Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based Marketing: Two Essays on AI Products and AI Promotions
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significantly impacted the field of marketing. AI and AI-enabled technologies have changed the dynamics of market exchanges as well as how B2C and B2B consumers incorporate and interact with products, services, technology, and other human beings. These fundamental changes in market exchanges make it crucial for marketing researchers to understand how AI can influence diverse areas of marketing. This thesis focuses on two such areas. Specifically, this dissertation addresses how AI impacts products and promotions in two essays. Essay 1 focuses on the adoption of autonomous AI-based products. This essay suggests that AI has enabled marketers to imbue products with autonomous intelligence that can perform tasks with limited interaction from consumers. This increased product autonomy has consequences for marketers and the adoption of these products. As product autonomy increases, consumers’ intentions to purchase autonomous AI products increase. This increased adoption is due to the transformation expectations that consumers have from the adoption of autonomous products. In the process of adoption, consumers make trade-offs between transformation expectations and surrendering control to autonomous products. As product autonomy increases, consumers perceive less control while simultaneously perceiving a higher degree of transformation expectations. In addition, these effects are exacerbated for consumers who inherently desire more control as they perceive less control and transformations. However, transformation expectations can overcome the negative impact of consumers’ decreased perceptions of control and result in increased adoption of autonomous products. These relationships are tested through a series of five lab experiments including a replication study that provides empirical support for the hypothesized relations. Theoretical and managerial implications of the study are also discussed. Essay two focuses on the use of AI in promotions. More specifically, the impact of AI influencer sponsorships on products and brands. This research suggests that the use of synthetic AI influencers in comparison to human social media influencers (SMIs) has important marketing implications. AI influencers are perceived as less desirable. Consumers’ attitude towards influencers and the brand they endorse is significantly less for AI influencers compared to SMIs. This decreased attitude is due to perceptions of authenticity. AI influencers are perceived as less authentic than SMIs. This decreased authenticity negatively impacts attitudes towards the influencer and attitudes towards the brand and can impact consumers' intentions to purchase the endorsed product. In addition, these effects may differ depending on the type of product that is endorsed. Data collected through a series of three experiments suggest that while AI influencers are not devoid of authenticity, they are perceived as less authentic than SMIs. This lower authenticity impacts the brand and the product that is endorsed and marketers should be cautious in selecting AI influencers for their sponsorship campaigns. The theoretical and managerial implications of this research are then discussed. Lastly, a future research agenda for studying AI influencers in marketing research are discussed.Embargo status: Restricted until 09/2172. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.