The dominant worldview among marketers is one of technology optimism, which holds that technological advances influence consumers and businesses in positive ways. In direct contrast to this perspective, I advance the thesis that at the organizational frontlines where marketers interact with consumers by observing, informing, persuading, negotiating and co-creating with, and entertaining them, technology commonly produces unforeseen and unexpected effects on consumers with significant negative implications for marketers. The result is Adverse Technology-Consumer Interactions (ATCIs). Marketing practitioners play an instrumental role in producing and exacerbating ATCIs. Yet, I argue they have few incentives to fully investigate the underlying reasons, understand their scope, or find solutions to these potentially troublesome phenomena. Academic researchers, however, are uniquely poised to identify ATCIs, investigate them in depth by considering their industry-wide and society-wide import, develop appropriate theoretical frameworks, and design and test solutions to alleviate their effects. I develop these ideas by considering two ATCIs, falling response rates to customer surveys and customer reactance to frequent price changes. I also point out promising research opportunities for both these phenomena.
Dholakia, U. (2019), "All’s Not Well on the Marketing Frontlines: Understanding the Challenges of Adverse Technology–Consumer Interactions
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