ABMs virtual markets

ABMs virtual markets, AI techniques to create trustable replicas of the competitive environment in which brands operate

One of the most prominent modeling techniques that takes advantage of the great amount of data and accurately represents emergent phenomena is agent-based modeling (ABM). ABM focuses on large-scale systems such as mobile phone calls, social networks, political systems, or commercial activities. ABM is especially powerful in demand-side forecasting cases when social interaction and/or cognitive biases are relevant, when consumer behavior is complex and market behavior volatile, when equation-based modelling would impose too many restrictions, and when controlled experimentation is desirable yet infeasible.

This is the reason why ABM has been applied to different Marketing applications and why this application is the core of our study. Particularly, ABM is suitable to understand how relations among customers, brands, and media drive the whole market dynamics. Nowadays, ABM can increase our understanding of how the marketplace works as the model’s basic units directly correspond to the real-world entities that we are interested in, consumers and businesses. Marketers can study how word of mouth and social influences travel in a network of consumers at negligible cost, thus being able to test the effects of micro-campaigns and marketing strategies on macro-level innovation diffusion.

RØD Brand Consultants (RØD) is a start-up of the marketing sector. We have a technological alliance with RØD. Together with RØD’s team, we have developed the leading software in marketing analytics: ZIO®. ZIO is actually a virtual lab based on the use of advanced social simulation and network analysis techniques as well as cutting edge marketing technologies like “behavioral economics” and machine learning.

ZIO clients are able to evaluate an infinite number of marketing strategies in real time and before launching any of them to market. Therefore, the chance of error is minimized while the probability of selecting the most appropriate strategy to achieve the firm’s goals is maximized. RØD has recently started to provide its services to international firms. In particular, it has finished projects using the ZIO platform with Coca Cola Great Britain division, updating their simulations for 2018 and policies for 2019. Additionally, it has several multinational firms as current clients: Jaguar/Land Rover and Domino’s Pizza, among others. From a national point of view, important Spanish firms are also clients of ZIO: El Corte Inglés, WiZink and Pelayo. They focus their activity in very different industrial sectors (retail, bank, and insurance sectors, respectively).  

Info and contact: {ocordon,sdamas} at ugr.es


Enero 2015 – Present


Oscar Cordón, Sergio Damas, Manuel Chica, Juan-Francisco Robles, Ignacio Moya (Andalusian Research Institute on Data Science and Computational Intelligence)

Collaborators: William Rand (Poole School of Management, North Caroline State University, USA), Raymond Chiong (University of Newcastle, Australia).