Omnichannel Marketing: The Challenge of Data-Integrity

31 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2019

See all articles by Tony Haitao Cui

Tony Haitao Cui

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Anindya Ghose

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Hanna Halaburda

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Raghuram Iyengar

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Koen Pauwels

Northeastern University

S. Sriram

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Sriraman Venkataraman

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Marketing Area

Date Written: September 27, 2019

Abstract

Channels have traditionally been viewed as intermediaries that facilitate the transfer of products from manufacturers to consumers. Innovations in digital technologies help firms to integrate the customer experience across channels and devices. This new phenomenon is referred to as “omnichannel marketing.” Existing research on omnichannel marketing has emphasized that this means that firms need to integrate and optimize across channels rather than within channels. In this paper, we argue that questions of data integrity are now at the forefront of the challenges that firms face embarking on omnichannel marketing strategy. The emergence of digital platforms, AI-powered assistants, and mobile devices have led to even more voluminous and diverse data, beyond simple binary formats, being created about consumers. However, we argue that tracking consumers across so many different devices and touchpoints is problematic, especially when the firm does not control that channel. We discuss two technologies that firms are using to address these challenges of data-tracking: Machine Learning and Blockchain. Firms now need to use machine learning to attempt to track consumers across different touchpoints and predict their response to marketing actions. Firms can also use a variety of blockchain technologies to better ensure data is tracked in a robust way across different devices. Last, we highlight that the need for individual-level tracking implied by omnichannel marketing and the technologies deployed to address this need are often in tension with consumer privacy, and that firms need to recognize the tradeoffs between optimizing omnichannel marketing strategies and consumer privacy.

Suggested Citation

Cui, Tony Haitao and Ghose, Anindya and Halaburda, Hanna and Iyengar, Raghuram and Pauwels, Koen and Sriram, S. and Tucker, Catherine E. and Venkataraman, Sriraman, Omnichannel Marketing: The Challenge of Data-Integrity (September 27, 2019). Northeastern U. D’Amore-McKim School of Business Research Paper No. 3460580. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3460580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3460580

Tony Haitao Cui

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

321 19th Ave S
Suite 3-150
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Anindya Ghose

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Hanna Halaburda

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Raghuram Iyengar

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Koen Pauwels

Northeastern University ( email )

360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

S. Sriram (Contact Author)

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )

100 Main St
E62-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu

Sriraman Venkataraman

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Marketing Area ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

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