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Consumer-technology interface is one of key concepts driving marketing strategies in modern organizations. The interface between technological devices and customer experience has gained prominence with the explosion of digital technology over the past two decades (Iqbal et al., 2018). Marketing strategies endeavor to generate marketing approaches that respond directly to personal expectations of target customers. It is important to understand the how technology shapes consumer behavior and apply these concepts in marketing.
The current research on customer-technology focuses on understanding consumer expectations from technology in addressing shopping experiences. The changing consumer behavior as a direct consequence of changing technologies a major theme in this field (Wind, 2020). The idea for researchers is to understand ways retailers and producers can optimize in-store and online shopping experience. The information would help marketers to tailor customer interface for particular product and service ranges as well as specific customer segments. Current research has also focused on tracking how consumers are adopting interface technologies while forecasting the likely penetration.
The dynamics of customer experience is emerging as one of the themes that researchers are evaluating. The strength of relationship between customers and brands is enhanced by emotional engagement. Interactive interfaces that allow customers to visualize information is considered vital in successful marketing strategies (Iqbal et al., 2018). In this regard, customer dynamics is regarded as the flow of comparison, searching and evaluation that customers make in their interactions with brands.
The quality of services is also one of the issues that continue to dominate current research on customer-technology interface. Iqbal et al. (2018) contends that although the topic of service quality has been covered extensively in research for decades, current researchers approach from the perspective of self-service technology (SST). The technology affects how customers achieve satisfaction with brands, enhance their loyalty, and adopt positive behavior. The evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) has increasing ramifications of the marketing approaches and how brands connect with target consumers (Turner & Szymkowiak, 2019). The privacy of customers as marketers adopt different promotional strategies using these evolving and new strategies is of growing concern.
Cyber security and the risk of illegal acquisition and use of consumer information are some of the challenges that researchers are actively evaluating (Wind, 2020). Application of artificial intelligence in marketing profession presents ethical concerns. Marketers are increasingly coming under scrutiny for failing to protect the privacy of customer information. Research indicates that nearly all technologies arising in modern marketplaces suffer from certain forms of vulnerability (Turner & Szymkowiak, 2019). Criminals constantly locate the vulnerabilities and exploit them to access vital information. Using machines and robots to persuade and influence customers is also becoming an issue of ethical significance (Wind, 2020). Current research determines that ethical concerns relating to application of technology to achieve marketing goals is of great importance.
Future Research on Customer-Technology Interface
The extensive research focusing on customer-technology interface is not fully exhaustive. Researchers recommend further research on the role of automation in enhancing or undermining marketing functions (Turner & Szymkowiak, 2019). The proliferation of automated marketing media has fundamentally altered how marketers device promotional strategies. However, there are concerns that it could be hurting the objectives by delivering generalized understanding of varied consumer segments (Iqbal et al., 2018). Highly personalized data content is vital in strategic marketing, an issues that automated marketing may fail to enhance. Another area recommended for research includes the changing cultural value of technology for consumers in emerging economies. The development of China and India as major centers for international marketing is intriguing for future marketers. However, the perception of technology and its role in delivering marketing message varies from one culture to another (Wind, 2020). It is vital to understand the role played by cultures in influencing technological adoption is essential.
Iqbal, M. S., Hassan, M. U., & Habibah, U. (2018). Impact of self-service technology (SST) service quality on customer loyalty and behavioral intention: The mediating role of customer satisfaction. Cogent Business & Management, 5.
This article examined how technology development affects the quality of customer service. In particular, the authors note that self-service technologies have a powerful effect on how brands interact with their target customers. The authors sought to examine how SST affect customer loyalty and experience. Researchers concluded that there is a direct relationship between SST on one hand and customer loyalty and service quality on the other.
Turner, J. J., & Szymkowiak, A. (2019). An analysis into early customer experiences of self-service checkouts: Lessons for improved usability. Engineering Management in Production and Services, 11(1), 36-50.
The authors examine how self-service technologies are shaping modern marketing strategies. The authors delve into several incidences relating to SSTs to determine aspects that make the technology repugnant to some consumers and those that enhance their perception of the technology. The article further discusses the implications of SSTs on marketing management and researchers.
Wind, T. J. A. (2020). Ethics of the marketing communication of AI-based services (Master’s thesis, University of Twente).
In this article Wind (2020) examines the ethical concepts associated with marketing using modern technologies. The author examines how artificial intelligence, robotic technology, big data, and other emerging technologies are permeating modern marketing techniques. However, these novel approaches to marketing have serious implications on customer privacy rights. The author concludes that marketing professional can enhance the power of brand by adopting marketing strategies that protect the identity and value of customer data.
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