in front of the windows of the Moscow offices (Wokker Noodles).

VI. Block chain

Blockchain is the most recent of the new-age technologies tracked in the book, with value propositions in decentralized, authentic, transparent and secure operations.

Applications include Knowledge Management, Real Estate Legal Processes (Ubiquity), Artist License Transactions (Monegraph), Blood Sample Information Security (LifeBank), Digital Voting (Voatz, BitCongress) and carpooling (Arcade City, Drife, TADA).

Kumar quotes examples of marketing such as food authenticity and travel safety (Hungry Coin, Walmart), pharmaceutical tracking (BlockVerify), supply chains (EverLedger), engine usage history (Renault) and consumer engagement in games (Miller Lite).

Other cases are diamond traceability assurance (De Beers), proof of authenticity (LVMH), financial data processing (KLM), payment automation (Data Gumbo in the oil industry), rewards merchants (Singapore Airlines), geoblockchain (GIS integration, by Porsche, Nespresso), advertising merger (Unilever) and advertising strategy (Toyota).

Kumar identifies future trends such as the rise of news disruptive economic models, the need to address user concerns about privacy and theft; and the opportunities in programmatic advertising.

The road ahead

The concluding chapter stresses the need to be able to unify and integrate these technologies rather than treating them as separate blocks. Companies must have data-centric cultures and processes, and be ready to embrace transparency and automation, advises Kumar.

Long-term benefits will flow from strategic approaches rather than simple tactical steps. Technological impacts will extend to B2C as well as B2B and internally stakeholders. Business leaders will need to increase employee capabilities in knowledge management and customer engagement, recommends Kumar.

“Technology is a powerful unifier,” he sums up. “When it unites and integrates, technology undoubtedly permeates our lives and continuously wins,” concludes Kumar.

YourStory also published the paperback “Proverbs and quotes for entrepreneurs: a world of inspiration for startups” as a creative and motivating guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Comments are closed.