Imagine a future in which a smart marketing machine can predict the needs and habits of individual consumers and the dynamics of competitors across industries and markets. This device would collect data to answer strategic questions, guide managerial decisions, and enable marketers to quickly test how new products or services would perform at various prices or with different characteristics.
The machine learning algorithms that might power such a device are, at least for now, incapable of producing such promising results. But what about tomorrow? According to a group of researchers, the envisioned “virtual market” machine could become a reality but would still require one missing ingredient: a soul.