ODOSCOPE | Updates

By Ralph Hünermann

Stanford Professor: Situationalization is One Of The Trends


Hello dear Companists,

I spent a few days this week in Salzburg at various workshops and events of Silicon Castles, an accelerator program for European tech start-ups.

There I was able to exchange ideas with many other founders, professors, investors and startup consultants from different industries and countries and network with Jeff Burton, one of the co-founders of ElectronicArts (among others EA Sports) and Baba Shiv, a globally recognized marketing professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Silicon Valley, who advises Elon Musk, the Google founders or the management of Apple, among others.

During this event, which lasted several days, an interview with Baba Shiv was conducted, describing why our approach of situationalization is one of THE future trends in e-commerce. We would like to share this video exclusively with you.


Baba Shiv on marketing technology



He first describes the development from the beginnings of e-commerce, when so-called recommendation engines, based on purchasing history and preferences, made recommendations: "People who bought XY also bought...".

But especially in recent years, he has noticed that consumers no longer want to share their data unreservedly with companies. Privacy plays an increasingly important role worldwide and therefore more and more people use certain applications to remain anonymous (e.g. privacy browser, adblocker, VPN etc.). This poses great challenges for companies and especially for marketers.

Until now, it was only possible to carry out micro-targeting, i.e. the precise targeting of individual users, with very large and precise amounts of personal data. In online retailing, however, it is usually the case that only the content on the first page is included in the so-called Consideration Set, i.e. the narrower selection of products that may be purchased. So if nothing relevant for the current user appears on the first page, he probably won't buy anything.

The increasingly anonymous consumer thus confronts companies with the challenge of displaying relevant content even without user data. According to Shiv, this has recently developed into another trend: instead of relying on the individual data of individuals, companies are beginning to make greater use of their existing anonymous data. However, these data volumes are immense, especially for large online shops or media companies with thousands of contents.

Therefore, companies must rely on machine learning and artificial intelligence, i.e. self-learning algorithms that derive knowledge from the data, in order to automatically recognize patterns in this data in order to evaluate, analyze and profitably use this data. For example, a person would need a very long time to evaluate which products sell particularly well on which weekdays in a certain region, depending on the type of device or source of visit. 

An algorithm can do it in milliseconds!

Software must therefore be used to evaluate and make use of large amounts of data to display relevant information. According to the Stanford Marketing Professor, depending on the situation or context, other products, information or offers have to be displayed: a situationalisation of the contents must therefore be carried out. Our approach is therefore also highly relevant from the point of view of academics recognized worldwide! Shiv cites the example of a user who will behave differently with an iPad on a Saturday morning than with his smartphone on a Monday. Users will also be interested in different products (e.g. different hoodies).

According to Stanford Professor Shiv, the trend towards the situationalization of content is largely determined by the interplay of two factors: the greater importance of privacy for users and the more efficient, automated use of existing data volumes. He sees the use of this data, especially in real time, as a trend for the coming years. As a leading pioneer in this field, we will play a decisive role in shaping this future trend!


Best regards on behalf of the ODOSCOPE team,


Ralph Hünermann


About Silicon Castles

Silicon Castles is a strategic business accelerator for the technology licensing business. Their focus is on (raw) diamonds from Europe. Silicon Castles is supported by top consultants from business and finance. The organization has a global network with access to all major technology hotspots in Europe, USA and Asia.

Their services include the following

  • Early investment in top start-ups (team, idea, technology)
  • Global business development with own Global Sales Team
  • Creation of a legal framework for the licensing business
  • Marketing support, strategic teaming and executive coaching


About Baba Shiv

Baba Shiv is a marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also holds the following titles there:

  • Co-Director, Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage
  • Co-Director, Stanford Embark
  • Director, Stanford Go-to-Market - Mexico City
  • Director, The Innovative Technology Leader


Baba Shiv's research expertise lies in the field of neuroeconomics, with particular emphasis on the role of neuronal structures in connection with emotions and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences. He has published extensive work on the emotional brain and his strong role in shaping marketing, innovation, leadership and decision making.

documented. He advises regularly and is a member of the advisory board of several startups.


From Silicon Valley Tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies: Baba Shiv teaches courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that build on his research interests. He frequently receives executives from around the world in executive education programs at Stanford on strategic marketing management, design thinking and customer-focused innovation.


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