Complex Systems: Marketing's New Frontier

53 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2018

See all articles by William Rand

William Rand

North Carolina State University

Roland T. Rust

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Min Kim

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, Students

Date Written: October 1, 2016

Abstract

Complex systems approaches are emerging as new methods that complement conventional analytical and statistical approaches for analyzing marketing phenomena. These methods can provide researchers with tools to understand and predict marketing outcomes that emerge at the aggregate level by modeling feedback between heterogeneous agents and agent interaction with various marketing environmental variables. While the benefits of complex systems approaches often come with a high computational cost, steady advances in access to better computational resources has allowed more researchers to adopt complex systems approaches as part of their portfolio of methods. In this paper, we will provide a description of the key concepts, benefits, and tools of complex systems. The goal of this work is to encourage marketing researchers and practitioners who are not familiar with these approaches to consider the adoption of these methods. We end with a discussion of the future research opportunities that this powerful methodology enables.

Keywords: Complex Systems, Agent-Based Models, Network Science, System Dynamics, Chaos Theory, Machine Learning

Suggested Citation

Rand, William and Rust, Roland T. and Kim, Min, Complex Systems: Marketing's New Frontier (October 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3201029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3201029

William Rand (Contact Author)

North Carolina State University ( email )

Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Roland T. Rust

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Min Kim

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, Students ( email )

College Park, MD
United States

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