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Paper info: Big Data Driven IMP - B2B Marketing Needs a Robot


Big Data Driven IMP - B2B Marketing Needs a Robot


Suresh C. Sood and
Hugh Pattinson
University of Western Sydney
Hugh Pattinson

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2018.



B2B research and practice faces disruption from big data and a tsunami of marketing technology and digital platform developments. Over 1 million B2B sales jobs could be lost by 2020 and customers will manage 85% of their relationship with enterprises without interacting with a human” (Forrester 2011). B2B research traditionally focuses on rich description and developing insights and heuristics out of case studies (LaPlaca & da Silva 2016). Developments in big data computing and democratisation of data science (Dillon 2017) enables machine handling multimedia and multidimensional data flow (Keinert and Teich 2010), big data curation (Freitas and Curry 2016), big data annotation (ICSI 2013), analysis and increasingly prescriptive analytics (Davenport 2013) shortening the path between decision-making and action. But Behavioral Big Data (BBD; Shmueli 2017) relating to human behaviors, actions, and interactions has potential to significantly impact B2B environments and research. This paper explores the the utilisation of BBD within the framework of the Social IMP Model (Sood & Pattinson 2012; 2013) as a means of generating of IMP Models capable of “…more accurate prediction of underlying B2B phenomena” (LaPlaca & da Silva 2016) – including B2B Robots! Imagine the world of B2B Buyers and Sellers interacting against a backdrop of “one million US B2B salespeople jobs eliminated by 2020” (Hoar 2015) with robots (bots or voice assistants e.g. Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa or Google Voice) requesting service (knowledge and skills; Vargo and Lusch 2004) or automatically generating tender content and responses from review sites, social networks and blog sites. How long before B2B organisations hire a robot enabling buyers seek out information disrupting the sales process, answering requests for information, perform account-based marketing or managing an account for sellers (Syvänen 2018)? In 2020, the expectations are “…customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human” (Gartner 2011) much sooner than most of us think.