Given the rapid growth in technology and its influencing capability on the business marketing model, one has to wonder whether there is still a basis for human. The answer to this question lies within the definition of marketing. If we are to accept that marketing is the sale of goods and services to other people or organizations, then we have to believe that human interaction is at the heart of any marketing ability. It would be very amazing indeed where there was a computerized system that was able to carry out the nuanced subtleties of haggling or negotiation.
This is not to say that the role of human beings will change in business marketing. Their role has been changing and will continue to change because modern business demands efficiency. In order to achieve efficiency firms must be able to utilize all the tools that are available to them. Technology is but one of those tools. Technology is operating by and on behalf of human beings. The role of human beings is then re-defined as operators of technology.
Nevertheless I find this thinking slightly unnerving. Surely human beings are a lot more than people who operate machines. The actual functionality of switching technological devices is within the realms of automation. What human beings bring is their humanity by way of decision making, estimation, compromise and response. A lot of the financial and production data is quite readily understood by computers but they cannot interpret moods or social situations.
Perhaps the greatest guarantor of human involvement in business marketing is their fellow human beings. We are social animals who prefer to communicate with one another than to communicate with machines. The implication of this assertion is that those organizations which completely removed human involvement in their marketing activities would risk alienating those very human beings who purchase the goods and services.
The counter argument to this is that machines would be able to communicate with organizations with less reliance on human capabilities. This argument does not hold much water either. All organizations are ultimately run by people on behalf of people or for the benefit of people. Thus although they might appear wholly inanimate, they do represent the aspirations of human beings. In any case the end consumer will be a human being anyway. Even when governments make large purchases, they are ultimately going to be consumed by the population.
In the final analysis, it is clear that technology will continue to play a vital role in the development and growth of business marketing. Those who refuse to accept this fact will be left behind and will not be able to participate in the commercial world. However the role of the people who market goods and services will merely change. They will not be excluded from the marketing models. Rather they will have to learn to cope with technology and to harness its abilities so that they can complement and supplement their own. This to me is the true future of business marketing.