Editorial Board of “Holistic Marketing Management” (A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University) Editor-in-Chief Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA
John L. STANTON
Léon F. WEGNEZ
William PERTTULA Levent ALTINAY
Andrew KILNER Dana ZADRAZILOVA Riccardo BELTRAMO Sinisa ZARIC Gabriela SABĂU Hélène NIKOLOPOULOU Vasa LÁSZLÓ Peter STARCHON John MURRAY Kamil PÍCHA Irena JINDRICHOVSKA
Holistic Marketing Management
President of European Retail Academy; President of EuCVoT, Member of the Astana Economic Scientists Club; Former Managing Director EHI Retail Institute, Germany, Chairman of the Advisory Board of EuroShop, Chairman of the Board of the Orgainvent, Trustee of EHI Retail Institute at GLOBALG.A.P. President - Association of Global Management Studies (USA); Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues; Former Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Management Systems, USA; Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology; Member of France’s National Academy of Scientific Research (CNRS); Director - ESB International Teaching and Research Exchanges, Reutlingen University, Germany Professor of Food Marketing, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, USA; Director, Institute of Food Products Marketing, Editor, Journal of Food Products Marketing Secretary General, International Association of the Distributive Trade, AIDA Brussels; Member of France’s Academy of Commercial Sciences; Doctor Honoris Causa of NUPSPA (SNSPA) Bucharest; Hall of Fame of the European Retail Academy, Honored Personality 2015 Internet Marketing Professor, College of Business, San Francisco State University, USA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Research Area Leader, Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, UK First MBA Director at the Rennes Graduate School of Business in France; Director of RAFME Research into Management Excellence; PhD (Cambridge), MBA (City, London) Faculty of International Economic Relations, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic University of Turin, Italy University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Canada University of Lille 3, France Szent Istvan University, Hungary Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice Deputy Head of Department of Business Economics, University of Economics and Management, Prague, Czech Republic 1
Norbert HAYDAM Constantin ROŞCA Hans ZWAGA Roxana CODITA Dumitru MIRON Valeriu IOAN-FRANC Iacob CĂTOIU Virgil BALAURE Gheorghe ORZAN Luigi DUMITRESCU Marius D. POP Petru FILIP
Ion VOICU SUCALA Virgil POPA Alexandru NEDELEA Olguța Anca ORZAN Ana-Maria PREDA Ovidiu FOLCUȚ Doinița CIOCÎRLAN Marius Dan DALOTĂ Mihai PAPUC Gheorghe ILIESCU Alexandru IONESCU Olga POTECEA Oana PREDA Nicoleta DUMITRU Monica Paula RAȚIU Costel NEGRICEA Elisabeta Andreea BUDACIA
Faculty of Business, Marketing Department, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa President of Romanian Scientific Society of Management - SSMAR Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, Finland Technische Universität München, TUM School of Management Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest National Institute for Economic Research, Romanian Academy; Romanian Marketing Association; Romanian Distribution Committee Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Management and Economic Engineering Department; University of Glasgow, UK, College of Social Sciences, School of Social & Political Sciences; Managing Editor, Review of Management and Economic Engineering Valahia University of Târgovişte Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University
Associate Editors Diana SOCA Irina PURCĂREA Dan SMEDESCU Art Designer Director Alexandru BEJAN
Holistic Marketing Management
“Holistic Marketing Management”
(A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University)
Volume 5, Issue 3, Year 2015
Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA - Editorial: Management, a Hard Job Filled with Complexity, Doing What Your Mission Is and Improving the Customer Experience……4
Andrew KILNER - Failings in the Management of World Affairs………………………………………7 Theodor PURCĂREA - Rethinking the Business by Ensuring Marketing Transformation……………13 Costel Iliuță NEGRICEA - Digital Marketer: Facing Digital Marketing Opportunities……………….20 Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Monica Paula RAȚIU - Reaching Travelers Through Digital Marketing Channels……………………26 Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Marie-Christin HALLIER - Healing by Art within Palliative Therapy-Medicine: A Holistic Case-Study……………………………………………………………….32
Theodor PURCĂREA - The Latest Issue of our Partner Journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia…………………………………42
The responsibility for the contents of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
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Editorial: Management, a hard job filled with complexity, doing what your mission is and improving the customer experience On June 24, 2015, at the Multidisciplinary Scientific and Technologic Research Institute of Valahia University Targoviste took place the Awarding Ceremony of the title of Honorary Member of the Romanian Scientific Society of Management (SSMAR) to Professor Ion Cucui, President of the Senate of the Valahia University Targoviste, Member of the Academy of Romanian Scientists (AOSR), and Vice President of CEDIMES (Réseau Académique International Francophone).
Professor Ion Cucui received the Diploma of Honorary Member of SSMAR on the occasion of the National Symposium with International Participation on the theme “Management Science” and marking the one hundred year anniversary of Professor Emil MIHULEAC. This Symposium was organized by the Academy of Romanian Scientists (AOSR) and Valahia University of Targoviste.
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Professor Ion Cucui understood from the very beginning – thanks to Peter Drucker (Blomberg, 2005) – that management is a profession which is getting the very best out of people (considering talented people as being the essential ingredient of every successful enterprise), a hard job filled with complexity, doing what your mission is, being focused on opportunities (and not problems) and the wants and needs of the customer, refining the competitive advantages and changing policies that are ineffective. It is also worth remembering that Professor Ion Cucui was recently one of the Members of the Presidium of the Awarding Ceremony of the Prizes of the National Students Studying Economics and Business Competition, Section: Marketing – ONEF 2015, which took place on May 27, at the International Conference Center of Valahia University.
Two month later, on August 13, 2015, (Ernan’s Blog, 2015) we received an e-mail from “Ernan’s Blog” (email@example.com), the message being entitled: “A Visa Marketing SVP Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators”. This time, Ernan Roman (author of both, “Voice of the Customer Marketing”, and well-known Huffington Post published blog “Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices”; inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame thanks to the three Customer Experience methodologies he created: Voice of Customer Relationship Research, Integrated Direct Marketing, and Opt-in Marketing), asked the well-known “4 Questions for Marketing Innovators” (What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator? Why is this so important? How will concentrating on this help improve the customer experience? How will concentrating on this help improve the overall effectiveness of marketing?) to Lara Hood Balazs, who leads North America marketing for Visa (being responsible for building the VISA brand and business in the U.S. and Canada, launching digital products, such as Visa Checkout and Apple Pay, and leading sponsorships, such as mwith the Olympics, NFL, and NHL; she held marketing leadership roles at Gap and Nike before joining Visa in 2006), played seven years ago an integral role developing the brand’s first global brand positioning ad campaign as the company prepared to go public.
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Right now, Lara Hood Balazs is focusing on how technology is driving the convergence of the physical and digital worlds, arguing that payments have become an extension of any actual consumer experience, and marketers need to innovate for the sake of helping the consumer interact with the company’s offer. This is important because marketers must consider the impact of the mobile technology on consumers (taking into account the importance of receiving credibility via social and digital as a first step) and improve the customer experience (the physical and digital convergence presupposing faster, easier, more secure experiences) by transforming real-world experiences with the help of the technology, payment being now a key component (making a safe, seamless payment whether in a store, online, on mobile). Going on this way marketers will improve the effectiveness of their marketing by compelling and relevant messages which will capture in a few seconds their consumers’ attention, and by adequately tracking this effectiveness. And speaking of business performance in the mobile channel (Kapur, 2015) allow us to note that just a month before Ajay Kapur, CEO and founder of Moovweb (a cloud-based platform that delivers optimized mobile experiences), showed how Moovweb – within the context of consumers’ turning to mobile (to access financial services, search for real estate, engage healthcare providers and shop; almost half of all U.S. consumers) – assess an existing mobile experience by using a checklist as a starting point for identifying quick opportunities for performance optimization: speed, responsiveness, search ability, content, conversion and usability. Kapur concluded that designing and delivering each page for the highest possible level of performance represents an important part of creating high-converting mobile experiences. Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor - in - Chief
References Ernan’s Blog - A Visa Marketing SVP Answers 4 Questions For Marketing Innovators, August 13, 2015 Blomberg - The Man Who Invented Management, Cover Story Podcast, November 27, 2005, Retrieved from: http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2005-11-27/the-man-who-invented-management, 6/21/2015 Kapur, A. - 6 Keys to Better Mobile Marketing Performance, July 27, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/6-keys-better-mobile-marketing-performance/1, 7/31/2015
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Failings in the Management of World Affairs
Andrew KILNER Abstract This paper is a sequel to the previous one (HMM, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2015) evaluating possible improvements in the management of companies and national economic affairs. It extends the analysis to consider international problems which have now come to dominate the world scene. Keywords: Management Excellence; National Economic Affairs; International Problems JEL Classification: M10; M14; F10; F20; F33; F42; F50; Q50
Background In the Management Excellence (ME) book of 2010** there was already a chapter devoted to this topic. In classical management process fashion it was based in turn on the key elements of leading, organizing, controlling and planning. It thus identified weaknesses in the conduct of our leaders which were often due to the inefficient political systems in place or to organizations constructed in ways which led to ineffectiveness of action and inability to pursue even a modest amount of planning. Similarly it highlighted the lack of controls in crucial matters of financial transactions, trade etc. Within the book were established lists of problems needing to be addressed categorised under the headings of: A. Issues for International Action B. Issues for Individual (developed) countries This list available on the link http://resappmanexcell.homestead.com/Major_Issues.pdf is attached as an Appendix to this paper and serves as a basis for further and updated analysis as follows.
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Major Issues in 2015 It has become convenient to group these under three main headings which will be discussed in turn. 1. Economic & Social Two basic causes were at the root of our problems and they failed to be controlled by relevant organizations as cited below. Firstly the financial crisis triggered off by the subprime scandal of 2007/8 not mastered by the likes of the IMF, Federal Reserve, EIB, EU until several years later, and even then by preferentially saving the banking institutions and the assets of the rich at the expense of imposed austerity measures on citizens and small firms. Secondly globalization which having originally brought the benefits of variety and lower prices, was allowed by the WTO and EU to go too far thus harming the productive economies of western nations just trying to recover from the financial crisis. The combination of the two above factors has brought increasing levels of citizen poverty to every country-even those like Germany & Poland who were able to maintain some growth in national indicators like GNP during the recessions elsewhere. These poorer classes have naturally reduced their consumer demand and seek ever lower prices which, coupled with competition from the increased number of global suppliers, heavily cut down company margins and discourages investment in conventional goods. The explosive situation in the French pork, beef and milk sectors is a good illustration. Unfortunately our leaders seem unable to understand this basic situation still 'hoping' for recovery in growth and employment - even though the majority of new ventures which do create some growth tend to destroy more jobs in other sectors than they themselves create. Catering for the new poor who seek lowest cost services (car sharing, flat rental, autocars etc.) seems to be a profitable activity for many entrepreneurs but these will seriously reduce the return on past infrastructure investment made by traditional companies in sectors like hotels and railways. The EU had proposed massive new investments in infrastructure etc. but how are these to be funded as most nations are running deficits and companies are finding other less risky but non value creating destinations for their funds (TV publicity, financial dealings etc.) Furthermore, much infrastructure investment has tended to go into facilities for amusement or office type projects based on past expansion forecasts now unlikely to be realized.
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In conclusion, national and EU politicians have to become realistic and admit that future prosperity is limited - and that is not yet counting the demands of the environmental and geopolitical issues discussed below. However, as we all know, refusing to be optimistic and able to solve all problems has not been a recipe for winning elections! 2. Environmental Despite so much recent evidence, there are still many people who say global warming and its various effects on climate, are just perennial fluctuations rather than structural problems which need urgent attention. At the other extreme, numerous famous scientists like Frank Fenner said that it was already too late to reverse the situation in 2010 and the substantial population increases would accelerate the oncoming disasters. To these has to be added the subsequent tendency to withdraw from nuclear power following the Fukushima accident. It is hard to place specific blame on our lack of action during so many years as countries have naturally been seeking to improve their economies since the period of the end of the second world war and are now hoping to agree to a targetted programme at the COP21 conference in December 2015. However what can be criticized is again their unrealistic optimism in that people will be willing to give up various aspirations like acquiring cars, that governments will give up available natural resources like lignite, shale gas which enhance their competitiveness, and that the huge necessary funds can be found to pay for the transition (as at time of writing even the COP21 organizers are short of money!). 3. Geopolitical This is the area receiving most current attention because of the large number of conflicts and killings taking place all over the world. There are now 50 million displaced refugees and ,in financial terms, costing almost 15% of generated national product. Of course conflicts have always been part of world history because of man's desire for power, territory and wealth and on a much larger scale during the two world wars. What seems to be different now is that instead of one global conflict we have a large number of smaller ones. Most of these are not started by invasions and declarations of war, but by internal rebellions often based on the laudable aims of democracy and freedom from corruption and therefore outside the outmoded scope of resolution by the United Nations, the main body existing for this purpose. New and different methods have therefore to be devised for dealing with them. Two specific cases will be selected for discussion.
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a) Syria. The time for action was at the beginning when Assad started killing peaceful demonstrators in the streets. Because of Russian blockage of military action, serious efforts should have been made to persuade President Poutine to have this stopped, firstly in a friendly way but eventually by threats to arm the rebels. Later on another opportunity presented itself namely enforcing a no fly zone for Assad's bombers by missiles on US warships off the coast. Receiving no help from us one cannot blame the rebels accepting assistance from the islamists who were subsequently dominated by Daech fanatics which has led to them causing havoc all over the middle east. With no UN or US action, the burden in terms of refugees has fallen on the EU with the naively incorporated idealistic principles which had been conceived at the time of its creation. b) Ukraine. This is in some ways the reverse of the Syrian case. Following the Maidan revolution of 2014 it was essential to pacify the feelings of the eastern regions by promising them more autonomy or perhaps even a form of federalism on the Belgian pattern. The EU should have more strongly pushed Kiev in this direction, which could perhaps have also included Crimea and thus avoided the Russian annexation. In the event, some response to the Russian move was essential and stopping the delivery of the two French built warships was quite appropriate albeit at a considerable financial cost. The NATO exercises in countries near the Russian border were also appropriate (in contrast to their subsequent shameful decision to allow the Turks to re-awaken their conflict against the Kurdsour only effective ground fighters against Daech). However the EU formulated ban on exports of consumer products was stupid as it mostly affected innocent Russian people and also western producers particularly of food items, who were already having a difficult time. In the longer term, this has permanently lost us important markets as Russian producers are effectively starting to fill the gap. Conclusions In reading this brief review the conclusion has to be that "things are running away from us". Little has improved since our book of 2010, much criminal activity is continuing or getting worse (corruption, drug trafficking...) and serious new problems have arisen. True that the financial crises seem to have been mastered and Greece saved for the moment but most world economies (including the previously applauded BRICS) are in bad shape so that unemployment and poverty levels are increasing. New conflicts are adding to the misery of millions of people who, if they manage to avoid injury, face living in destroyed cities unlikely to ever be rebuilt because no funds will be available. Capital, more and more in the hands of the rich, is rather flowing to non-risky ventures like TV sport or exotic infrastructures. All this while population in poor countries (especially Africa) is expected to greatly increase adding to problems of climate, air pollution, food/water shortages etc.
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What has happened in recent years is that many national problems have now become international and we lack effective international organizations to deal with them. In Europe we created the EU but not altogether on a sound basis: unlike the USA states too many countries with widely different internal situations. As criticized in the ME book, the EU has given us little protection from external threats but pushed so much to increase competition among internal members that whole sectors of production are now being destroyed. Its policies have accentuated the gap between Germany with large trade surpluses and most other countries with deficits. Their most recent directives regarding allocation of refugees does not take sufficient account that Germany needing manpower is in a quite different situation to most of the others (especially those in the south & east), who are much poorer with high unemployment levels where therefore the migrants would not face a bright future. And at the end of the day, how many of the 50 million world refugees is the UE supposed to take? It will not be easy to correct these shortcomings in the short to medium term but this is essential if the optimistic (80% in France), hopes of the young are to have any chance of ever being realized. **http://www.businessexpertpress.com/books/achieving-excellencemanagement-identifyingand-learning-bad-practices Copyright A. Kilner, September 2015
Appendix MAJOR NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL ISSUES (adapted from the management excellence book of Prof. Kilner published by business expert press** in 2010) Issues for International Action The following issues go across national frontiers and can only be resolved by cooperation between countries: Political instability, terrorism, organized crime, drugs Financial instability & speculation requiring controls Pollution, climate change, and natural disasters Water shortage, waste disposal Holistic Marketing Management
Future energy sources: oil, nuclear, renewables, others Raw materials & basic foodstuffs (shortages, rising prices) Extreme poverty & health factors in less developed nations Issues for Individual (developed) countries The importance of the following issues varies by country, and each country can, to a large extent, search for its own solutions: Corruption, black economy & taxation shortfall Political systems needing modification to increase voter interest and reduce abstentions or conflicts Controlling the economy by sole use of the interest rates parameter Declining standard of living (and spending power) for all but the very rich Unemployment (particularly youth & seniors) Undesirable jobs with few applicants Altering demographics & retirement funding problems Immigration: pressures, needs, social integration Security against local crime Delocalization of manufacturing and services Trade balance: increasing imports and declining exports What to produce & develop? Hence appropriate education and training requirements Budget deficits impacting spending on health, education, housing **http://www.businessexpertpress.com/books/achieving-excellencemanagement-identifyingand-learning-bad-practices (Copyright 2010, A. Kilner)
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Rethinking the business by ensuring marketing transformation Theodor Purcărea Abstract In full holiday rush marketers are turning their attention to start looking at how they can optimize their company’s marketing plans for the end of year holidays, considering the signal given by the midyear sales. There is a real need for rethinking the businesses in another way in the era of the “Nonstop Customer” by acting at the same pace as consumers act now and putting a greater emphasis on personalization and relevance. By providing valuable information, marketing can have a direct impact on revenue generation. It is also important to know the secret behind successful B2B marketing, better understanding the real value of “Account-based marketing”, reinventing the marketing department of a B2B organization by achieving a tangible transformation and delivering the types of insights that the market wants, better understanding of the relevance and role of CMOs in the C-Suite under the pressure of data and measurement, preparing for the next era in marketing while understanding that the game changer for marketing transformation is the reciprocity of value equation. Keywords: Midyear sales; Switching economy; Nonstop customer; Transformational inbound marketing; Account-based marketing; Reciprocity of value equation JEL Classification: M31; M15; D83
Helping customers navigate in a different way through the holiday rush. The role of midyear sales It is said that we must prepare the sled in summer (the season of inferior sledding according to an Eskimo proverb)… probably that is why many marketers in the US are turning their attention to start looking at how you they can optimize their marketing plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In this respect, IBM Commerce was sharing in June this year several new assets. Here below are, for example, some holiday marketing tips highlighted on Silverpop blog: fine-tune browse and cart abandonment programs to reflect increased mobile shopping; send pre- and post-Christmas Day gift card promotions via email and mobile push notifications; build out a buyer’s guide package or series. (McDonald, 2015) In order to stand out in the inbox, it is recommended not only to send more emails this (summer) holiday season, but also to provide a better experience for customers and drive more revenue thanks to a message stream (which proves brand personality) offering a shopping guide with valuable information on seasonal store hours, locations, shipping deadlines, services and customer support. And all this also considering the importance of the information when researching digital marketing solutions, and of mastering the connected customer relationship management making the digital dialogue more strategic. (Negricea & Purcărea, 2015) Well-known American companies (such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart online, Amazon members of $99 per year two day free delivery service, Prime, a successful initiative of Amazon this July; and also other companies such as ecommerce retailers QVC and Home Shopping Holistic Marketing Management
Network) launched a broadly publicized mid-year digital purchase version of Black Friday postThanksgiving sales. (Lowenstein, 2015) This kind of midyear sales is seen as a reflection of how consumers’ online purchasing has amped-up over the past year or so, despite the fact that some retail analysts consider this as a sign that online sellers are desensitizing their customers. On the other hand, in terms of both frequency and array of goods purchased the Walker Sands Future of Retail Study (of 1,400 U.S. consumers) found that there is more online shopping than a year ago (68% compared to 62%), one quarter making online purchases at least once a week. Other findings showed that: 4 out of 10 customers are open to purchasing any type of product online; over three-quarters are buying more expensive products (over $100), up from 70% a year ago; free shipping is the key motivator for shopping more online (83%), followed by free returns (65%) and one-day shipping (62%); there is an increase in mobile payments, but security of mobile payments remains a major consumer concern; books, home electronics, clothing and apparel, and household goods continue to be the items most frequently purchased through ecommerce, only grocery products being a bit slower because of still reluctantly buyers to purchase fresh foods online; the Internet and mobile digital for purchases of all sorts are increasingly used by time-pressed online shoppers. Rethinking the businesses in a different way in the era of the “Nonstop Customer” The Switching Economy is inviting businesses to provide improved customer experiences so as to keep existing customers and win more new ones. (Wollan, 2015) What presupposes that companies will use digital capabilities to create seamless, omnichannel and truly end-to-end customer experiences, and focus the resources on relevant initiatives confirmed by customer analytics as delivering business results, avoiding the growth of customer complaints (such as: contacting customer service multiple times for the same reason; being put on hold for a long time; customer service agents who can’t answer the question etc.). The Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research study (Accenture, 2014) showed the increased customer switching within the context of the emergence and evolution of the (so-called by Accenture) “Nonstop Customer” (today’s consumer model: using more digital channels, looking for more options, doing greater “due diligence” before buying, listening more to what others have to say, seeking quicker resolution and fewer hassles), digital disruption causing a steady erosion in customer loyalty. Accenture identified eight trends highlighting providers’ struggles to keep pace with consumers: customers are buying less from current providers, always keeping one eye open for something new; companies are still inviting customers to leave by failing to improve first-contact resolution; companies aren’t capitalizing fully on their own website and other channels they control to make it easier for customers to prospect; customers still encounter significant barriers that prevent them from more widely adopting the digital service channels they want; customers’ service expectations are rising faster than companies are willing to adapt; customer loyalty program adoption is rising, but it’s still not preventing customers from switching; lack of compelling offers prevents companies from winning back Holistic Marketing Management
customers; “non-traditional” competitors are gaining ground with consumers. And in order to actually do something about these eight trends (by taking action to keep and win customers) Accenture recommended companies to become a “multispeed customer organization” by acting at the same pace as consumers now act: striving for targeted digital experiences not simply scale; focusing on the ecosystem versus the enterprise; investing to address the customer’s needs, not the organization’s problems. Managing the marketing plan, more intense and complex over time. Transformational inbound marketing, more necessary than ever Increasing sophistication of consumer, improvement in analytics that filter out spam links and pages, business growth which leads to more content, growth which leads to both refining and expansion of company’s audience, all these are considerably influencing the content marketing. (Hakobyan, 2015) Driving sales and moving company’s business forward represents the goal of content marketing, which is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as the approach businesses use to create, curate, distribute and promote the types of content their customers will find valuable. (Stelzner, 2015) According to two studies released by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs (B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends North America; B2C Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends - North America), despite the fact that 86% of businesses are involved in some form of content marketing, only 34% feel that they are effective at it, these last ones having a documented content marketing strategy and a codified process for it. In July this year Marketo attracted the attention that it is critical to think about company’s inbound strategy (which helps ensure the right leads form a positive perception of the brand) to educate buyers and help create brand preference, because the buyer’s cycle has fundamentally changed, the buyers becoming sophisticated and expecting an ongoing dialog with a brand on their terms. (Marketo, 2015) Marketo pledges for going beyond traditional inbound marketing (which focuses on the initial interaction) with a greater emphasis on personalization and relevance (ensuring a two-way communication between marketers and buyers), by leveraging valuable content (entertaining, educational, or inspirational) so as to attract customers (via content, social, SEO, blogging, paid techniques, and combining paid programs with traditional inbound tactics to amplify and increase reach) and retain customers throughout their entire lifecycle, engaging and building a relationship with these customers (beyond the traditional marketing techniques that rely on interruption marketing). Integrating company’s sales and marketing organizations. Engaging knowledgeable and conscious buyers and delivering the types of insights that the market wants Marketing can help sales (facing the dramatic shift in business buyer aptitude) to be on equal footing with the business buyers, which are Internet savvy, and are turning to social media and communities to see what people are saying about brands. (Gow, 2015) By providing Holistic Marketing Management
valuable information, marketing can have a direct impact on revenue generation, because sales representatives will be better equipped to guide business buyers on their journey. Which presupposes to stop working in silos and breaking down the barriers between marketing and sales concerning the free-flowing exchange of information, convincing sales of the valuable information provided by marketing, proving that marketing has valuable information on the buyer that could benefit sales and can educate sales representatives by: monitoring customers’ activity on a regular basis to collect quality data; mining these data; providing the most relevant (and well understood) information. In the opinion of the global head of Marketing for “HCL Technologies” (an IT services provider to many blue-chip companies), engaging a few but extremely knowledgeable and conscious buyers (each with different needs), represents the secret behind successful B2B marketing. (Vankar, 2015) He pledges for a better understanding of the real value of “Accountbased marketing” (ABM), used by marketers as a strategic approach to support a defined universe of accounts by targeting highly desirable individual accounts (buyers) and engaging them during different stages of the buying process, while reflecting alignment of the sales and marketing. In this respect, he recommends marketers: to organize networking events in a neutral environment to deepen relationships; to create a vendor or supplier-initiated event where both the vendor and customer meet to discuss; to ensure that the top accounts always receive optimal customer experiences at every touchpoint in terms of content, thought leadership etc.; to maintain consistent messaging across various departments and stakeholders; to generate growth within the existing accounts and with new ones. In the above mentioned opinion ABM: can act as an enabler in upselling and cross-selling initiatives; plays a key role during the decision stage; where a sales team can develop successful themes, create customer workshops, and plan other activities to ensure the partner is positioned as a capable and trusted one. In order to reinvent the marketing department of a B2B organization (Foong, 2015) it is necessary to use a coordinated approach that integrates people, processes and technology. Which presupposes achieving a tangible transformation by: making both sales and marketing accountable for customer experience; optimizing company’s channel management processes and create performance metrics to manage partners by tracking KPIs; integrating new marketing channels into planning; execution, analytics and reporting etc. It is interesting to note within this context that according to a recent survey made by Corporate Visions, 81% of companies believe they use an insights-based approach as part of their selling strategy. But beyond the popularity of “insights”, there is a big difference regarding the way companies define and use insights-based selling, and that is why marketers need to concretely define these insights, knowing that different insight types will exert different degrees of influence (in terms of generating positive selling outcomes). The findings of the above mentioned survey suggest that: most companies aren’t delivering the types of insights that the market wants; the best types of insights expose inconsistencies, uncertainties, or knowledge gaps in company’s customers’ and prospects’ current way of thinking. Holistic Marketing Management
Goals and challenges of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). The relevance and role of CMOs in the C-Suite According to a report (based on data from a survey of 447 marketers at B2B, B2C, B2B and B2C companies from the Americas - 57%, EMEA - 29%, APAC - 14%) from Oracle Marketing Cloud and the Aberdeen Group, CMOs say they are expected to simultaneously retain customers (81%), increase brand awareness (74%), improve customer satisfaction (67%), and increase customer profitability (54%). The analysis found that meeting the needs of modern buyers who have access to a wealth of information about competing products/services is a top challenge (55% of respondents), while the struggle to create enough content for their marketing efforts is another one (40% of respondents). Additional findings showed that: best-in-class marketers are more likely to use customer feedback to develop new products/services (61%), provide internal stakeholders with tailored views of data (61%), standardize customer data across the business (51%), and integrate customer feedback into business decision making (50%); in the top 20% in customer retention, revenue growth, profit margin, and response time to customer needs are included those who self-report (as data strategy). The relevance and role of CMOs in the C-Suite are current preoccupations today under the pressure of data and measurement. From the beginning of this year we have seen a lot of discussions, for example, if marketing is now in control, proving its value to the C-suite, or if its role will morph into a chief data officer or chief analytics officer. Heather Fletcher, senior content editor with Target Marketing, (Fletcher, 2015) reminded us of the recommendations (exposed in a September 2013 CMO.com article) of David Reibstein (a marketing professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania) in relation with how CMOs can ensure they remain or become relevant to their organizations’ leaders: get customer and brand value on the balance sheets (most CMOs being the “keeper of the brand”); be fearless or be gone; don’t wait to be invited (and force the invitation to the decision-making table about brand strategy); stay “Big Picture” in meetings (by talking about driving firm strategy and growth with marketing’s unique insight into customers, the marketplace and competitors). Preparing for the next era in marketing. The game changer for marketing transformation, reciprocity of value equation At the mid of July 2015, (Marketo, 2015) The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Marketo, conducted a survey that included responses from 478 CMOs and senior marketing executives worldwide (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HSBC, Kimberly-Clark, MasterCard, Virgin America, Wells Fargo, Zipcar etc.) to get their perspective on marketing’s rapid transformation and how to ride the tidal wave of change. You can see below who is responsible (Marketing; Sales; Customer support; Product management; Finance) for customer experience now and in 3-5 years. Holistic Marketing Management
Figure no. 1: Who is responsible for customer experience now? In 3-5 years? Source: The Rise of the Marketer: Driving Engagement, Experience and Revenue, Retrieved from: http://eu.marketo.com/reports/the-rise-of-the-marketer-driving-engagement-experience-andrevenue/?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=emea, 7/15/2015
Ernan Roman (President, ERDM; author of ‘”Voice of the Customer Marketing”; named by the Online Marketing Institute as one of the “2014 Top 40 Digital Luminaries” and by Crain’s B2B Magazine as one of the “100 most influential people in business marketing”; inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame) and Mike Rude (responsible for the development of freight solutions at FedEx, including FedEx Freight and FedEx Express Freight) underlined (Roman & Rude, 2015) marketers the importance of adopting transformational strategies (that recognize the value of human data), and offering individualized communications (in the form of personalized offers and experiences). In their opinion, the game changer for marketing transformation is the reciprocity of value equation, which is composed of three key elements (making for true personalization and marketing transformation): consumer reciprocity, business reciprocity, and “human data” (the last ones: providing information regarding the B2B or B2C decision-making process, and messaging and media preferences; including self-described personality types, attitudes and life stages). In order to keep updating these “human data”, marketers must keep engaging consumers through improved experiences, trust (which generates the receptivity to the reciprocity of value equation) being the foundation and prerequisite for obtaining a deeper engagement. In what concerns delivering on customer expectations, Roman and Rude recommend companies to integrate three strategies: capture individual preferences; use preferences to drive true personalization; and establish strict guidelines for safeguarding data privacy. They also recommend the followings: finding the right mix between implicit and explicit data, enabling preference-based personalization across channels, motivating/incentivizing customers to provide ongoing feedback about the relevance of company’s offerings, utilizing every touch point to learn from customers, providing all departments with customer preference information, and empowering customers to create (and share) their own content. References Holistic Marketing Management
McDonald, L. - 3 Quick Ideas for Holiday Marketing Success in 2015, 19 June 2015, Retrived from: http://www.silverpop.com/blog/3-Quick-Ideas-for-Holiday-Marketing-Success-in2015?spMailingID=11840974&spUserID=NjU1MzY4NTcS1&spJobID=580638518&spReportId=NTgwNjM4NTE 4S0, 7/11/2015 Negricea, C.I., Purcărea, I.M. - Digital Marketing, Addressability and Time, the New Currency for CMOs, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015 Lowenstein, M. - Christmas in July: Amping Up Ecommerce Selling, Retreved from: customerthink.com http://customerthink.com/christmas-in-july-amping-up-ecommerce-selling/, 7/27/2015 Wollan, R. - $1.6 Trillion Up for Grabs: 3 Ways to Harness the ‘Switching Economy’, July 13, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/1-6-trillion-grabs-3-ways-harness-switching-economy/all/, 7/14/2015 Customer 2020: Are You Future-Ready or Reliving the Past? Ten Years of Accenture Research Highlights Real Opportunities for Providers to Better Meet Customers’ Steadily Rising Expectations, 2014 Accenture, AccentureCustomer-2020-Future-Ready-Reliving-Past.pdf Hakobyan, M. - Why marketing will get harder and more complex to manage, Retrieved from: http://customerthink.com/why-marketing-will-get-harder-and-more-complex-to-manage/, 7/27/2015 Stelzner, M. - Content Marketing: How Businesses Can Grow With Content, December 19, 2014, Retrieved from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/content-marketing-with-robert-rose/, 12/28/2014 Marketo - Transformational Inbound Marketing: Your Secret Weapon for Acquisition and Retention, Retrieved from: http://blog.marketo.com/2015/07/ebook-transformational-inbound-marketing-your-secret-weapon-forcustomer-acquisition-and-retention.html, 7/25/2015 Gow, G. - How Marketing Can Contribute to Revenue Generation [Infographic], July 30, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/28155/how-marketing-can-contribute-to-revenue-generationinfographic#ixzz3hjxuZHcD, 8/3/2015 Vankar, P. - Account-Based Marketing Helps You Engage Your Most Influential Buyers and Boost Business, June 29, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2015/27939/account-based-marketing-helpsyou-engage-your-most-influential-buyers-and-boost-business#ixzz3ejItAIhf, 7/2/2015 Foong, L. - The Key to B2B Marketing Transformation: Integrate People, Processes and, Jul 29, 2015, Retrieved from: http://customerthink.com/the-key-to-b2b-marketing-transformation-integrate-people-processes-andtechnology/, 8/4/2015 Fletcher, H. - Are You Lost, CMO? This Is the C-Suite, July 9, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/lost-cmo-c-suite/#utm_source=today-%40-targetmarketing&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=2015-0709&utm_content=are+you+lost%2C+cmo%3F+this+is+the+c-suite-7, 7/9/2015 Marketo - The Rise of the Marketer: Driving Engagement, Experience and Revenue, Retrieved from: http://eu.marketo.com/reports/the-rise-of-the-marketer-driving-engagement-experience-andrevenue/?utm_source=marketo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=emea, 7/15/2015 Ernan Roman, Mike Rude - Human data: The powerful differentiator for Fedex, MassMutual and Gilt, Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, Volume Three, Number One, Spring 2015, pp. 31-36, Henry Stewart Publications 2050-0076 (2015)
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Digital Marketer: Facing Digital Marketing Opportunities Dr. Costel Iliuță NEGRICEA Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Abstract We are witnessing the emergence of new ecosystems thanks to digital disruption, marketers being challenged to bring marketing operations into the digital era, enhance the customer journey and shift consumer behavior with the help of the digital tools, while actively encouraging feedback from users, and building a circle of trust with the company’s audience. Recent findings showed clear differences of consumers’ preferences and of what marketers say they’re doing with digital technology. Responsibly thinking to the business prestigious marketing solutions providers try to better understand the connections among business functions and applications and identify the digital opportunities. Keywords: Digital marketer; Digital disruption; Digital transformations; Digital technologies; Digital opportunities JEL Classification: L81; L86; M15; M31; O33
The emergence of new ecosystems thanks to digital disruption. Bringing marketing operations into the digital era In March this year, a Press release of European Commission stated that as digital technology is part of everyday life, the College of Commissioners already had a first discussion on the “Digital Single Market Strategy”, (European Commission, 2015) setting out the main areas the Commission will focus its work on to trigger real changes for consumers and businesses alike: better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services; shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish; creating a European digital economy and society with growth potential. Indeed, today, complexity is a challenge and a reality, digital marketing, as part of the bigger whole that is marketing, bringing new aspects to that whole. (Purcărea, 2015) We already discussed about the rapidly growing digital marketplaces of the new “gig economy”, the new digital tools and new ways to drive change, while identifying the most useful information when researching digital marketing solutions and understanding what is happening at the confluence between humans and technology. ( Negricea and Purcărea, 2015)
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The gates to digital disruption have been opened by advances in virtual and augmented reality, next-level interfaces, advanced robotics, and additive manufacturing. In the near future, companies will connect physical assets by a “digital thread” thanks to digital manufacturing technologies, every phase of the product life cycle (from design, sourcing, testing, and production to distribution, point of sale, and use) being linked in this way unleashed seamless flow of data across the value chain, while drawing insights from these data with the help of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. (Hartmann, King, and Narayan, 2015) As recently underlined by the above mentioned McKinsey’s representatives, digitalmanufacturing technologies will transform every link in the manufacturing value chain (from research and development, supply chain, and factory operations to marketing, sales, and service), the manufacturing landscape being changed forever by the digital connectivity among designers, managers, workers, consumers, and physical industrial assets. For example, digital tools are already used accordingly by leading consumer-packaged-goods companies to improve distribution and build bonds with consumers (the well-known case of the global fashion retailer Zara, which already expects to complete the shift to wireless inventory next year, this transition being likely to be aided – in the opinion of McKinsey’s representatives – by the falling costs of RFID hardware and associated software). In order to reshape their operations and business models, marketers are embarking on a wide array of “digital transformations”, and within this context – as underlined by McKinsey’ representatives in July this year (Edelman and Heller, 2015) – modern marketing operations call for the thoughtful development of new processes, coordination, and governance. And taking into account the pressure of the “the application of capabilities, processes, structures, and technologies to cost-effectively exploiting and scaling the interactivity, targeting, personalization, and optimization of digital channels”, McKinsey’ representatives recommend five steps to bring marketing operations into the digital era: truly understanding customers; delivering a superior experience; selecting the right marketing technology; implementing processes and governance; using the best metrics to drive success. Enhancing the customer journey and shifting consumer behavior with the help of digital tools. The top of digital marketing opportunities of 2015 As mastering the art of changing quickly (setting new priorities and implementing new processes quicker than their competitors) is now considered a critical competitive advantage, companies begin to better understand that change can be more meaningful and sustainable? (both for the individuals who are experiencing it and for those who are implementing it) by applying new digital tools and platforms. (Ewenstein, Smith, and Sologar, 2015) This represents a new way to accelerate and amplify the ability of an organization to change, if correctly applied, which involves having a clear view of the new behavior each company wants to reinforce and find a digital solution to support it, by focusing on a specific task and rolling out only after successful
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pilots are completed, while actively encouraging feedback from users and incorporating it to give them a sense of ownership in the process. One of the biggest problems facing brands today is considered to be the brand messaging that falls flat. The CEO of YouEye, an online user research platform that features remote usability testing, (Stewart, 2015) argues that there are three ways to create marketing messages that resonate with company’s true customer: avoid marketing speak (by making sense to consumers a company is trying to reach, focusing on conveying a clear, simple, and informative message); emotions matter (so, think about how customers might be feeling when they receive a company’s message); hit the target (by delivering the message to the right audience, not using a one-size-fits all approach, and finding a messaging that truly resonates). On the other hand, marketers must keep in mind that digital marketing means building a circle of trust with the company’s audience, so more than just creating and distributing content. (Bailey, 2015) From never go online to an increased online use and familiarity, till going where no digital marketer has gone before A recent report (based on data from three surveys of a nationally representative sample of adults living in the US) from the Pew Research Center (Nanji, 2015) found that some 39% of adults age 65 and older do not use the Internet (compared with only 3% of 18-29-year-olds). The report revealed that strongly linked to a person’s likelihood to be offline are also the household income and education. In contrast to the above described situation, we have seen in the last issue of HMM Journal (Purcărea, 2015) how US Millennials (Millennial Generation, Generation Y, Echo Boomers) confirmed: an increased use and familiarity with communication, media, and digital technologies; the fact that they know what they want to buy, and the majority of them get their news first from Facebook and then from TV. 9. Additionally, (Natividad, 2015) recent findings of YPulse (which tracks what young consumers are using now, by taking monthly surveys of 1332-year-olds) showed the emergence of a clear difference of preferences between the youngest half of the group (those 13-17, who are more likely to use Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube every day) and the older Millennials (those 18-32, who are more likely to use Facebook), as shown below in Figure no. 1. On the other hand, within the framework of the “Millennial Shopping Experience Series: A Stroll Down Fifth Ave: Digital? Yes. Helpful? Not So Much”, recent findings revealed a difference between, for example, what marketers say they’re doing with digital technology in stores vs. the reality on-site. (Target Marketing, 2015) Summarizing the findings of a couple of Millennials from the prestigious Forrester Research Patti Freeman Evans showed that (according to the research honed in on the Nike and New Balance brands as examples) despite the fact that the above mentioned area of Manhattan is like an upscale mall where retailers experiment and test new in-store innovations, the saw in-store technology did little to reduce friction: flashy Holistic Marketing Management
screens weren’t interactive (despite the fact that nearly half of the U.S. online adults surveyed by Forrester saying they are interested in using a shelf-mounted interactive touchscreen display while shopping in a physical store); in the opinion of a store associate humans still worked better than tech; some tech must be requested (mPOS devices were hidden behind the register).
Figure no. 1: Daily use: Teens vs Older Millenials Source: YPulse, quoted by Angela Natividad - SocialSkim: LinkedIn's Social Selling Measurement Tool, Plus 10 More Stories in This Week's Roundup, August 7, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2015/28225/socialskim-linkedins-social-selling-measurement-tool-plus-morestories-in-this-weeks-roundup#ixzz3iIQhE3s3, 8/9/2015
No wonder within such context (of the preceding paragraphs) that responsibly thinking to the business the prestigious Gartner found useful to aid companies identify the best sources for their needs and acquire systems that work well together, thanks to the “Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map”, (Gartner, 2015) which is not forgetting no single detail, such as, for example “Emotion Detection”. This map is helping to easily mediate discussions between marketing and IT, by better understanding the connections among business functions (neighborhoods), applications (tracks) and providers (stations), as shown in the below figure:
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Figure no. 2: Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map Source: Gartner - Go where no digital marketer has gone before, Retrieved from: https://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/transitmap.jsp?nicam=gmltm_mpd&cm_mmc=gml-_-TM-_-3MP-_-D, 7/2/2015
It is also worth to note that according to a recent report (Nanji, 2015) from Millward Brown (based on data from a survey of 400 marketers at brands, media companies, and agencies), making proper use of Big Data was cited by marketers (19% of brand marketers; 10% of marketers at media companies; 13% of agency marketers) as the most important digital opportunity, while multi-screen marketing, breaking down social and mobile silos, optimizing the role of video, and location-based marketing being also cited by respondents as other top opportunities. Additional key findings from the above mentioned report were the followings: just a few marketers (14%) have confidence in how their organization handles Big Data (compared to 39% last year); there is a difference in how marketers say their organization is up to date with digital best-practices (38% of brand marketers; 64% of marketers at media companies; 61% of agency marketers); if ROI tracking were improved, more than 70% of marketers say they would increase their spend on mobile, digital/Web, and social.
References European Commission - Press release, Digital Single Market Strategy: European Commission agrees areas for action, Brussels, 25 March 2015, Retrieved from: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-4653_en.htm, 7/22/2015
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Theodor Purcărea - At the Confluence of Customer Knowledge, Delivery and Engagement Forming a Challenging Evolving Delta of Marketing, Technology and Management, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015 Costel Iliuță Negricea, Ioan Matei Purcărea - Digital Marketing, Addressability and Time, the New Currency for CMOs, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015 Brian Hartmann, William P. King, and Subu Narayan - Digital manufacturing: The revolution will be virtualized, August 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/operations/digital_manufacturing_the_revolution_will_be_virtualized?cid=digita l-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1507, 8/4/2015 David Edelman and Jason Heller - How digital marketing operations can transform business, Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/How_digital_marketing_operations_can_transform_business?ci d=digital-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1507,7/16/2015 Boris Ewenstein, Wesley Smith, and Ashvin Sologar - Changing change management, July 2015, Retrived from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/leading_in_the_21st_century/Changing_change_management?cid=digital-emlalt-mip-mck-oth-1507, 7/27/2015 Malcolm Stewart - How to Make Your Brand Messaging Resonate, August 7, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/article/how-make-your-brand-messaging-resonate/1, 8/8/2015 Jon-Mikel Bailey - Digital Marketing Is a Circle of Trust, PRO Online Seminar, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/marketing/online-seminars/858#ixzz3gXM2Pejl, 7/21/2015 Ayaz Nanji - Who Are the Americans That Never Use the Internet? August 5, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/28189/who-are-the-americans-that-never-use-theinternet#ixzz3iIWLWpbF, 8/9/2015 Theodor Purcărea - At the Confluence of Customer Knowledge, Delivery and Engagement Forming a Challenging Evolving Delta of Marketing, Technology and Management, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015 Angela Natividad - SocialSkim: LinkedIn's Social Selling Measurement Tool, Plus 10 More Stories in This Week's Roundup, August 7, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2015/28225/socialskim-linkedinssocial-selling-measurement-tool-plus-more-stories-in-this-weeks-roundup#ixzz3iIQhE3s3, 8/9/2015 Blurred Lines: Digital, Relevance Not Meeting for Millennials, July 27, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/blurred-lines-digital-relevance-meetingmillennials/#utm_source=today-%40-target-marketing&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=2015-0727&utm_content=blurred+lines%3A+digital%2C+relevance+not+meeting+for+millennials-6, 7/27/2015 Gartner - Go where no digital marketer has gone before, Retrieved from: https://www.gartner.com/technology/research/digital-marketing/transitmap.jsp?nicam=gmltm_mpd&cm_mmc=gml-_-TM-_-3MP-_-D, 7/2/2015 Ayaz Nanji - The Biggest Digital Marketing Opportunities of 2015, July 14, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/28048/the-biggest-digital-marketing-opportunities-of2015#ixzz3ftUDUptB, 7/14/2015
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Reaching travelers through digital marketing channels Dr. Monica Paula RAȚIU Ioan Matei PURCĂREA Abstract It is time for going beyond tourist experience by offering the necessary transformations, better understanding a digital marketplace more centered on a complex consumer journey, monitoring travel and digital trends and ensuring an adequate experience across all channels and interactions. Travel organizations need to have an adequate infrastructure and to offer this engagement experience in the traveler’s language and on the device of their choosing, reaching travelers through digital marketing channels and viewing marketing ROI in terms of lifetime value of the customer. In order to manage distribution channels effectively hotels need to adopt an integrated approach to revenue management. Keywords: Digital tourism; digital marketplace; silent traveler; digital marketing channels JEL Classification: L83; L86; M31; O33
Going beyond tourist experience by offering the necessary transformations, better understanding a digital marketplace more centered on a complex consumer journey Five years ago (Purcarea, Ioan-Franc and Ratiu, 2010) an interesting picture (announcing the challenging present) was showed: the emphasis on the tourism industry has shifted from a traditional labor-based business to sources of innovation, collaboration, and value co-creation within the context of advanced telecommunications, accelerated business globalization, increased automation, and rapid technology innovation; the overall perception of value is driven by tourist needs, expectations, and the sacrifices required in obtaining the benefits provided by each tourism company; tourist experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction (multiple channels, touchpoints, etc.) with the tourism company, its services, and its products; a good tourist experience can assure advantages to the company (increased sales, increased tourist satisfaction, product/service differentiation, valuable competitive advantage, improved brand perception, increased market share); the key to delivering outstanding customer experiences is improving the quality and consistency of touchpoints, while the key to improving the quality and consistency of touchpoints is establishing touchpoint standards and best practices; organizational orientation and internal marketing is a key condition to enhance traveler experience; customerperceived value in tourism is about managing the travel experience for the customers; for surviving the service revolution, companies from the tourism industry must focus on customer preference, quality, and technological interfaces, customer relationship management representing the most important dimension of the company strategy; if it is well-known what service Holistic Marketing Management
excellence strategy requires (cognizance, creating perspective, good processes, involvement, and roles), service excellence performers must go beyond tourist experience (memorable and sustained for a time) by offering transformations (inspirational and sustained in time) which make a permanent beneficial change to the customer; increasing globalization, the growth of the Internet, and more demanding customers are forcing marketers to find innovative ways of conducting tourism service business and reaching excellence, the success factors for innovation being the followings: market selection, strategic human resource management, training of employees, market responsiveness, empowerment, behavior-based evaluation, marketing synergy, employee commitment, and tangible quality. In the previous issue of the HMM Journal (Ratiu and Purcarea), the real need for tourism businesses was highlighted: to digitally support the tourist experience before, during and after the tourist activity, the digital revolution changing the way of shopping for travel products and of interaction with brands; to utilize digital marketing techniques in their practices and to right track consumer activity across channels and devices, getting vital information from customers via social media, for example, being already something essential for all brands and destinations, one hand, while making websites compatible with smartphone-based sales should be consider as a vital aspect by the travel-related companies; to understand that the contemporary digital marketplace is evolving rapidly, becoming more centered on a complex consumer journey.
Monitoring travel and digital trends and ensuring an adequate experience across all channels and interactions According to the leader in global customer experience, SDL, the global travel industry faces a unique set of challenges driven by distinct industry trends, (SDL, 2015) travel professionals being forced to continuously monitor travel and digital trends and adjust their approach accordingly so as to ensure a seamless and consistent experience across all channels and interactions. SDL is known for offering a completely integrated cloud solution for content management, analytics, language and documentation, 79% of the top 100 global companies trusting SDL to help them create authentic, in-context customer experiences that drive demand and loyalty. SDL recently identified five key trends (see Figure no. 1) impacting the digital experience in travel: Silent Traveler (engagement of the silent visitor who plans ahead but never talks to you, the travel booking customer journey being disrupted by digital); Curation Comes to Travel Listings (differentiation/delivering relevant search results, delivering a multimedia experience quickly and in the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s language, because travelers are overwhelmed by choices online and mobile is creating a need for a better curated experience); Guest Social Amplification (reviews management and customers engagement generating shared and amplified positive comments, converting user generated content into actionable metrics and insights that guide the business decisions); Innovative Disruption Turns to Collaboration (delivering new ways for travelerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to have a self-guided journey that converts across multiple mobile devices); Metasearch (considering multilingual search capabilities, in-site, in-app and with third-party Holistic Marketing Management
search engines; online travel agencies metasearch will be view by the consumers as an efficient way to get a quick view of the relevant market).
Figure no. 1: Top 5 DX Trends Source: SDL - 5 Travel Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Experience, White Paper, SDL_wp_5_TravelTrends_EN_A4_hires_tcm73-81545, 2015
SDLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s White Paper underlined that with the ascent of the silent digital traveler real human service and interactions fade in importance , travel organizations needing: to have an adequate infrastructure (including web-based technologies that help brands manage web content, contextual relevance and localization); to offer an online experience (in the travelerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s language and on the device of their choosing) comparable with that provided by their physical properties as level of hospitality; to excel from the point of view of cross-channel convenience (travelers gathering information on one channel, booking on another and expecting service on yet another); to address the above mentioned trends on their own sites as well as on the third-party sites presenting information about their brands; to share these trends with third-party providers and resellers to drive a collaborative (and profitable for all) engagement experience; to integrate innovative tools and tactics to reach individual travelers throughout their journey; to analyze the customer journey and their companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own objectives to localize experiences, increasing engagement and conversion. Challenges for travel brands. Reaching travelers through digital marketing channels. Viewing marketing ROI in terms of lifetime value of the customer At the beginning of June this year it was highlighted (Eyefortravel.com, 2015) that travel brands (which now understand what each social media channel offers in order to meet their own individual Holistic Marketing Management
objectives) need to show and use images for more compelling content, engaging customers in a much more memorable way, using digital marketing to convey what the experience of the travel brand will be like. Travel brands also need to identify the opportunities to better customize the message in terms of location of the customer, utilize dynamic content personalization to engage and retain customers and boost conversions and website bookings, increase loyalty and improve the value provided through marketing partnerships that solve their customers’ pain points, evaluate the consumers whole travel experience to improve products and services after. And in this respect they should place time, energy and budget to optimize their efforts, not forgetting, for instance that: better understanding the customer journey and what their travelers value most is an imperative; as 50% of leisure consumers will access travel via a non-desktop device,
travel marketers must remove the friction from the travel consumer research & booking process; in the new mobile-enabled world, they must adapt their search strategy to the context and location of the customer’s search query and avoid losing customers. There is no doubt that technology is dictating the future of travel, within this framework being a real need to explore customer behavior accordingly. There is also no doubt that marketers are concerned about the particular challenges of reaching potential guests with marketing messages as they make their travel decisions. For example, on the occasion of the well-known HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference (Ricca, 2015) marketers shared their opinions on how to make their hotel resonate with potential guests during the pre-booking phase of travel, taking into account the three critical windows of opportunity: pre-stay, while the guest is on property and post-stay. It was highlighted that: content marketing carries meaningful messages that consumers can share; hoteliers can use to their advantage online reviews as powerful content messages; multichannel campaigns represent the most successful digital marketing campaigns to target potential guests. When it comes to engaging potential guests through digital marketing during the pre-stay phase, the biggest challenge, in the opinion of the speakers invited at the above mentioned Conference, is cutting through the noise and delivering relevant messages (without crossing the line into “too much information” territory) to guests, considering what is happening during their active acquisition period: ▪ about 50% of travelers start their trip without a (hotel) brand in mind; guests visit 18 sites on average, making six clicks during eight sessions over a period of two-and-a-half weeks to make their travel decision; it’s important to market to potential guests using targeted content marketing strategies that reach guests where they spend their time online (according to Tiffany Miller, head of industry, travel at Google); ▪ if hotel online reviews include positive content and plenty of responses (not only meet their ratings expectations), potential guests are more likely to book that hotel thanks to this user-generated trusted content which reduce any uncertainty potential guests might have about a lower-scale hotel (according to Chris Anderson, associate professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration); ▪ the only way forward is a multichannel campaign (with consistent brand messaging and controlling, and including mobile apps, rich photography, interactive quizzes, blogger outreach, sponsored social media Holistic Marketing Management
postings) which allows to be everywhere the traveler is at each point in the purchase cycle, considering the channel proliferation, cross-device shopping and consumers operating in a constant state of distraction; a campaign’s discount offer for continuity, on hotel online-travel-agency channels as well as its direct-booking site (according to Jason Thielbahr, senior VP of revenue optimization and distribution services for Red Lion Hotels Corporation). Within this context of speaking about marketing relation’s “continuity” it is worth remembering that the real value in a hotel booking lies in the lifetime value of the customer, as recently reconfirmed by Booking.com practice, (Occupancymarketing.com, 2015) a valuable lesson also for hoteliers who need to look at and adapt accordingly. Booking.com (once the provider/distributor of a service to the hotel) made in May 2015 a change in their policies (OTA did no longer share the customer’s email address with the hotel in advance of the guest’s arrival) for “security purposes”, but also having a “knock-on effect of the overall relationship” between hotel and the Online Travel Agent (OTA), the hotel simply being now the fulfillment end for booking.com’s business (the customer belonging now to booking.com). When considering the return on investment of their marketing efforts (lesson to learn) hotels should: use the typical lifetime value of their customers in analyzing if they need to compete with OTAs to retain customers directly; consider running Brand PPC to limit the exposure of OTAs in search results for their hotel name; use Meta search marketing to show the direct rates & availability on popular travel sites (in the same way as OTAs); encourage the satisfied guests to book direct on repeat visits (and as a result to reduce OTA commission) offering an added incentive (by using loyalty programmes, exclusive offers for existing customers through email & social media). The fact that the competition is becoming increasingly difficult was underlined from the beginning of the last year, (Gonzalo, 2014) in January, by Frederic Gonzalo (senior marketing and communications expert & speaker with more than 20 years of expertise in the travel and hospitality industry), while highlighting 14 digital marketing trends for hotels in 2014 according to NetAffinity (such as: Mobile marketing, OTA vs. Direct Bookings; Meta-search; Social Media Marketing, Growing importance of Google+). Eleven months later, in December, the team at Net Affinity, as leading edge practitioners in digital marketing, (NetAffinity, 2014) identified 15 Hotel Marketing Trends for 2015: Personalization; Booking Abandonment; Meta Search; Mobile payment; Owning your Real Estate; Pay to Play Social Media; Persona Driven Content; New SEO; Programmatic Marketing; Audio-Visual Content; Experience Driven Strategies; Proximity Technology; Baby Boomers; Holistic approach to Revenue Management. From the point of view of the last trend mentioned above it was argued that hotels need to adopt this integrated approach to revenue management (thanks to the rapid change in consumer behavior), involving more strongly sales and marketing in the decision making process, this being crucial to managing distribution channels effectively.
References Purcarea, T., Ioan-Franc, V. and Ratiu, M. - Achieving Excellence through Memorable Traveler Experience and Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions for Romanian Travel and Hospitality Industry, Retrieved from: http://www.revecon.ro/articles/2010-1/2010-1-3.pdf, 8/18/2015
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M.P. Ratiu, I.M. Purcarea - Digital Tourism on the Way to Digital Marketing Success, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015 SDL - 5 Travel Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Experience, White Paper, SDL_wp_5_TravelTrends_EN_A4_hires_tcm73-81545, 2015, Retrieved on 8/18/2015 Eyefortravel.com - Online Marketing Strategies for Travel 2016, June 2-3, 2015, Retrieved from: http://events.eyefortravel.com/online-marketing/conference-agenda.php, 8/19/2015 Ricca, S. - Digital marketing: Pre-stay about engagement, March 9, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Article/15408/Digital-marketing-Pre-stay-about-engagement, 8/19/2015 Occupancymarketing.com - Booking.com Policy Changes & the Customer Lifetime Value, Retrieved from: http://www.occupancymarketing.com/2015/booking-com-policy-changes-the-customer-lifetimevalue/, 8/19/2015 Gonzalo, F. - 14 Digital Marketing Trends for Hotels in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC], Retrieved from: http://fredericgonzalo.com/en/2014/01/05/14-digital-marketing-trends-for-hotels-in-2014-infographic/, 8/19/2015 NetAffinity - 15 Hotel Marketing Trends for 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.netaffinity.com/netaffinity_news.html/15-hotel-marketing-trends-for-2015, 8/20/2015
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Healing by Art within Palliative Therapy/-Medicine: A Holistic Case-Study Marie-Christin HALLIER Alanus University, Germany
Abstract There is a growing engagement in a better understanding of the relation between “Life and Medicine”, medical schools becoming more innovative, by combining art and medicine, while marketing is challenged to spread the healing further by focusing on customer’s needs and helping them. The following case is a documentation of effects by art therapy stabilizing the subjective life-quality of the today’s healthcare “customer”, the patient, while proving a better understanding, compassion and empathy in the interaction. Keywords: Holistic healing practices; Patient-driven health care service; Combined art and medicine; Marketing challenges JEL Classification: I, M31, Y80 Introduction As we are firmly engaged in a better understanding of the relation between “Life and Medicine”, we are trying to create new knowledge and competencies, by developing better abilities in innovation, differentiation, branding and patient-driven health care service, while reconsidering the essential role of communication in an adequate offering of the right answers in accordance with the changes in medical care, quality of life being one benefit. (Purcărea, 2008) There is a clear evidence that medical schools have become more innovative, (Glatter, 2013) and that in today’s digital, image-based world of medicine there is a real chance for both students (with more “right brain” qualities related to imagery, visual and drawing skills), and educators
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(to develop unique new ways of focusing on skills in diagnosis and observation to understand a patient’s needs by combining art and medicine). On the other hand, it is widely recognized the growing acceptance of alternative medicine and holistic healing practices, while marketing is challenged to provide the opportunity to expand the network of connecting with more people and spreading the healing further, by focusing on customer’s needs and helping them. (Remington, 2014) There is no doubt that today’s healthcare customers, the patients, are in an entirely different stratosphere of expectations and interactions, being necessay a more comprehensive approach, including, for example, offering compassion and empathy in any interaction. (Vennum, Ditmer, Oldenburg, 2015) A documentation of effects by art therapy stabilizing the subjective life-quality of the patient The following case is a documentation of effects by art therapy stabilizing the subjective life-quality of a 40 year old patient suffering of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateralsklerose). Considering to ask to cut off her artificial respiration in December 2014, she asked for art therapy for her two younger children (4 and 11 year olds) wanting to watch them painting while herself being fixed at her bed/ wheelchair. In addition to her muscle atrophy, she cannot speak anymore due to the medical treatment of her main disease. Communication was only possible from her side by nodding with her head meaning a “yes” or “no”. Taken home from hospital for her last phase of her life-cycle (Kuebler-Ross, 1969; Jonen-Thielemann, 2012) to realize her wish to be surrounded by her family group-settings of art-therapy started with her two children and the children of her sister who supported the family together with (Forgeyand Bursch, 2014) a Palliative Care Team (photo below: “Group-setting”).
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At the end of January 2015 it was tried already to involve the patient into the art-work for example by putting her hand between the hands of her two children for a colored hand-print (photo below: “Hand-prints”).
To support the “dialogue” with the patient an alphanumerical chart was developed (photo below: “Chart”) where she was asked for a “key-word” for a picture she would like to be painted.
The finger of the therapist goes to the “A” and then step by step to the next letters: waiting for the nodding patient for “yes”. After the first letter fixed the finger goes again to the “A” in search for the second letter... By this method the basic work of Herborn (Herborn, 2011) about “dictate of pictures by patients” was enlarged and in the beginning of March 2015 the picture “Birch-Trees” could be painted by the therapist although the patient is not able to speak anymore (photo below: “Birch-trees”). Holistic Marketing Management
For the interpretation of this picture it is important to know an intercultural context: the patient is Russian, her husband is from Kazakhstan both living in Germany now. Birch-trees are symbols for their homelands! The two trees are symbolizing the couple. In April 20L5 the groupsettings swift read over for individual settings for the mother only. The topic of birch-trees continued with painting “wood”. A wood of tall birch-trees cover three X-mas trees: symbolizing the “great family of parents, aunt and uncle, grandparents all coming from the East” sheltering the two youngest and their older brother (all three born in Germany) - (photo below: “Wood”).
In the beginning of May an aquarell-picture shows the family again. The black/ brown background is representing the mother while the coloured points are the three children and the Holistic Marketing Management
father: all “flowers” painted from above: which can be interpreted as “seen from Heaven”. Parallel to the floating colors at the picture tears where running across the face of the patient (photo below: “Feelings”).
Another “bye bye” is the picture “Marriage” (photo below). It shows the couple at its wedding-day: but from the back and within a sunset! The patient asked to frame that picture and using it as a present for her husband at the wedding-day.
A third picture “Tulips” (photo below) shows her three children waving “good bye” - but with a smiling attitude.
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Psychologically the patient wants to have the agreement from her children to pass away. All three pictures show that the patient wants to “empty her soul” - she is looking for relief. But suddenly the patient’s mood is changing. Whilst before refusing sunshine in her pictures in the middle of May the title of the painting is “Beach with Sunshine” (photo below).
And in the beginning of June she starts a picture “Playground” being painted in the unusual format of DIN A3: which already is a challenge for its size - because it needs a lot of concentration of the patient to explain all details to be painted and a lot of time (photo below).
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The standard situation is to paint one picture in a session; the playground took six sessions covering all June and July. Another remarkable thing is that all persons at the picture are not related to family-members. The patient starts to focus her expressions to the outcome of art: no longer being fixed to her situation and bad family-feelings. The same counts for the painting of “lilac” (photo below).
It is a sign of spring; the colors are symbols against evil. Further on it can be interpreted that blue stands for the dark side in the soul is mixing with the red of the life/body for violet. Another interesting fact with that painting is that the patient asked the therapist to sign it and to be hanged at the wall as a memory for the artsessions. But only a patient who thinks on the future will ask for a physical piece of remembrance. Last but not least it is remarkable that the patient is no longer limiting the parmaceuticals to the absolut minimum like in December 2014 but is asking for full medical treatment again. Testing a “Well-Being Barometer” For the academic part of this case-study since May 2015, a “Well-Being Barometer” was tested. Five questions regarding the topics of general well-being, well-being focused on health, emotional level, impacts from facts at that day, felt understanding by the homeenvironment/Care Team. Each question has a scale of 10 points: Zero stands here for low and 10 for very well. Each question was asked in the beginning and in the end of each art-session. By
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getting 100 values from May till August the evaluation over that time period can give a first hint about the development in general (Graphics).
Graphic 1: Felt well-being/ Quality of Life time
Quantitative Test by measuring the mood of the patient: 5 questions per session in the beginning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; being repeated in the end. Scale of 0-10 reflecting very bad feeling up to feeling very well.
1. How do you feel today in general?
8 2. How do you feel today at this very moment (the real truth)?
3. How do you feel emotional impacts today?
4. How do you feel rational impacty today? 1b - 06.05.2015 1a - 06.05.2015 2b - 13.05.2015 2a - 13.05.2015 3b - 27.05.2015 3a - 27.05.2015 4b - 03.06.2015 4a - 03.06.2015 5b - 10.06.2015 5a - 10.06.2015 6b - 01.07.2015 6a - 01.07.2015 7b - 08.07.2015 7a - 08.07.2015 8b - 14.07.2015 8a - 14.07.2015 9b - 24.07.2015 9a - 24.07.2015 10b - 12.08.2015 10a - 12.08.2015
5. Do you feel well understood by your environment today?
But is also possible to cross-check each point comparing it with data from the other four categories and by checking the daily report of the sessions. By this it could be seen that for example the painting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Feelingsâ&#x20AC;? did let the patient's tears run, but after that session she was feeling better. On the other hand she was touched negatively within the session due to the fact that one of her kids had to be brought to the doctor. In so far the indices of that barometer do not explain but give the hint to go into deeper research to check all background.
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Table 1: Primary raw data – Mood-Barometer
before lesson/ after lesson
How do you
How do you
Do you feel
feel today at
9 / 10
10 / 10
Those interdependences can be indicated by the Graphic “Holistic Approach”. The patients’ medical well-being could be influenced by the direct art therapy - but also indirectly by Holistic Marketing Management
the art therapy for the children. Seeing her family more relaxed can/could improve her feelings and vice versa can the well-being of the patient and of course the mood of the family: a spiral of positive (or negative) developments can influence the overall situation. Table 2: Interdependences between felt well-being and selected parameters
Interdependences between felt well-being and selected parameters
mood at home
Children, Father, Aunt
References Purcărea, T. - Why is now the best time for approaching the significant relation between “life and medicine”, J Med Life; 2008 Jan-Mar;1(1):7-12, PMID: 20108472, Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20108472, 9/9/2015 Glatter, R. - Can Studying Art Help Medical Students Become Better Doctors? Oct 20, 2013, Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2013/10/20/can-studying-art-help-medical-students-become-betterdoctors/, 9/9/2015 Remington, C. - Marketing a Holistic Healing or Alternative Medicine Business, Dec 13, 2014, Retrieved from: http://shuksanweb.com/marketing-a-holistic-healing-or-alternative-medicine-business/, 9/9/2015 Vennum, K., Ditmer, R., Oldenburg, J. - Learning from the healthcare customer experience, January 07, 2015, Retrieved from: http://managedhealthcareexecutive.modernmedicine.com/managed-healthcareexecutive/news/learning-healthcare-customer-experience?page=full, 9/9/2015 Kuebler-Ross, E., On death and dying, Routledge 1969 ; Jonen-Thielemann, I., Sterbephasen in der Palliativmedizin, in: Aulert, E. et alia, Lehrbuch der Palliativmedizin, Stuttgart 2012, p. 990 ff Forgey, M. and Bursch, B., Psychopharmacology in Palliative Care and Oncology: Childhood and Adolescence, in: Grassi, E. et alia, Psychopharmacology in Oncology and Palliative Care, Berlin/ Heidelberg 2014, p. 331 ff Herborn, E., Kunsttherapie Forschung mit Sterbenden, in: Petersen, P. et alia, Forschungsmethoden Künstlerische Therapien, Wiesbaden 2011, p. 209 ff
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The latest issue of our partner journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Theodor PURCĂREA
JEL Classification: Y30 We are happy to receive by post the latest issue of our partner journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Vol. X, 2015, Number 1. „Marketing Science and Inspirations” is an academic journal addressed to academics and practitioners. The latest issue of this journal covers challenging topics in the marketing research field: “Gender and attitudes of Slovak customers towards brands. Part II” (Peter Starchon, Dagmar Weberova); “Identification of the requirements placed on product managers during the recruitment process” (Zuzana Wroblowska, Tomas Ruda); “Sustainability in behavior of generation Y – research study of values and behavior. Part I” (Dana Vokounova, Janka Kopanicova); “Personal blog and destination marketing” (Eva Jaderna); “Tools of quality management in the secondary school of Slovak Republic” (Peter Paska, Katarina Gubiniova); “The usage of management quality systems in customer relationship management processes on the market of services of telecommunication operators in Slovak Republic” (Gabriela Pajtinkova Bartakova, Andrej Pinak).
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The „Marketing Science and Inspirations” journal also includes other sections such as: “Marketing Briefs” (Pavel Strach – “Seeking catchy names and acronyms: how does marketing science shoot itself in the foot”); “Captured us” (“Dolphin-Marketer celebrates ten years”); “Reviews” (Dusan Pavlu – “Jakub Slavik: Marketing and strategic management in the public service. How to provide customer-oriented public services”, Praha: Grada Publishing, 2014; Dusan Pavlu – “Renata Sedlakova: Media Research. The most commonly used methods and techniques”, Praha: Grada Publishing, 2014), “Dictionary of Useful Marketing Terms” (Dagmar Weberova).
The Editor-in Chief of the „Marketing Science and Inspirations” journal is Professor Peter Starchon, Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, who is also Member of the Editorial Boards of the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal and of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”. It is our pleasure to remember our meeting in Koln, Germany, in 2011, on the occasion of the working meeting of the European Retail Academy (ERA). Holistic Marketing Management