Takeaway: Data might help you to make sense of the “noise” in the market wheres only human intelligence can mishmash it with enough creativity to pave the way for future disruption.
If marketers have a dream tool, it would be a box, a “virtual market,” that could replace the traditional market research we perform today. The box would be a machine representation of customers and competitors, into which the marketer could feed queries to test how new products or services would do in a particular market. This intelligent machine would collect the data it needs to answer strategic questions and guide managerial decisions.
Machine learning, the technology that would power such a device, is still in its infancy and incapable of producing such promising results. But what about tomorrow? According to a group of researchers, the virtual market-research tool could become a reality, but is still missing one necessary ingredient: a soul.
The ‘soul’ is our human intuition, = scientific expertise, and intuitional knowledge that can define the questions and improve “machine” decisions about the market.
“Without a soul, without human insight, the capabilities of the machine will be limited,” a group of 13 marketing scholars write in their working paper, Soul and Machine (Learning), which takes a high-level view of the present and future role of machine learning tools in marketing research and practice. “We propose to step back and ask how we can best integrate machine learning to solve previously untenable marketing problems facing real companies?” […]