I’m sure you all heard the expressions B2B and B2C, Business to business and business to consumer. Now it is time to add yet another expression; B2R2C, Business to robot to consumer.
In our highly digital society robots are becoming a kind of gatekeeper in between businesses and customers. We see it in the form of voice assistants, Artificial Intelligence (AI), drones, and digital avatars. This is why CMO’s now need to start to think about how to market not only to people, but to the robots who make decisions for them. Tamara McCleary, Futurist & CEO of Thulium, thinks that we are about to see a paradigm shift in marketing as it will no longer be the brand owning the relationship with the customer, but rather the personal digital assistant, (and the platform it is run on), that will own the relationship.
Another person that has been thinking a lot about this is Kim Bates, the Chief Futurist at Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve, who says ‘’The customer journey of the future will begin to emerge as the B2R2C model. Our robot intermediaries will have greater control of what we eat, our nutrition, and health care regimens. They will influence our immersive and entertainment experiences and the products we bring at home’’. She thinks that in the future we will have in-home “carebots”, and personal avatars twins that will offload us from all the choices we as humans have to make in a day, by doing the choosing for us.
In a way B2R2C is already here if we look into the realms of influencer marketing. Today a lot of brands use human influencers to get potential customers interested in their brands, or to deepen the bond with already existing customers. But what is emerging in parallel to this is non-human influencers. One example that can be seen already today is Lil Miquela, a digital avatar instagram influencer with 3.1 million followers. Her bio reads “19-year old Robot living in LA”. She has been doing several collaborations with brands in order to market their product towards potential customers. Hence she becomes the robot in the B2R2C logic.