The impact of artificial intelligence adoption for business-to-business marketing on shareholder reaction: A social actor perspective

Yuanzhu Zhan*, Yangchun Xiong, Runyue Han, Hugo K.S. Lam, Constantin Blome

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While AI applications are becoming ever more important in B2B marketing operations, there is a lack of research to examine whether and how shareholders react to firms' AI-enabled B2B marketing initiatives. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to explore this process by theoretically building on the social actor perspective of the firm and investigating the impact of AI-enabled B2B marketing initiatives on shareholder reaction measured by abnormal stock returns. By adopting a propensity score matching (PSM) method to generate an artificial control group of firms without adopting AI-enabled B2B marketing initiatives, we conduct an event study based on 174 sample firms (87 treatment firms and 87 matched control firms) publicly listed in the US between 2011 and 2020. The test results suggest that firms implementing AI for B2B marketing receive greater stock returns than their industry peers without AI implementation. In addition, the stock return is more remarkable for firms operating in turbulent environments and with less complex customer bases. A qualitative focus group discussion was conducted to further complement and enrich the findings. This study provides the first empirical evidence regarding the shareholder reaction to AI-enabled B2B marketing initiatives. The results reveal the significance of the fit between AI-enabled B2B marketing values and firms' business environments. It encourages future studies to investigate AI implementation from the social actor perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102768
JournalInternational journal of information management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jan 2024

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  • AI in B2B marketing
  • Customer complexity
  • Event study
  • Industry dynamism
  • Social action theory

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