Artificial Intelligence - The buzzword of our century. CEOs of the most renowned companies, like Google, Facebook and Amazon keep mentioning the technology’s ability to revolutionize the world as it is today. Companies worldwide are implementing AI-technology for digital marketing purposes in the hopes of seeing their revenue increase significantly, save time on digital marketing and maybe even limit the amount of digital marketing employees. However, one question seems to be overlooked: ‘How might this technology influence branding?’. This initial question was asked towards a company building AI-driven digital marketing solutions - and that sparked this study. It seeks to explore how the application of current artificial intelligence (AI) technology in digital marketing communication affects a company’s abilities in building customer-based brand equity. To explore this phenomenon, a grounded theory approach is applied, and in-depth interviews with 12 AI-experts possessing knowledge within digital marketing was conducted. These interviews were transcribed and coded, and findings emerged that highlighted limits in AIs ability to build brand equity. AI-technology is able to work with everything quantifiable, in the sense that for the technology it is identifiable and optimizable if trained probably. Attributes as price, colors or product characteristics will, therefore, be easy for AI-technologies to work with. However, the findings did discover that AItechnology has issues with things that are non-quantifiable. Since parts of branding consist of soft values, heritage, and a brand personality, etc. this makes it difficult for AI-technology to work with and facilitate these aspects of a brand. This revealed that existing models on how companies can build brand equity were not applicable in an AI-driven digital marketing communication context. Therefore, the conceptualization of a model that could provide as a guideline for the technology’s ability to building brand equity was constructed. The findings derived from this study provides a series of guidelines usable for brand managers and digital marketing specialists when considering to what extent AI-technology might benefit their digital marketing communication.
|Educations||MSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||122|
|Supervisors||Michel Van der Borgh|