Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 10, Issue 3, Year 2020

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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







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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; Hall of Fame of the European Retail Academy, Honored Personality 2016 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; Administrator Secretary General of the Diplomatic Club of Belgium 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



Ion VOICU SUCALA Virgil POPA Alexandru NEDELEA Olguța Anca ORZAN Ana-Maria PREDA Ovidiu FOLCUȚ Doinița CIOCÎRLAN Marius Dan DALOTĂ Mihai PAPUC Gheorghe ILIESCU Costel NEGRICEA Alexandru IONESCU Tudor EDU Olga POTECEA Oana PREDA Nicoleta DUMITRU Monica Paula RAȚIU Elisabeta Andreea BUDACIA

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 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 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 10, Issue 3, Year 2020 Contents

Theodor PURCĂREA - Adjusting to the New Reality on the Path to the Next Normal, Connecting to Customers, and Responding Appropriately to the Current Unprecedented Crisis.......................................................4 Nicholas DIMA (by courtesy of) - America and the Rise of China – A potential Clash of Giants...................................................................................9 Stephen R. BOWERS (by courtesy of) - The Azov Regiment..................................................20 Ioan Matei PURCĂREA - Over Tipping Point for Digital Disruption: E-Commerce & Omni Channel Working Together Within the Acceleration of the Digitization of Customer and Supply Chain Interactions...............30 Bernd HALLIER (by courtesy of) - European Competence Centre for Vocational Training (EUCVOT)........................................................................40

Dan SMEDESCU - “Marketing Science and Inspirations”: Truly Relevant and Useful Content.........................................................................................................47

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: Adjusting to the New Reality on the Path to the Next Normal, Connecting to Customers, and Responding Appropriately to the Current Unprecedented Crisis There is no doubt that the new reality (emerging from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) is the so-called by McKinsey & Company “The Next Normal”, McKinsey’s representatives highlighting the vital role of digital in today’s businesses, and the imperative of digitizing at speed and scale (McKinsey & Company, 2020). There is also no doubt that succeeding and thriving on the path to the Next Normal is depending on both learning the most, and doing at the required size to solve the unprecedented problems and promptly in the interests of the organizations’ customers and employees, considering changing customers’ behaviors and market conditions, retaining customers by being helpful and of value, building resilience (from the point of view of businesses, supply chains, employees, and relationships with customers), valorizing experimentation within the intensified competition, differentiating through adequate customers’, employees’, leaders’, and stakeholders’ experience, mixing remote and on-site working (ensuring extra support or training), and preparing for future crises (Swinscoe, 2020). Of course, working from home involves adequate asset tracking and management tools for organizations adjusting to this new reality (Aitchison, 2020). There were truly lessons to learn from many brands which have continued to be both relevant, and helpful to their customers in these strange times we’re living in, providing evidence of assuming the particular attribute of informing, inspiring, reassuring, connecting to customers, and responding appropriately to the current unprecedented crisis, as demonstrated by the Chief Marketing Officer of Treasure Data, Tom Treanor, who drives the marketing strategy and execution for Treasure Data’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) solution (Treanor, 2020). On the other hand, a Podcast hosted by Martechcube (MTC) with Treanor revealed his opinion on the fact that “One of the problems, it is that so many companies have data within various silos, but they really haven’t made the effort yet to pull that data together to unify their customer profile… they (marketers) don’t have to personalize everything all the time, they need to figure out what are the most important channels to personalize in and what are the most important things to tell that particular customer… So personalizing based on things not just like the top of the funnel, but also on product usage or replenishment or things like that” (MTC News Desk, 2020). It is worth mentioning within this framework the global research conducted by Untold Insights on behalf of Oracle Retail which revealed retailers’ need (beyond considering not only the blending of digital and physical experiences, but also the remaining of convenience as a priority for consumer decision-making) of both embracing mobile (as the new and leading point of sale), and creating adequate virtual store environments (flexible, engaging, and frictionless). This report also attracted the attention not only on the impact of the consumers’ negative experiences (such as out of stocks, limited product availability, extended shipping time, delay of goods), but also on the way of discovering new brands (Facebook, 65%; Instagram, 53%; YouTube, 49%; TikTok, 29%; Other social channels, 12%) or on the advantage of showing care

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for customer safety, within the context in which safety is remaining the strong consumer choice driver (Oracle, 2020). And continuing on this path of better connecting to customers, and responding appropriately to the current unprecedented crisis we consider important to underline some significant aspects, such as those disclosed by: • MarketingExperiments with its parent company MECLABS Institute (having the largest library of scientifically rigorous digital marketing research and case studies in the world) which recommended the valuable essential tools & concepts used by the MarketingSherpa & MarketingExperiments Scientists with regard to both “How to Model Your Customer’s Mind” (MECLABS Institute, 2018), and “How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind” opening the path to rigorously build the necessary predictive model of a company’s prospective customer’s decision process (Johnson, 2019);

Figure no. 1: How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind Source: Johnson, 2019. How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind, MarketingExperiments, Aug 21 (work cited)

• Martin Hill-Wilson (Customer Service, CX & AI Engagement Strategist - Chair, Keynotes & Masterclasses at the advisory and education service Brainfood), who showed in a summarized view both the prioritization for retention of consumers’ negative thoughts and feelings (because of the brain’s mandate to keep them out of harm’s way), and how the highlights of an event (from which consumers’ brains form memories) become a shortcut for consumers’ assessment of an entire series. What demonstrates that marketers need to train, track Holistic Marketing Management


and improve how each consumers’ interaction ends, and confirming this way a better understanding that the emotive outcomes (more of consumers being conscious of their emotive state in anxious times) matter as much as the functional ones, the more so in the customer experience management approaches emotion still remains an unappreciated element despite its recognized role in customer loyalty (Hill-Wilson, 2020);

Figure no. 2: Emotive CX for Customer Interaction Source: Hill-Wilson, 2020. Emotive CX for Customer Interaction, September 28 (work cited)

• J. Robert Rossman, Ph.D. (Professor and Dean Emeritus at the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University; co-author of “Recreation Programming; Designing, staging, and managing the delivery of leisure experiences”, presently in its 8th edition, and “Designing Experiences”, 2019), who highlighted that consumers’ perceived value of time spent (spending time being more important than spending money, in the experience economy) is a critical benchmark for the value proposition of companies’ offerings. He made reference to the new book “The Age of Experiences: Harnessing Happiness to Build a New Economy” (Hunnicutt, 2020), where the author Benjamin Hunnicutt introduced the concept of the so-called “Intrinsically Motivated Productive Consumption” (IMPC, for which one is not paid), the provided (by intrinsically motivated participation in consumer’s experiences) rewards and emotive memories being those valued (Rossman, 2020). But as the above mentioned new book was written and published just a little before the worldwide spread of COVID-19, we considered it useful to remind – also considering the recognized significant linkage between customer experience (CX), one hand and employee experience, the internal CX on the other hand – that going beyond the promotion of the behavior change with the help of extrinsic motivators (rewards or penalties, for instance, which are representing only half of the picture, being hard to sustain it over time), it is a real need to improve the so-called by psychologists intrinsic motivation, which is still the more neglected half of motivation, and involves satisfying a trio of inner needs so as to lead to sustained behavior change over time: autonomy (feeling of having a choice, mastery (competence mixed with the Holistic Marketing Management


right level of challenge and achievement) and connection, this last one having to do with “experiencing” (Ben-Hur and Kinley, 2016).

Figure no. 3: The three essential factors involved by the intrinsic motivation Source: Ben-Hur and Kinley, 2016. Intrinsic motivation: The missing piece in changing employee behaviour, International Institute for Management Development (IMD), May (work cited)

Four month later, in September 2016 (as we shown in our HMM article entitled “Understanding Emotion and Connecting It to the Brand, and the Brand to Results” – Purcarea, 2017), a Forrester’s representative remembered that Forrester’s Customer Emotion Matrix (wellknown as allowing a better understanding and quantifying of emotion by deeply examining both the nature of the emotion (negative through positive), and the intensity of the emotion), the point of start being the fact that: “emotion is the basic human build block for decisions and the primary factor in growing or losing affinity - and gaining or losing share-of-wallet” (Milligan, 2016). And just two years later, in December 2018 we pledged also in our HMM journal for “Competing on CX in the Digital Age by Working Deep, Focusing on Valuable Digital Activities and a Digital Culture Strategy specific to the Human-Machine Partnership” (Purcarea, 2018). We express the conviction that adjusting to the new reality on the path to the Next Normal, connecting to customers, and responding appropriately to the new coronavirus crisis involves a better understanding of the Customer’s Mind, of the Emotive CX for Customer Interaction, of the IMPC concept, and of the three essential factors involved by intrinsic motivation, while focusing on valuable digital activities and a digital culture strategy specific to the human-machine partnership. Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor-in-Chief References Aitchison, I., 2020. Tracking Assets in the Work-from-Home Era: A Framework for Success, Customer Think, August 18. [online] Available at: < https://customerthink.com/tracking-assets-in-the-work-fromhome-era-a-framework-for-success/?> [Accessed 3 September 2020]. Holistic Marketing Management


Ben-Hur, S. and Kinley, N., 2016. Intrinsic motivation: The missing piece in changing employee behaviour, International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland, May. [online] Available at: < https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/intrinsic-motivation-themissing-piece-in-changing-employee-behavior/ > [Accessed 29 November 2020]. Hill-Wilson, M., 2020. Emotive CX for Customer Interaction, Customer Think, September 28 (something he wrote for Enghouse Interactive). [online] Available at: < https://customerthink.com/emotive-cx-forcustomer-interaction > [Accessed 7 October 2020]. Hunnicutt, B., 2020. The Age of Experiences: Harnessing Happiness to Build a New Economy, Temple University Press; 1st edition, February 21, 2020. Johnson, L., 2019. How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind, MarketingExperiments, Aug 21 (originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter). [online] Available at: < https://marketingexperiments.com/conversion-marketing/how-to-create-a-model-of-your-customers-mind > [Accessed 24 August 2019]. McKinsey & Company, 2020. The Next Normal. Digitizing at speed and scale. The recovery will be digital, pp. 1, 4. Available at: <The-next-normal-the-recovery-will-be-digital-vF.pdf> [Accessed 2 September 2020]. MECLABS Institute, 2018. How to Model Your Customer’s Mind, MarketingSherpa & MarketingExperiments Scientists. Available at: < How to Model Your Customers Mind.pdf > [Accessed 24 August 2019]. Milligan, V., 2016. A Closer Look at the Monetary Value of Emotion, Forrester, September 21. [online] Available at: < http://blogs.forrester.com/victor_milligan/16-09-20a_closer_look_at_the_monetary_value_of_emotion > [Accessed 5 November 2017]. MTC News Desk, 2020. A Martech Conversation with CMO, Arm Treasure Data – Tom Treanor, Martechcube, September 21. [online] Available at: < https://www.martechcube.com/a-martechconversation-with-tom-treanor/> [Accessed 28 November 2020]. Oracle, 2020. Anatomy of Change. Understanding Consumer Behavior in the New Next 2020, A global research conducted by Untold Insights on behalf of Oracle Retail, pp. 2-3, 5-6, 10. Available at: < consumer-research-new-next-report-rw.pdf > [Accessed 30 October 2020]. Purcarea, T., 2017. Understanding Emotion and Connecting It to the Brand, and the Brand to Results, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 7(4), pp. 04-09, December. Purcarea, T., 2018. Competing on CX in the Digital Age by Working Deep, Focusing on Valuable Digital Activities and a Digital Culture Strategy specific to the Human-Machine Partnership, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 8(4), pp. December. Rossman, J. R., 2020. In the Experience Economy, Participation Trumps Service Interactions, CustomerThink, September 8. [online] Available at: < https://customerthink.com/in-the-experienceeconomy-participation-trumps-service-interactions/? > [Accessed 18 September 2020]. Swinscoe, A. (2020). The four imperatives emerging from the pandemic and what to do about them, CustomerThink, August 19, originally published by Forbes on July 23. [online] Available at: <https://customerthink.com/the-four-imperatives-emerging-from-the-pandemic-and-what-to-do-aboutthem/?> [Accessed 1 September 2020]. Treanor, T., 2020. Six Ways Your Brand Can Connect with Customers in the Current Crisis, Treasure Data, April 8. [online] Available at: <https://blog.treasuredata.com/blog/2020/04/08/six-ways-yourbrand-can-connect-with-customers-in-the-current-crisis/ [Accessed 25 November 2020].

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America and the Rise of China – A potential Clash of Giants Nicholas Dima, September 2020

A recent book signed by a colonel of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and titled The China Dream reads like an elaborate resolution of the Beijing political authorities. The book explains in great details why China will surpass America in the near future and will take over the world. And Liu Mingfu, the author, does not start with a hypothesis, but with a court sentence: China’s rise to global prominence is imminent and America must accept it as a fact! Here are a few statements: ...Becoming the strongest nation in the world is China’s goal for the 21st Century. (p. 20) …Chinese culture is the most vital culture in the world. (p.76) ...China has the most excellent cultural genes. (p.77) ...The United States will have to learn to play by others’ rules and adjust to its relative decline. (p. 14)

A complex world. We live in a complex world and at a challenging time. The world at the beginning of the 21st Century is dominated by the United States, by Russia and by China. America is still the most powerful country, but while Russia is wrestling with internal problems, Holistic Marketing Management


China is rising economically and geopolitically and is challenging the current world arrangements. Short of some unforeseen events, it appears that nothing can stop China from rising to prominence. Economically, China has flooded the world with its industrial goods and for practical purposes has already conquered many countries and regions. Geopolitically, China is strongly asserting itself in the south-west Pacific and has reached Africa with military personnel. Domestically, Beijing has built a modern infrastructure and has linked the country with Pakistan through an impressive highway that crosses its western desert. Thus, China is approaching the fragile Middle East. Internationally, Beijing is forging new friendships and alliances with Russia, Iran and other countries opposed to the current American-led globalization. The United States is watching these developments cautiously. Is a future collision of interests and goals between Beijing and Washington inevitable? For now, the two countries are mainly competing in various fields while negotiating new trade relations. However, the author of The China Dream has no illusions. Liu writes: China cannot escape its fate as America’s rival. (p. 142) ...The world is too important to give it to the United States… In the 21st century China will rise and confront the threat of the United States...China must have huge armies to guarantee that there will be no war between China and America... Only since the Chinese Communist Party has entered Chinese history has the fighting character of Chinese nation flourished again... (p. 197) The march of history. The current coronavirus epidemic has made the world focus on other problems, but the Sino-American rivalry is still intense. A number of recent books as well as various reports and articles points out to the preoccupation of the United States with China and with the future of their relations. This essay analyzes the chief issues facing these relations. One of these books, Fateful Ties-A History of America’s Preoccupation with China by Gordon H. Chang, stands out for its historic approach. The book takes a long view of SinoAmerican relations from the earliest times to the present. It is a detailed chronicle of events and people that help the reader better understand the current uneasy relationship between these two countries. The book offers a brief, but good history of China, a country that for millennia was the most advanced power in Asia. Actually, ‘the Middle Kingdom,’ as China was known, was considered by its emperors the very center of the universe. As for relations with other countries, Beijing treated its neighbors benevolently, but within a relationship of a superpower with its vassals. China’s dominant position changed during the 19th Century when the European powers almost dismembered the country. By the end of the century China lost its power and prestige and was badly humiliated by several Western European powers, by Russia and by Japan. The humiliation started with the two Anglo-Chinese opium wars that forced Beijing to open the country to the opium trade, which devastated the fabric of the Chinese society.

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In Chang’s opinion, the opium wars triggered a downward spiral, which only the Communist revolution of 1949 ended. ( p. 39) Following the wars, China was forced to cede Hong Kong to England while a good part of its Pacific coast and the north-east territory was also lost to foreign countries. Beijing could not accept this subordinate status and regaining its past glory became the long-term goal of its new leaders. The19th Century events are the roots of the hardship endured by China during the 20th Century. This humiliation led to the rise of nationalism and communism and split Chinese society. From the beginning the two ideologies collided and eventually they became deadly enemies. According to Chang, the nationalists represented an ’aristocratic China’ and had little understanding for the masses while the communists represented ‘the masses’ and engaged the poor people on their side. In the end, the communists won and after several decades of incalculable suffering, they rehabilitated the wounded national pride of China. And Mao Zedong, the communist leader, took upon himself and his party the dream of restoring the old Chinese glory. Chang’s writing has a pro-Mao tilt and is very sympathetic to communism. For example, he details the socio-economic ravages of Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ of the late 1950’s and of the ‘Cultural Revolution’ of the 1960’s that resulted, as the author mentions, in “chaos, destruction, horrific tragedy, personal ruins, and mass demoralization”. He writes verbatim: “Mao destroyed his own revolution in the name of revolution.” (p. 219). Yet, he still sympathizes with Maoist communism! The road back to greatness lasted almost a century, but eventually China achieved the present status. In the process and over time, communism changed to the point that it defied any previously known stereotypes. It became communism with unique Chinese characteristics. In the end, Beijing reached global prominence by opening economic opportunities to its people while keeping strict overall political control. In fact, some specialists claim that Chinese communism fits almost perfectly its imperial past. China changed radically, but the people remained basically the same: industrious, hard working, and frugal. China succeeded where most communist countries failed. Tumultuous US-China Relations. Relations between America and China, and especially trade relations, are viewed by most authors as mutually beneficial. The two countries signed their first official trade treaty in 1844 and thereafter trade between them flourished. In this regard, at the turn of the previous century, President Theodore Roosevelt had a visionary view: He predicted that America’s future would be determined by the position on the Pacific Ocean facing China rather than by the position on the Atlantic Ocean facing Europe. (Chang, p. 102). That prediction was accurate and was only interrupted by the communist takeover in Beijing in 1949 and by the Korean War of the 1950’s. For the next two decades after those dramatic events, relations between China and American were glacial.

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Sino-American relations changed after President Richard Nixon visited Beijing in February 1972. Slowly thereafter, the two countries moved from foes to quasi-allies and then to the complex friendly-inimical relation of today. In the meantime, in the mid-1970s, the new Beijing leader Deng Xiaoping redirected the Chinese politics and completely transformed the country. Deng reversed Mao’s policy of collectivism, revived rural life, opened up the country to foreign investors, privatized state-owned enterprises, built industries and slowly made China into the global economic and military power of today. The world had no choice but accept the new reality. Short of a devastating war, no one can stop China from rising further. Consequently, some American circles began to fear China. Yet, does anyone have the right to prevent other countries from rising? The prelude and aftermath of the 1970s transformation of China was studied thoroughly by Gregg Brazinsky in his book Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War. The author stresses that during this critical period, China transformed itself from a feudal society into an industrial giant. Politically, however, all this time Beijing championed the right to independence of Asian and African countries and attacked America’s ‘imperialist’ policy. The United States watched this transformation with apprehension and grudgingly adjusted its attitude from denying Beijing international legitimacy to eventual full recognition. The central theme of Brazinsky’s book is that Sino-American rivalry was in essence a competition over status. It should be added that no great power accepts a challenge to its status, and no ascending power can rise without struggling to get to the top. As for the meaning of ‘status’ analysts disagree on what it exactly is. One definition is “a recognized position within a social hierarchy, implying relations of dominance and deference.” (p. 4) Following a century of subordination to foreign powers, China wanted to regain its international standing. And the Chinese communist leaders never lost sight of this goal. The road for a status change was very bumpy. While America showed determination in dealing with Beijing, China displayed typical oriental patience. Then, after several Sino-Soviet military skirmishes in the 60s, Washington and Beijing began to discover common ground and mutual interests. China denounced officially the Soviet Union and called it a ‘social-imperialist country.’ Suddenly, the United States and China found a common geopolitical imperative – to contain the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, for years previously the two countries had intense backand-forth confrontations and negotiations. Many thorny issues were discussed confidentially or in different open forums. Among them were the fate of Indo-China and the future of Taiwan. As a rule, in all those contacts Beijing put China’s interests first and through shrewd negotiations attained most of its goals. The realignment that occurred in Asia during the second part of the 20th Century was complex and in some ways unavoidable. In this regard, neither the United States nor China won the cold war in Asia. As a result, ever since, Sino-American relations have remained intricate and unpredictable. Despite finding some mutual interests, Brazinsky concludes, China and the United States remained very dissimilar countries with different histories and perceptions of their

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roles in the world. (p. 344). The two countries have different interests indeed, but is there a reason for the United States to fear the rise of China? What is Beijing up to and who is afraid of China? Answering these questions indirectly, a Chinese-American author approaches the topic from another angle and raises a few new points. China is currently a leader in artificial intelligence and is challenging America not only economically and geopolitically, but also in the race to dominate outer space. Kai-Fu-Lee’s book, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Super-Powers, shocks the reader and wakes him up to a new world. The 21st Century will be a world of drastic changes, global realignments and new sociological challenges. We are not facing the ‘end of the world’, but it is the end of today’s era. And what’s scarier is that this future is already here, but allegedly, we still need about 20 more years to see it implemented Kai-Fu is a leader in artificial intelligence and is preoccupied with the applications and consequences of the new technology. In his opinion, the world has moved from the age of theoretical discovery to the age of practical applications and from the age of expertise to the age of data. Artificial intelligence is the energy of the new age and it marks the beginning of a new revolution. Adopt it or be left behind! Artificial intelligence is driven by a process of deep learning. Human abilities are very limited in discerning complex signs and various correlations. Machines can do a much better job. Deep learning refers to a myriad of nuances in our reaction to different situations that are processed and interpreted by machines. Then, by using complex algorithms, machines spot the most common patterns, make decisions and predictions better than humans, and apply them to real life situations. Thus, the patterns of data are now decisive in determining the accuracy of an algorithm. They are used for various economic activities and for financial profits. It is exactly what is happening now in China at a massive scale, in America more slowly, and to a lesser degree in the rest of the world. This is the future! Artificial Intelligence (AI): During the 18th and 19th centuries the world went through the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th Century it went through a High-Tech revolution. This century is witnessing a revolution driven by artificial intelligence! Machines endowed with AI and human-like perceptions are already doing a better job than humans in a range of fields with practical applications. Such fields are: Face and Speech Recognition, Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, Linguistic Translations and many others. It should be emphasized that according to informed people, if a new discovery is known to the public, it is already obsolete. And while researchers explore the future and people are adjusting to new realities, businesses are reaping the benefits. There are currently seven giant companies that dominate the world in the research and application of artificial intelligence. There are four American companies: Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft, and three Chinese ones: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Other big Chinese names are also coming of age. All these companies have developed their own applications and Holistic Marketing Management


are vying for global domination. The United States is still ahead in the fields of research and innovation, but China is ahead in practical applications. Between the two countries there is a big difference. While the U.S. companies are private, the Chinese companies are controlled by the government. And the Beijing government is in the hands of the Communist Party. For China investing in AI is not only of economic importance, but also of political significance. By doing so, the government will have more control over its own people and internationally it will claim a larger share of the globe. And China is getting ahead because the population is taking its cues from the government. In addition, Beijing offers subsidies, investment funds, as well as other various facilities, and it sets up special zones for AI development. And when China mobilizes its people and resources, results follow suit. In 2007, for instance, China had no high-speed trains; ten years later China had more miles of high-speed trains than the rest of the world. With the full support of the regime, it has been projected that by 2030 China will become the center of artificial intelligence of the entire world. And from a techno-military point of view, China could transform economic development into geopolitical advantages to the detriment of America. There are currently about 800 million people in China who have access to the internet. That means more people than in the United States and Europe together. Accordingly, Chinese companies ‘harvest’ each click of the internet user and find patterns of meaning in them. Then, intelligent machines interpret this huge database for correlations that escape the human brain. Finally, specialized companies make practical use of this data. For example, the invention of the Smart Phones has given many Chinese people direct access to the internet without having to buy a desk computer. There are now more than 500 million smart phones in China, and those phones are used for a vast range of operations. And their use has transformed Chinese ‘online actions into offline services’. There are already many practical applications currently in use in China. The company Tencent, for example, developed a special super app called WeChat that has taken over the Ecommerce. (Kai-Fu, p. 110). Face Recognition and Speech Translation are two other important fields of applied artificial intelligence. A restaurant in China with an up-to-date face recognition app allows customers to pay by simply recognizing their faces and linking them to their smart phones. Payment and bank balancing are then done automatically on the spot. No additional cost! Another amazing application is simultaneous speech translation. Recently, the Chinese program iFlyTek translated almost to perfection president Trump’s speech. And it translated not only words and meanings, but also intonation, pitch, patterns and expressions as if he had been born in a Chinese village near Beijing. (p. 105). The new wave of artificial intelligence is blurring the line between the digital world of the computer and physical world around us. From being just automated, machines are becoming autonomous. And endowing them with human-like senses and perceptions could blur the line between humans and machine. Actually, current predictions foresee that by 2030 machines could Holistic Marketing Management


equal the intelligence of humans, and by 2045 super-intelligent machines may surpass the intelligence of humans. The adoption of AI machines is inevitable and the process will have beneficial results as well as dire consequences. Benefits are mostly material and economic, but internationally, they will cause massive population displacements and drastic geopolitical rearrangements. Will China with its huge population, resources and authoritarian regime, challenge the current world order? In a recently published book named Deceiving the Sky, Bill Gertz, writes that China’s rising is making Southeast Asia nervous and is threatening the United States and the current international order. The problems posed by Beijing and confronting the world are multiple, nuanced and complex. The author underlines the great achievements of China over the last several decades. Yet, in his opinion these achievements are a by-product of Beijing’s efforts to reach global supremacy and to undermine the United States, rather than simple economic goals. And Gertz is asking himself rhetorically: What does Beijing want? What is China’s long term goal? Who controls China and what does Beijing want? With regard to who control China, Gertz gives us a blunt answer. At its core China is driven and controlled by the same old communist ideology! Practically, China is led by an 80 million-strong Party whose chief purpose is to perpetuate its power. The Party is maintained by an army of activists organized in a strict hierarchy and ultimately is led by the Central Committee. At the very top, the Party is led by a Politburo Standing Committee of seven to eleven members who are virtually infallible. They exert God-like powers! And the supreme chief over the entire Party is currently Xi Jinping, a man who controls the entire country. To keep the people in line, Beijing uses most of the old communist method as well as shrewd system of rewards and retributions. Getting a passport to travel, for example, is not a right but a privilege, and one ought to earn it. Nevertheless, the regime has allowed the people economic freedom and over the years has managed to raise the standard of living of most Chinese citizens. At the same time, Beijing emphasizes its ‘grandiose achievements’ and instills nationalism and a feeling of pride in the masses. On the other hand, Beijing is promoting a form of internationalism combined with a new version of national communism as a better social goal than the current capitalist globalization. Armed with this ideology, China wages a multi-layered and near invisible war against America. However, Beijing leaders insist that they just want to reclaim China’s traditional position in the world. Yet, in order to achieve this, China needs to ‘displace and replace’ America as the world’s greatest power. For the new China, the United States is the enemy! From a Chinese point of view, the Sino-American confrontation is the last step toward making China again the center of the universe. However, while the traditional Middle Kingdom was built around old Chinese values, the new China is built around the Marxist ideology.

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Internationally, with the Chinese people under control, Beijing is focusing on the main geopolitical agenda of the regime: military expansion into the South China Sea, preparations to take over Taiwan, and ultimately, readiness to defeat America. In this regard, a recent book written by two Chinese intelligence colonels, suggestively named Unrestricted Warfare, claims that the first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules. Thus, for the People’s Republic of China, America is the ’imperialist enemy’ that must be defeated ‘by all means necessary’. (Cited by Gertz, p. 196) In his book The China Dream, Liu Mingfu writes however that China does not want to challenge or confront the United States. On the contrary, Beijing is inviting America to cooperate and the two should manage together the affairs of the world. Nevertheless, the outcome of this relation is clear: ‘China’s march to the top of the world is unstoppable.’ Other than that, Liu is rather soft on the United States, although he is sarcastic and sharp-tongued. He writes: American imperialism is a benign variety of imperialism …The United States is the most civilized hegemon in modern history, and China is the most civilized rising power in recent history. (p. 41) The United States is a nation ridden with original sin. (p.66) China has no original sin… China has never expanded abroad, invaded other countries to steal their resources. (p. 89). Yet, China is ready to help America, which... finds itself more and more isolated in the world. (p.185)… America is truly in need of rescue… If China wants to cure America, we need to help overcome its hegemonic syndrome, a disease that threaten the world and wreak havoc on America’s national fortunes. (p. 59) An American Dilemma. China’s rise to prominence has triggered two different kinds of reactions in the United States: appeasement among liberal circles and apprehension among conservatives. Gertz stresses that the failure to confront China is a failure of Washington’s leadership and of the analysts who for various reasons downplay Beijing’s aggressive behavior. He also accuses those who put their personal interests before the interests of the country. And he singles out a number of high profile individuals who lobby for China like the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Such persons have a lot to gain financially from dealings with Beijing. Gertz also criticizes the businessmen who put their personal profits ahead of national interests. In this regard, many Americans view China as an emerging market with the potential for unlimited profits. It should be remembered that Lenin once said that the capitalists will sell for profit the very ropes on which they will be hung… A very illustrative case in this regard is America‘s dependency on China for its medicines. In a recent book titled CHINA Rx. Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, the authors show that a huge amount of all drugs sold in America, from simple aspirins to the newest antibiotics, are made in China or are made from ingredients imported from China. Most people are not aware, the book writes, but the last American aspirin manufacturer... closed in 2002 when Chinese companies sold bulk aspirin in the United States at artificially low prices (Gibson and Singh, p. 35) As a result, many essential medicines or Holistic Marketing Management


ingredients for life-saving drugs are now made in China. In fact, China aims at reaching monopoly-like control of many industries in the new era of global economy. To achieve this, China is continuously spying and stealing chemical and medical secrets from the United States getting ahead with every step and eroding further America’s market share. It is obvious that Beijing has a global strategy while Washington has none. In this regard, the authors stress that profit can be an immediate goal, but not a strategy! And they add: This is the China trap. China thinks long term. America thinks short term. (p. 99) Ever since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, America opened its market to Chinese products, but through a variety of measures, China shielded its market against U.S. imports. Globalization worked for China in the chemical field, but not for America, which has lost millions of jobs. Gibson and Singh claim that... America helped create the middle class in China and at the same time destroy the middle class at home. (p. 132). The book concludes that...U.S. pharmaceutical industry needs long-term thinking, but the capitalist model isn’t designed to do that. It’s a recipe for disaster. It’s devastating to individual lives, and it’s devastating to this country.(pp. 80- 83). Gibson and Singh also consider that American dependency on Chinese drugs and medical devises is a threat to our national security. And they stress that medicine making is part of our health security and it should be treated as a strategic goal at the highest level. (Indeed, suppose that China discovers a lethal virus that spreads all over the world. And suppose that Beijing has the antidote, but does not share it with other countries!) Why is America losing and China is winning most of their confrontations? Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire who fled into exile in 2016 and who knows very well the communist system, believes that America is losing the battle because the Western culture is based on moral values, while communism is based on a false utopia; Western culture is built on the morality of right and wrong while the communists culture turns truth and lies into exactly the same thing. If domestically, China could legitimately claim obvious achievements, internationally and inter-ethnically Beijing sticks cautiously to its so-called ‘civilized and non-imperialistic’ policies. The concentrations camps of Sinkiang are never mentioned; the persecution of Christians and of other religions is taboo; and the military build-up in the South China Sea is officially ignored. Hong Kong and its current problems, on the other hand, are also rarely mentioned. As for Taiwan, considered an indivisible part of China, any American interference in the area will be a casus beli. And with regard to Tibet, Liu Mingfu, the author of The China Dream, lets a 21 years old Chinese answer the issue: Tibet was, is, and always will be a part of China... If Westerners pack up and leave from the Americas, the Pacific, Africa and Asia, and return to Europe, China will leave Tibet. (p. 92) From a military point of view, Gertz claims that we are in the middle of a cyber war and are unaware of what is going on. Behind the façade of economic development, the Chinese build Holistic Marketing Management


incessantly their military forces. With a smile of benevolence on their faces, the Chinese leaders are conquering the world and the West is sleeping, the author writes. A good part of Gertz’s book, Deceiving the Sky, is dedicated to the Chinese efforts to control the outer space, to satellite capabilities, cyberspace espionage, and star war style applications. The details are overwhelming and the reader realizes how dangerous the current global competition is. According to experts, a future military confrontation between the United States and China will be determined by who is first to develop the most sophisticated artificial intelligence military capabilities. (p. 184). In his opinion, space will be the main battleground of the future and China is developing fast. The Chinese have pretty much closed the gap with America and the future is murky. Will reason and common sense prevail, or we are destined to collide? Bill Gertz ends his book with several recommendations, but are they feasible? He rightfully emphasizes the shortcomings of the Chinese model, but fails to see the shortcomings of capitalism in the era of globalization. For example, he only finds in America a ‘seeming loss of moral clarity’ and socio-political polarization, but he does not elaborate. He convinces the reader that China’s aggressive policy threatens America and the present world order. Specifically, Gertz stresses that China has no intention to join the current world arrangements, which in his opinion, are based on nations that value “individual liberty, democracy-based rule of law and free-market capitalism.” (p. 212) He assumes automatically that the Western system is superior. It may be so, but he does not mange to make the point. Conclusions. China is already a superpower. Economically it is now second only to the United States and it keeps developing. Militarily, it has just launched its second carrier and a third one is in the making. A series of modern destroyers are also in the making. Its Asian neighbors are apprehensive. Does China, like other great nations, have a sense of global mission? According to Xi Jimping the Chinese goal is to rejuvenate the nation. And he further implied that China is destined to become again a great power and to bring communism as a new world order to oppose current globalization. By contrast, America’s sense of mission, as allegedly ordained by God, is to bring justice and democracy to mankind. Is there enough room at the top of the world for the two visions? Can America share the world-stage with China still making room for other evolving countries to challenge the status quo? There is no easy answer, but there are lessons to learn from the evolution of Sino-American relations. First and most important: never say never to change. The world is in a perpetual state of change and mankind should expect unpredictable developments and events. As for the future, nobody can predict it. History is not linear or a simple extrapolation of the present. Henry Kissinger, historian and former statesman, once confessed that when he was young he wanted to find the meaning of history. Later, at an old age, he admitted that the meaning of history was yet to be found. History and the future can take any paths and can surprise everyone. No wonder, current U.S. attitudes toward China are ambiguous. For America China is an important trade partner, but some critics claim that it is self-deception to consider Holistic Marketing Management


Beijing a trustworthy partner. And some hawkish critics even urge Washington to confront China now from a position of strength rather than in the future when Beijing will be capable of challenging American supremacy. From America to Russia and from Europe to China, the world is confronted with an alarming array of problems and challenges. We are in the middle of a radical transition and are knocking at the door of the unknown. Yet, while moving into the space age, we are still faced with the same age-old human nature: political bickering, economic interests and geopolitical claims in many sensitive areas of the globe. What we need the most these days is honest and competent leaders capable of wrestling with politics as well as with moral issues. Otherwise, we will not make it into the next stage of human civilization. And the time of reckoning is fast approaching! Nicholas Dima, PhD, Retired Professor <http://www.drdima.net>

Bibliography Liu Mingfu. The China Dream- Great Power Thinking & Strategic Posture in the Post American Era, New York: CN Times Books, 2015 Gordon H. Chang, Fateful Ties- A History of America’s Preoccupation with China, Harvard University Press, 2015 Gregg A. Brazinsky Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War, The University of North Carolina Press, 2017 Kai-Fu-Lee, AI Super-Powers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Boston, New York, 2018 Bill Gertz, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy, Encounter Books, New York, 2019 Henry Kissinger, World Order, Penguin Press, New York, 2014 Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh. CHINA Rx. Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine. US: Prometheus Books, 2018, Nicholas Dima, The United States vs. Russia: A Chronology of the Last Ten Years of an Old Geopolitical Game, Academica Press, Washington/London, 2020.

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Lt. Col. Stephen R. Bowers, USA Ret., is Director of East West Open Roads and served in the U.S. Special Operations Command. He is retired from James Madison University, Va., where he was a professor of political science Introduction The turbulence of the post-communist era in Eastern Europe has brought numerous disruptions and violence conflicts. At the same time, there have been political disappointments such as the failed promise of Petro Poroshenko’s election as Ukrainian president in 2014. The Ukrainian turbulence of recent years is a reminder of the disappointments of the post-Soviet era. Post-Cold War Era The end of the Cold War, rather than bringing a “peace dividend” that would reduce America’s international obligations, created an era of new responsibilities for the US military. As the Soviet Union disintegrated and the Kremlin became a less imposing and singular military threat, the numerous components of what had been the world’s last great empire morphed into smaller but nonetheless vexing challenges. The Partnership for Peace program created opportunities for US National Guard units to play important advisory roles in many of the former Communist Party states. U.S. active-duty military personnel were stationed in other East European states as well as Holistic Marketing Management


former Soviet republics such as Uzbekistan where they supported combat units in Afghanistan. Consequently, American soldiers faced demands for more overseas deployments and further education in subjects such as cross cultural communications and language training. When newly independent nations were created out of former Soviet republics, their leaderships often sought closer relations with the United States and perhaps eventual membership in NATO. The friendly embrace of these states carried new challenges for the United States that threatened to bring US forces into confrontations with Russian troops. Our military relationship with the Baltic republics was relatively benign but when Russia invaded the Georgian Republic in 2008, several hundred American soldiers in Tbilisi became a final barrier keeping the Russians from occupation of Georgia’s capitol. US support for the pro-Western Ukraine represented an even greater challenge for the American military. With the annexation of Crimea and the clashes with Russian forces and Russian “volunteers”, there were questions not simply about our providing logistical support – socks, for example – but weapons to aid Ukrainian forces in their combat operations. When Russian forces took three Ukrainian ships and two dozen sailors in November, 2018, the Ukrainian crisis threatened to escalate and engulf Western states sympathetic to Kiev. Throughout most of the Cold War, few Soviet specialists gave much thought to what might follow the collapse of communism. It was not for lack of interest but because of a belief among Western scholars that the system was unlikely to fail. Should it do so, the casual assumption among academics was that communism would be replaced by something like Western democracies. There was limited consideration of the possibility that the collapse of the communist system would unleash the bitter nationalist sentiments that had been suppressed by communist dictatorships. The years since the fall of the USSR have brought violent clashes that run counter to the Marxist belief that societies would be defined by their relationship to the means of production rather than to ethnic heritage. Events in post-Soviet Ukraine are a vivid illustration of the failure of the Marxist predictions. Ukraine has long struggled for its independence enduring tensions with Poland and Russia since the Middle Ages. This tension was particularly noticeable during the inter-war years as both Poland and Russia sought control over Ukraine. This regional conflict contributes to the often aggressive nationalism that Ukrainians exhibit, a nationalism that contrasts sharply with Western nationalism. “Nationalism in the West arose in an effort to build a nation in the political reality and the struggles of the present without too much sentimental regard for the past; nationalists in Central and Eastern Europe created often … an ideal fatherland, closely linked with the past, devoid of any immediate connection with the present”. (Serii M. Plokhy, “The History of a "Non-Historical" Nation: Notes on the Nature and Current Problems of Ukrainian Historiography”, www.jstor.org/stable/2501745?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents)

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Ukrainian nationalism gave birth to Stepan Bandera, whom Russia labeled as a criminal and Ukrainians worship as a national hero. As a member of the Union of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth, Bandera vowed to fight until Ukraine was independent or die trying. Today there are many Ukrainians who have similar beliefs and are ready to join militia or quasi-vigilante groups to secure Ukraine’s independence. From the Russian perspective, Ukraine has been a part of the Russian empire’s historical heartland and was something the Russian state could never surrender to the West. When the USSR collapsed, Ukraine’s desire for independence grew with that of other Soviet republics. When offered EU membership, Ukrainians hoped for change and security. Vladimir Putin saw the EU overture toward Ukraine as a threat to Russia’s economic interests and as an EU effort to expand its “sphere of influence”. Moreover, it undermined Putin’s apparent effort to restore the Soviet Union. The power vacuum created by President Victor Yanukovich’s removal from office in February of 2014 created an opportunity for Russia to annex Crimea. Russia’s occupation of Crimea cut the Crimean population off from Ukraine. When authorities in Kiev protested, they were branded as fascists or neo-Nazis bent on an ethnic cleansing of Russians living in Ukraine. In the subsequent referendum, Russian speaking Ukrainians or Crimeans voted in favor of secession from Ukraine. The Ukrainian government, backed by many EU and NATO members, disputed the legality of the referendum. When Crimea declared its independence, there was an intensification of the conflict between ethnic Ukrainians and Russian-secessionists. The creation of what became known as the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine exacerbated nationalistic tensions. The DPR is a non-recognized state which is a Russian client dependent on Moscow for humanitarian and military support. Ukraine branded the DPR a terrorist group and supported the Azov Regiment as an organization that would destroy such terrorist threats. Reactions to Russian Military Success in the East Formed in May 2014 when Ukrainian military was being overwhelmed by Russian backed separatist forces, the Azov Battalion, as it was then, was a volunteer militia of 1,000 members and a response to Russian military activities Ukraine’s eastern regions. When the Ukrainian National Guard incorporated Azov, its status changed to a regiment – the Azov Special Operations Regiment – and it was transformed into a regular military unit. Azov was only one of more than twenty volunteer units which joined the fight against Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions. As a regular unit, Azov undergoes the rigorous training associated with more conventional military organizations. In one of the many ironies of this conflict, the lavish family dacha of former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych now serves as the has been transformed into a Holistic Marketing Management


training camp for the Azov Regiment. There is also an Azov training facility in Kiev where members are taught basic combat skills. The Azov Regiment has a complicated reputation. Russia denounces it as a terrorist, fascist group bent on the elimination of peaceful Russians living in the Donetsk region. According to a 2015 Russian report, the organization “is one of the most infamous units of the Ukrainian National Guard”. Russian accounts maintain that these Ukrainian nationalists have committed numerous atrocities and war crimes. An ISIS-style video, allegedly produced by the Azov Regiment, shows a Novorossia fighter being tied to a cross which was then set on fire. Critics of the Azov Regiment argue that the organization is a haven for Nazis. While there is no way to evaluate the extent to which the unit is pro-Nazi, even Azov defenders admit that there are some Nazis in the Regiment. They argue, however, that the number is small, perhaps no more than 50 out of what may be a total of 2,500 members. Moreover, supporters argue that while there are a few Nazis, they are motivated by their opposition of Putin and Russian aggression and are not working to advance what might be seen as Nazi ideology. In fact, in as much as one can determine what an Azov ideology might be, there is little evidence that the group espouses what can be thought of as a Nazi ideology. Much has been made of the symbols used by the Azov Regiment. Critics charge that these symbols are evocative of the Nazi past and indicate the group’s neo-Nazi orientation. Some Azov images include the pagan Sunwheel which was adopted by the Nazis but has existed for several thousand years as part of pagan worship. In late 19th century Ukraine there was a blending of pagan and Christian beliefs into what is described as Slavic folk religion. Having been missed by the Age of Enlightenment, pagan beliefs persist in Russia and Ukraine. After the collapse of the USSR, many Ukrainians embraced the US-based international organization Native Ukrainian National Faith, also known as Rodnovery. Devastated by large scale unemployment, there was a resurgence of cultural nationalism which encouraged nostalgia for the distant past and its symbols. This was associated with the growth of Rodnovery and the effort to regain national pride. The Azov movement, with its utilization of ancient pagan symbols, is a reflection of this post-Soviet development. It is important to recognize that Azov is only one of many volunteer military organizations involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. However, they enjoy a more secure official status within the institutions of Ukrainian government, both military and political. Moreover, their image seems better than that of other organizations, such as the Right Sector movement, which is has thousands of armed members. While is cooperates with the Ukrainian Army in military operations, Right Sector is not inclined to support the Kiev government and many fear that once the war ends, Right Sector elements would turn their guns against the Ukrainian government. Russia’s media is able to use Right Sector for propaganda purposes suggesting that it is the true face of “Ukrainian fascism”. (www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/ukraine-turns-a-blind-

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eye-to-ultrarightist-militia/2017/02/12/dbf9ea3c-ecab-11e6-b4ffac2cf509efe5_story.html?noredirect=on) Youth Camps and Ukrainian National Identity There is a century old tradition of political activism associated with Ukrainian youth. For example, the Group of Ukrainian Nationalist Youth was founded in Prague in 1922. In this period, the complexion of the camps has varied greatly with some dedicated to violence and ethnic hatred while others have been motivated by a desire to protect themselves and their families. At a minimum, the current camps, which are supervised and often funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, are dedicated in a broader sense to develop a sense of national identity and patriotism. According to a Ministry spokesperson, each camp is evaluated by a Ministry panel which works to exclude funding for any which show “signs of xenophobia and discrimination.” (www.apnews.com/94fe1c68205a43ca96fcc89c88a7cc9f) Azov is not the only Ukrainian military organization associated with nationalist conceptions. It is, however, condemned for its “biological racism”, an imprecise term which is difficult to define. The term is employed in connection with the Azov Regiment’s determination to destroy all Russian influence in the region. The notion is clouded by the fact that Ukrainians and Russians have intermarried with such frequency that it is often difficult to determine who is Ukrainian and how is Russian. In the early years of the unit’s existence, at least twenty Russians who were motivated by their opposition to Vladimir Putin came from the Russian Republic to join Azov in its struggle to defend Ukraine. In interviews, many of those Russians declare that it was their opposition to the Putin regime that prompted their decision to go to Ukraine. In so doing, they often say, they are no simply defending Ukraine but also a Europe which is likely to be directly threatened by Putin’s expansionist objectives. Some Russian speakers, such as Yuriy Yeremenko, have even assumed leadership positions. (“Azov: Russians Join Ukraine’s Azov Regiment”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWYFWyq4C2U&t=58s, 14 October 2014) By contrast, some former US and UK military veterans praise Azov and argue that it is simply resisting Russian territorial expansion into the rest of Ukraine. When founded in 2014 as the Azov Battalion, as noted above, the unit took over a seaside villa that belonged to Ukraine’s proRussian President Viktor Yanukovych and thus cemented the unit’s reputation as a repudiation of the old political order. A 2017 report by Nolan Peterson, a US veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, insists the Azov Regiment has no overall ideological orientation beyond its commitment to defend Ukraine. While visiting with members of the Regiment, Peterson observed a variety of motives but its most frequent motivation was simply the desire to establish control of the Ukrainian border and reclaim secessionist dominated Luhansk and Donetsk. In its more ambitious statements, Azov leadership expresses a desire to reclaim Crimea.

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While some observers maintain that the Regiment is untrained and undisciplined, Peterson noted that what started as a civilian volunteer paramilitary unit has, since 2015, benefitted from sophisticated training programs. Among the most notable is a specialized course for noncommissioned officers. Only 5% of the personnel of the Azov Regiment have actually attended a Ukrainian academy, a situation that makes it easier for Azov soldiers to embrace training that is completely different from Soviet concepts that are still part of formal post-Soviet military education. The new goal, Azov spokesmen maintain, is to train soldiers more like American troops who are taught to think for themselves in a tactical environment. The unit now enjoys a positive reputation among Ukrainian forces that recognize its skill set which includes an ability to cross through minefields, safely defuse booby traps, and handle explosive ordnance threats. New recruits go through several months of training before deployment in combat operations. The Azov Regiment consists of two infantry battalions and uses a military uniform that looks a lot like those worn by US troops. There is also an artillery battalion, a drone reconnaissance team, a sniper platoon, a canine term, and a combat service support unit. The Ukrainian government provides financial and military support for the Azov Regiment and the unit falls under the command of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior. The Ukrainian National Guard has given the unit several modified T-64 tanks and provides Regiment members with their basic pay of approximately $400 per month. Yet, there have been questions about the degree of official Ukrainian as well as American support for Azov. While this may be no more than disinformation, officials of Ministry of Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed that during the 2015 ceasefire Ukrainian officials had contacted them and requested them to direct mortar fire against elements of the Azov Regiment. According to DPR spokesman Eduard Basurin, Ukrainians authorities had complained about the regiment’s “insubordination” and “aggression toward the civilian population” and wanted DPR forces to restrain the Azov fighters. Basurin maintained that this request was simply an effort to trick DPR forces into violating the ceasefire so it ignored the request. American funding for Azov became a controversial subject as speculation arose about alleged human rights violations by the unit’s personnel. The 2016 U.S. defense appropriations bill was to have banned US military aid for Azov but when the budget was finalized, aid was restored. In December 2017, the State Department announced the U.S. would provide enhanced defensive capabilities for Ukraine and, in January 2018, there were reports that U.S.-made weapons were being used by the Azov Regiment. There was further controversy about US military aid to Ukraine in 2019. However, in September, the Trump administration announced that it was going to provide $250,000 in military aid to Kiev during its ongoing war in the east. (www.defensenews.com/congress/2019/09/12/white-house-releases-250-million-in-ukrainemilitary-aid) Holistic Marketing Management


For several years, the Azov regiment suffered from an apparent decline in official support and confidence. For three years the unit did not participate in combat operations but was essentially confined to barracks. Most of its time was devoted to training and lobbying for more equipment. In February, 2019, its status changed as it was attached to the 30th Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces and resumed combat operations. (tsarizm.com/news/easterneurope/2019/02/03/ukrainian-azov-regiment-returning-to-front-lines-in-donbass) During these years, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict has threatened to further destabilize the region. However, the upset election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the 41 year old comic who defeated the Ukrainian incumbent Petro Poroshenko to become President of Ukraine, set the stage for what might become a rapprochement between these two former Soviet republics. (www.rferl.org/a/zelenskiy-putin-discuss-east-ukraine-conflict-in-first-phonecall/30050156.html) Zelenskiy’s broad reform agenda, which included dissolution of the Ukrainian parliament, created improved prospects for ending the long was between Ukraine and Russia. The prisoner exchange on 7 September 2019, an event widely seen as a political victory for both Zelenskiy and Putin, inspired optimism about prospects for an end to the long conflict in eastern Ukraine. (www.rferl.org/a/after-ukraine-russia-prisoner-swap-can-zelenskiy-capitalizeon-momentum-/30151851.html) Prospects for the Azov Regiment The Azov Regiment’s future is difficult to predict. It is reminiscent of the region’s past with its rekindling of Ukrainian nationalism and its utilization of ancient symbols. It also builds on memories of the turbulent Ukrainian-Russian relationship. However, with its military skill set, Azov can influence the region’s future development as it combats further Russian incursions and draws Ukraine toward the West. Given improvements in the Ukrainian economy as well as improved prospects for an end to the combat, it is increasingly likely that Azov will enjoy political benefits from its participation in the turbulent events since its formation in 2014.

STEPHEN R BOWERS Key Qualifications: Professor Bowers has over forty years of teaching at the college and university level. In addition to his teaching experience, Bowers has had governmental assignments relevant to International Relations and East European Politics. From 1982 through 1987, Bowers worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the US Department of the Army. Over the years, he developed an extensive multi-disciplinary program of study of the political transition of communist societies in Eastern Europe. In 1998, Dr. Bowers founded an institute to support teaching, research, and service in this area. Since 2006, this institute has functioned as the Center for Security and Science. Since 1998, Bowers has directed contracts for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Intelligence Council, and the USMC Intelligence Activity. In February, 2000, Bowers Holistic Marketing Management


opened an office in Moldova to support work in the former USSR. While he retired from Liberty University in 2018, he continued residential teaching at the Romanian American University in Bucharest and created West East Open Roads, an organization to study strategic issues in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. Education: University of Tennessee, 1971-75, PhD, Political Science University of Tennessee, 1969-71, MA, Political Science Foreign Service Institute, Area Studies Certificate for orientation course, Washington, DC, 1986 Experience: Professor of Government, Helms School of Government, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, 2006-2018 and instructor in online program in government from 2012-2015 Professor of Political Science, James Madison University, 1987 - 2006 Annual Visiting Professor, Romanian American University, Bucharest, from 2010 until present Lectured for the Romanian Intelligence Service, Bucharest, March, 2019 Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Reserves (Retired), various assignments in Civil Affairs, 19671994, with emphasis refugee problems, community development programs, cross cultural communication, and low intensity conflict Graduate Faculty, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, 1984-1987 Senior Intelligence Analyst, East European Affairs, 1st Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC 1984-87 2 Visiting Professor, Special Warfare Center, School of International Studies, Fort Bragg, NC, 1982-84 Assistant Professor, Department of History, Sociology, and Political Science, Berry College, Rome, Georgia, 1976-82 Assistant Professor, Floyd Junior College, Rome, Georgia, 1975-76 Instructor, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Athens, Tennessee, 1972-75 Recent publications “Impact of OPEC + Meeting on Romanian Energy”, Institute for World Economy of the Romanian Academy, 11 December 2019, https://iem.ro/en/impact-of-opec-meeting-onromanian-energy/ “Gazprom as Policy Instrument”, Market for Ideas, No. 20, November-December, 2019, www.themarketforideas.com/gazprom-as-policy-instrument-a513/ “The Azov Regiment”, accepted for publication by GeoPolitica (Bucharest) Issues of the Post-Communist Transition, Editor (with Marion T. Doss, Jr), The Council for Social and Economic Studies (Washington, DC), 2001 Technology and Terrorism, (monograph, with Kimberly Keyes), Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, London, 1998

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Tibet: Endurance of the National Idea, Council for Social and Economic Studies (Washington, DC), 1995 Selected Articles “Russian Petroleum: Partnerships and Influence”, SFPPR News and Analysis, March 20, 2018 “Civic Values and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Post-Communist Romania”, SFPPR News & Analysis, 13 January 2015 “Humor as a Political Weapon”, SFPPR News & Analysis, 8 July 2014 “Ramzan Kadyrov and the Chechen Political Landscape”, SFPPR News & Analysis, 30 October 2013 “Chechens: Sochi or Syria?” SFPPR News & Analysis, 17 September 2013 “False Dawn and High Stalinism”, SFPPR News & Analysis, 22 August 2013 3 “The Islamic Threat to Eastern Central Asia”, (with Steven Samson), Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Washington, DC, Winter, 2006 “The Politics of Perceptions”, Armed Forces Journal, July, 2005 “Suicide Terrorism in the former USSR”, (with Ashley Derrick and Mousafar Olimov) Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Washington, DC, Fall, 2004 “Identification of Transnational Threats”, Critical Infrastructure Protection Project, George Mason University/ James Madison University, 2003 “Problems of Post-Communist Education: The Romanian Example”, Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Washington, DC, Fall, 2002 "Criminal Justice in a Post-Communist Society: The Romanian Criminal Justice System" (with Marion T. Doss, Jr., and Cristina Hanganu, International Journal of Police Science & Management. (Spring, 2001) "Low Intensity Conflict in the Balkans", (with Marion T. Doss, Jr), Armed Forces Journal International, May, 1999 “Ethnic Politics in East Europe”, Beyond the Soviet Union: The Fragmentation of Power, edited by Max Beloff, (United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing, 1997) "Information Warfare", Armed Forces Journal International, February 1998, pp. 30-31. "Dimensions of Transnational Conflict" with Stuart Kaufman, Nationalities Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring, 1998. “The Tibetan Resistance Movement”, Jane's Intelligence Review (June, 1994) pp. 283-285 "The 'Dniester Republic': Further Insights", Jane's Intelligence Review (Great Britain), Vol. 6, No. 12, December, 1994 "The Ossetian Conflict," Jane's Intelligence Review, Vol 6, No. 1, 1994 "The Partition of Moldova", Jane's Intelligence Review (Great Britain), Vol. 5, No. 10, October, 1993 'The Crisis in Moldova', Jane's Intelligence Review (November, 1992), pp. 483–64 Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe, Conflict Study No. 248, Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, London, February, 1992 Holistic Marketing Management


"The East European Revolutions", East European Quarterly (University of Colorado), June, 1991 Presentations and Briefings On 27 March 2017 Hosted a conference on Moldovan affairs at Liberty University. Former Moldovan diplomat Veaceslav Pituscan, Dr. Vlalda Licenco, and representatives Embassy of Moldovan and the US Department of State participated in the conference. Hosted one day conference on Moldovan affairs, primary guests were present and former Moldovan Ambassadors to the US, Helms School of Government, March, 2013 Hosted one day conference on Russian affairs, primary guest was Cultural AttachĂŠ of the Russian Embassy, Dr. Slava Moshkalo, Helms School of Government, April 2012 Co-hosed one day conference on Russian affairs at the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, October, 2011 Co-hosted conference on Estonian affairs at Embassy of Estonia in Washington, DC, April, 2010 Co-hosted conference on Albanian affairs at the Embassy of Albania, Washington, DC, in April, 2009 Hosted one day conference on North Caucasus (emphasis on Adygea) for CIA Office of Eurasian Affairs, June 2006 Lecture on Georgian Affairs for CIA Office of Eurasian Affairs, March, 2007 Occasional briefings for Department of State officials assigned to Moldova and for CIA analysts with responsibilities for Moldova from 1997 through 2002 Contact Information: Cellular 540/421-7174 Business 804 299-2978 E-mail: Dr.stephen.bowers@gmail.com

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Over Tipping Point for Digital Disruption: E-Commerce & Omni Channel Working Together Within the Acceleration of the Digitization of Customer and Supply Chain Interactions

Drd. Ioan Matei PURCĂREA Abstract There is no doubt that retailers are embracing Omni channel within the sizeable shift to e-commerce and digitalization as a key driver of the Supply Chain Resilience. They are struggling to find the right answer to the new requirements of the Supply Chain 4.0 (applying Industry 4.0 innovations) & Value Chain 4.0 (generating and capturing value in the whole chain using technology usually associated with Industry 4.0 everywhere), while implementing the ECR philosophy in order to obtain a rigorous answer to what kind of problems are consumers facing with the second wave of COVID-19. We are witnessing both a strong focus on e-commerce and m-commerce in today’s digital-native climate, and an increasing interest in responsible investing in Customer Data Platforms, AI, ML, and Deep learning. And as people and data are at the heart of the digital transformation which needs to be holistic, enterprises need to struggle to ensure a seamless, streamlined user experience by a better working together of digital commerce and digital workforce based on holistic, harmonized and integrated information. Keywords: E-Commerce & Omni channel; SCM & ECR; Digitalization & Supply Chain Resilience; CDP, AI, ML, and Deep Learning JEL Classification: D83; L81; L86; M15; M31; M7; O32; O33

Retailers are embracing Omni channel within the sizeable shift to ecommerce and digitalization as a key driver of the supply chain resilience In our last HMM issue (July 2020) we pledged for a better understanding that digital transformation is essential for a resilient organization within the current full digital acceleration of the business world caused by the new coronavirus crisis (Negricea & Purcarea). In October this year, on the occasion of the traditional Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference – with the theme “The Management of Digitization in Supply Chain with Holistic Marketing Management


Shoppers and Users� – we started in our presentation (see the figures below) from how does the digitization and the 2020 pandemic impact the supply chain (Purcarea, 2020).

Figure no. 1: The Management of Digitization in Supply Chain with Shoppers and Users Source: Purcarea, 2020. The Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference, HMM, October

Figure no. 2: How does the digitization and the 2020 pandemic impact the supply chain? Source: Purcarea, 2020. Increased Sustainability through Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain in Supply Chain Digitization, The Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference, October (work cited)

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In November 2020, on the occasion of the prestigious 7th International Conference ESPERA 2020 “30 Years of Inspiring Academic Economic Research – From the Transition to Market Economy to the Interlinked Crises of 21st Century”, organized by the Romanian Academy, the “Costin C. Kiritescu” National Institute of Economic Research (INCE), the National Bank of Romania, and the Centre for Economic Information and Documentation (CIDE), we presented a Conference paper (see the figure below) in which we focused on Innovation in Distribution by approaching E-Commerce (a Disruptive Innovation & Technology) & Omni channel, taking into account retailers’ imperative to better answer to the new requirements of the Supply Chain 4.0 (applying Industry 4.0 innovations) & Value Chain 4.0 (generating and capturing value in the whole chain using technology usually associated with Industry 4.0 everywhere), while implementing the philosophy of the ECR concept (Efficient Consumer Response, as a strategic partnership between Producer, Distributor and Consumer) in order to obtain a rigorous answer to what kind of problems are consumers facing with the second wave of COVID-19 (Ioan-Franc & Purcarea). The above mentioned Conference paper has opened Session 3: Knowledge, Innovation, Smart Development and Human Capital, which was moderated by Valeriu IOAN-FRANC and Luminiţa CHIVU, “Costin C. Kiriţescu” National Institute for Economic Research, Romanian Academy (INCE), who kept the listeners engaged, clearly summarizing the key findings, and opening the video debate, allowing the clarification of questions and concerns within the framework of the traditional lively discussions.

Figure no. 3: Innovation in Distribution: E-Commerce (a Disruptive Innovation & Technology) & Omni channel. Matching consumers’ needs and expectations & avoiding consumers’ anxiety and friction Source: Ioan-Franc & Purcarea, 2020. The gait of ideas and of economic reflections on the path to the next normal and the touchpoint between citizens and their local community represented by a retail progressively adapting to the technology trends, Conference paper presented on November 27, at the 7th International Conference - ESPERA 2020 “30 Years of Inspiring Academic Economic Research – From the Transition to Market Economy to the Interlinked Crises of 21st Century”, Romanian Academy, INCE, National Bank of Romania, CIDE, Session 3: Knowledge, Innovation, Smart Development and Human Capital (work cited) Holistic Marketing Management


On November 24, 2020 the MIT Technology Review Insights (the well-known custom content arm of MIT Technology Review) attracted the attention on the importance of a better understanding of the necessary digital infrastructure in approaching both the potential supply chain breakpoints, and the agility to navigate them effectively. It was underlined within the current general context: the real need to both anticipate and prevent supply disruptions by developing data capabilities and analysis tools ensuring an E2E Value Chain increased visibility, and rapidly mobilize an effective response to the Supply Chain disruptions adequately managing the whole ecosystem of suppliers; the significant role of the so-called Kearney’s Resilience Stress Test which allows a comprehensive assessment of the supply chain resilience by measuring the degree of critical digitalization in each of the eight dimensions which can be seen in the figure below (MIT Technology Review Insights a, 2020).

Figure no. 4: Kearney’s Supply Chain Resilience Stress Test score by industry (a higher score in each category correlates to greater supply chain resilience) Source: MIT Technology Review Insights, 2020. Building resilient supply chains, MIT Technology Review Insights in association with Kearney, November 24 (work cited)

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In a Foreword to the MIT Technology Review Insights Report produced in association with Kearney, Suketu Gandhi and Steve Mehltretter, Partners at Kearney, showed that: “With the large quantities of data it gathers, digitalization allows for more accurate predictions of potential crises and greater agility in responding to disruptions that could occur anywhere. Understanding the growing need for digitalization, companies are making the challenging shift to Industry 4.0 tools (including automation, IoT networks, AI, and robots) and smart manufacturing solutions” (MIT Technology Review Insights b, 2020). E-commerce and m-commerce in today’s digital-native climate. Customer Data Platforms, AI, ML, and Deep Learning E-commerce and the online marketplace are already confirming the working together in building tomorrow’s ecommerce marketplace. In the same time the mobile wallet (payment card information stored on mobile devices; it allows in-store payments etc.) industry is witnessing the determined efforts made by the market-leading wallets’ providers (Apple Pay; Google Pay; Samsung pay; Starbucks; Venmo; Zelle; Square Cash; Amazon pay) to deal with the mobile payment convergence, while facing the increasing competitive pressure within the evolution of m-commerce, mobile proximity payments, and mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, taking into account the trending access of services remotely via mobile phone, confirmed recently by the payment offerings from US Top mobile wallets shown in the figure below (Business Insider a, 2020). And this within the context in which last year, in August 2019, CNBC attracted the attention that the adoption of mobile payments in US was way behind compared with other parts of the world, such as China and India (Rooney, 2019).

Figure no. 4: US payment offerings from Top mobile wallets Source: Business Insider, 202). To capitalise on rising mobile wallet usage, players across the industry need to prepare for shifts in how..., Newsletter, November (work cited)

Another November’s newsletter from Business Insider informed us how by using new technologies (such as AI and its subset ML, customer engagement being delivered this way with chatbots and virtual assistants) the conventional processes of the insurance value chain are examined thoroughly and improved accordingly so as to both increase efficiency and enhance Holistic Marketing Management


CX. Within this framework there were underlined the growth opportunities within Usage-Based Auto Insurance (UBI), a business model going beyond the use of demographic information and enabling insurers to charge customers both per mile they’re driving, and based on customers’ driving behaviour. In other words, this type of (pay–per–mile, pay–as–you–drive, or pay–as– you–go) policies have allowed the personalization of the formerly impersonal business of auto insurance (Business Insider b, 2020). As argued recently by Tealium, the driving force behind any digital transformation strategy is to adequately manage and utilise data (whose cleanliness is impacting company’s success with AI and ML), connecting them in real time, and customer data across an organisation can be orchestrated by Customer Data Platforms (CDPs, defined by Gartner as “a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modelling and optimise the timing and targeting of messages and offers” ) technology, making distinction between data-first CDPs and specialised CDPs (the two major types of CDPs, see the table below). The dynamic of customer interaction, understanding, and relationship will be changed fundamentally by the ML-driven insights (Tealium, 2020). Table no. 1: Characteristics of data-first CDPs vs. specialised CDPs

Source: Tealium, 2020. State of the CDP. How Organisations Buy, Implement and Use Customer Data Platforms, Europe, p. 10, November (work cited)

But speaking about AI and ML, let’s not forget Deep Learning as a subset of ML, as a ML technique which instructs computers (enabling them to solve more complex problems) to do Holistic Marketing Management


what comes naturally to human. The difference between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning has been clearly represented in the picture below by Oracle (Jeffcock, 2018):

Figure no. 5: The difference between AI, ML, and Deep Learning Source: Jeffcock, 2018. What's the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning? Oracle, July 11 (work cited)

Last year, the reputed professor involved in deep learning since the 1980s, Geoffrey Hinton (an AI pioneer, also known for his pioneering results within the revolutionary annual ImageNet competition starting in 2012), was awarded the Turing Award, annual award given by the prestigious Association for Computing Machinery (alongside other AI pioneers Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio). This year, in October, on the occasion of the MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech MIT conference, Hinton stated that “deep learning is going to be able to do everything, but I do think there’s going to have to be quite a few conceptual breakthroughs... Neural nets are surprisingly good at dealing with a rather small amount of data, with a huge numbers of parameters, but people are even better... Most of my contrarian views from the 1980s are now kind of broadly accepted” (Hao, 2020).

People and data are at the heart of the digital transformation which needs to be holistic. Ensuring a seamless, streamlined user experience by a better working together of digital commerce and digital workforce based on holistic, harmonized and integrated information In December 2017, we showed both how digital customer experience (DCX) is evolving step by step (digital marketers being aware of the role of CX as the top digital transformation priority), and how consumers’ technology adoption (hyperadoption being already a defining characteristic) is powered by emotion (Negricea & Purcarea, 2017). We also made reference to research findings recommending where to focus resources to implement digital transformation, knowing that improving CX (CX and brand working together) is a very important benefit of digital transformation. Holistic Marketing Management


This year, on October 22, 2020, the CEO of Earley Information Science, Seth Earley – who is the author of the new book “The AI-Powered Enterprise: Harness the Power of Ontologies to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster, and More Profitable (Earley a, 2020) – pledged for: • Considering very carefully (without accumulating friction introduced by compromises and adequate rather than perfect results) the works of the digital machinery that drives CX (and without neglecting the internal customer), avoiding to adversely affect the internal efficiencies (the employees, an important customer segment representing the embodiment of the enterprise); as enterprise workforce became remote instantly within the context of the new coronavirus crisis, they need to get the information (managing information for humans being the same thing as managing the information used to train AI-based conversational assistants and cognitive technologies) so as to answer questions or solve problems within a reasonable time frame; • Encouraging a more holistic view of enterprise information flows, and this by focusing on the ways which upstream and downstream systems manage and organize data; and this is open the way of a better impact on the customer, on the strength of the improved flows between various tools and platforms, by a better working together of digital commerce and digital workforce on this basis, as shown in the figure below (Earley b, 2020).

Figure no. 6: Holistic, Harmonized and Integrated information Source: Earley, 2020. How to Fix Broken Digital Transformations: “Acts of Heroics” is Not a Viable Customer Experience Strategy, CustomerThink, October 22 (work cited)

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Conclusions Learning is a must within the context of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis, and there is no doubt about the key factors of success such as the new technology capabilities, the use of disruptive technologies, and the proper culture to quickly implement the technology-driven strategy, as revealed very recently by a new McKinsey Global (online) Survey of C-level executives and senior managers (LaBerge et al., 2020). We are witnessing a transformation of the retail labour model in which customer satisfaction and business success are driven by analytics and technology, retail being reinvented with state-of-the-art technology on the basis of employing design thinking (Simon, Tufft and Zampella, 2020). Retailers are under pressure of both investing in new digital methods of communication and payments, and prioritizing digital security (KPMG, 2020). In order to deliver more value to Supply Chain participants and consumers data ecosystems (closed data ecosystems, strategic partnerships, open data ecosystems; they are evolving, more data sets being shared) are a true window of opportunity (Aaser et al., 2020). Forced by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic to succeed in achieving the right balance between safety and sales, retailers must continue to quickly shorten the time to Omni channel completion within their businesses, blending digital and physical, ensuring convenience and a seamless and consistent experience across all channels and devices used within the Omni channel customer journey, anytime and anywhere, accelerating both the prioritization, and implementation of the Omni channel capabilities (BOPIS, BOPAC curbside pickup, BORIS, live web chat, contactless payments, appointment scheduling and remote customer service etc.), engaging customers empathetically (NewStore, 2020). Paying attention to consumers’ perceptions (regardless of their location in the customer life cycle or across the customer journey) with regard to their interactions with a company (regardless of its location in supply chain, and without neglecting the internal customer, the employee) is increasing the possibility of both a faster CX improvement, and a better integrated e-commerce with the whole Value Chain so as to match consumers’ needs and expectations & avoiding consumers’ anxiety and friction.

References Aaser, M., Kanagasabai, K., Roth, M., and Tavakoli, A. (2020). Four ways to accelerate the creation of data ecosystems, McKinsey & Company, McKinsey Analytics, November, pp. 3, 6-7. Retrieved from Four-ways-to-accelerate-the-creation-of-data-ecosystems.pdf. Business Insider (2020). To capitalise on rising mobile wallet usage, players across the industry need to prepare for shifts in how..., newsletter@insiderintelligence.com, Report Preview, Payments & Commerce, November. Business Insider (2020). These are the key players and forces transforming the insurance industry, newsletter@insiderintelligence.com, Insurance Disruption, Report Duo, November. Earley, S. (2020). The AI-Powered Enterprise: Harness the Power of Ontologies to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster, and More Profitable, LifeTree Media, April 28.

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Earley, S. (2020). How to Fix Broken Digital Transformations: “Acts of Heroics” is Not a Viable Customer Experience Strategy, CustomerThink, October 22. Retrieved from https://customerthink.com/how-to-fix-broken-digital-transformations-acts-of-heroics-is-not-a-viablecustomer-experience-strategy/? Hao, K. (2020). AI pioneer Geoff Hinton: “Deep learning is going to be able to do everything”, MIT Technology Review, November 3. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/03/1011616/ai-godfather-geoffrey-hinton-deep-learningwill-do-everything/? Ioan-Franc, V. & Purcarea, I. M. (2020). The gait of ideas and of economic reflections on the path to the next normal and the touchpoint between citizens and their local community represented by a retail progressively adapting to the technology trends, Conference paper presented on November 27, at the 7th International Conference - ESPERA 2020 “30 Years of Inspiring Academic Economic Research – From the Transition to Market Economy to the Interlinked Crises of 21st Century”, Romanian Academy “Costin C. Kiritescu” National Institute of Economic Research (INCE), National Bank of Romania, Centre for Economic Information and Documentation (CIDE), Session 3: Knowledge, Innovation, Smart Development and Human Capital. Retrieved from Agenda ESPERA 2020_25.11.2020.pdf Jeffcock, P. (2018). What's the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning? Oracle, July 11. Retrieved from https://blogs.oracle.com/bigdata/difference-ai-machine-learning-deep-learning KPMG (2020). Customer experience in the new reality. Global Customer Experience Excellence research 2020: The COVID-19 special edition, July, p. 7. Retrieved from customer-experience-in-the-newreality.pdf. LaBerge, L., O’Toole, C., Schneider, J. and Smaje. K. (2020). How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point – and transformed business forever, McKinsey Digital and Strategy & Corporate Finance Practices, October, pp. 2, 7-9. Retrieved from How-COVID-19-has-pushedcompanies-over-the technology tipping-point-vF.pdf MIT Technology Review Insights (2020). Building resilient supply chains, MIT Technology Review Insights in association with Kearney, November 24. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/11/24/1012450/building-resilient-supply-chains/ MIT Technology Review Insights (2020). Building resilient supply chains. How digital infrastructure drives insight and agility, Report produced in association with Kearney, November, p. 2. Retrieved from SupplyChain.pdf Negricea, C.I. & Purcarea, I.M., 2020. The Connection between Digital Marketing and Relevant Public Relations. The Brand Building Role of Digital Communication, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 10(2), pp. 08-20, July. NewStore_OLR_2021-Final.pdf Negricea, C.I. & Purcarea, I.M., 2017. Digital Marketers at the Intersection of Digital Transformation with CX, Holistic Marketing Management, vol. 7(4), pp. 20-26, December. Purcarea, I. M. (2020). Increased Sustainability through Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain in Supply Chain Digitization, The Academic & Business Partnership 2020 SCM for ECR Conference, October. Retrieved from https://holisticmarketingmanagement.ro/the-academic-business-partnership-2020-scmfor-ecr-conference/ Rooney, K. (2019). Mobile payments have barely caught on in the US, despite the rise of smartphones, CNBC, Finance, August 29. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/29/why-mobile-paymentshave-barely-caught-on-in-the-us.html Simon, P., Tufft, C. and Zampella, P. (2020). Closing the skills gap in retail with people analytics, McKinsey & Company, Retail Practice, August, p. 8. Retrieved from Closing-the-skills-gap-in-retailwith-people-analytics.pdf. Tealium (2020). State of the CDP. How Organisations Buy, Implement and Use Customer Data Platforms, Europe, November. pp. 2, 6-7, 10, 23. Retrieved from Tealium_State-of-the-CDP-EMEA.pdf.

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European Competence Centre for Vocational Training (EUCVOT) (Retail/Wholesale) Bernd HALLIER

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of the European Retail Academy (ERA) is a distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of our “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal. The Romanian-American University (RAU) has awarded Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier a “Diploma of Special Academic Merit”. Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier is also President of EUCVOT. Long-term Inspiration: Traineeships should have two effects according to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier: at the time of the ERA-/EUCVOT-traineeship it should be a mix of vocational training + culture from a foreign destination; and secondly in the medium to long-run some impact on the own development - acting with more responsibility/entrepreneurial spirit. Aleksi Kortesalmi from Rovaniemi in Finland had been in November/December 2019 as an exchange from his school in Germany. Having contributed already at that time quite a lot of new thinking for ERAYouTubes now after one year he sends a small article (My Crash Course into Game Development) about new activities in the field of game development. By this Aleksi becomes a benchmark for the next exchange students. Holistic Marketing Management


Mentors & Platforms: According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier one of the biggest changes at University education in the last 50 years are the mobility of students to get to know different cultures and gaining vocational competences by traineeships - and the change of professors from teachers to mentors: coaching the young talents individually! One of those using his academic freedom to travel, to speak and to network on international platforms is Drd. Matei Purcarea, research assistant at the Romanian - American University (RAU).

The Academic Business Partnership 2020/SCM for ECR Conference was a proof in the view of Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier that the traditional class-room teaching has to change to understand practical business models and the new wave of digital transformation of holistic processes. "The New Knowledge in Action enables intelligent work-flows for End-to-End communication which is upgrading the Marketing Tool Box; but it needs also professors and managers who are not just executing functional roles but who are leaders of thought beyond their job-descriptions and who develop visions/missions where to go in the future! “Hallier stated. “Institutions and HR have to become more resilient against the increasing speed of disruptions which according to Darwien will let survive only those who adapt quickly” Hallier claimed. Holistic Marketing Management


Outdoor Work Camps: Some years ago students of the Alanus University/Germany started their own private initiative for "new thoughts by student brain-storming" - organized in workcamps during the university-vacations. This year this organization offers within Germany for example two tours combining cycling/story telling/company-visits for one week each in the regions of the Black Forest and Hessia.

In 2020 for the second time the organizers are supported also by an EU Erasmus+ program to send people to Spain for the cooperation partner Education Center Ulex. The aim of the trainings are social movement impacts and resilience; (more: link ). The Art of Living: For more than 2000 years in philosophy the topic “The Art of Living� is discussed - now due to the disruptions of daily life due to Corona it becomes a topic for all those normal people whose traditional life/business is challenged. In 2015 the Bulgarian exchange student Nora Tineva (Link) visited the Open Days Showcase of the Alanus University / Germany where the master class of art therapists presented their cases. Uptill now her YouTube was clicked more than 1100 times.

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In memoriam of Jari Koivumaa After a short illness in the end of July 2020 one of the greatest contributors for continuous exchanges of students for vocational training between Finland and Germany - Jari Koivumaa has passed away.

“This photo - taken in my library in December 2018 - reminds me symbolically how I will personally remember Jari as a bridge-builder for a joint peaceful European Education of the young generation being in harmony with the whole world� Prof. Dr. B. Hallier stated receiving the sad news. More at the link of REDU.

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Support from Bulgaria For a second time the EUCVOT/ERA Team will be supported by the University of National and World Economy from Sofia/Bulgaria. Violena Nencheva studied there her Bachelor Studies and currently she is doing her PhD. (Linkedin: VIOLENA NENCHEVA).

Her Master Violena did at the University of Dauphine in Paris/France. In addition, during her PhD studies she did various exchange programs at the Autonomous University of QuerĂŠtaro/Mexico.

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Digital Cooperative: Digitalization is a great driver for urban revitalization: bringing brickstone business and internet together - uniting the total supply chain via IoT (Internet of Things). To profile local business and to build up digital competences for small and medium-size businesses the city of Siegen/Germany works together with the last-mile-delivery service Lozuka.

The local Chamber of Commerce and Industry sponsors the commitment for a digital platform and joint delivery-services for a supermarket for organics, a butcher, a supplier of spices etc. for reasons of joint learning and ecology as well as to develop a marketing tool to profile local shopping. More than 80 people joined the exchange of experience.

FinnFriends: Being exchange-students in Germany Aleksi Kortesalmi and Jouko Miettunen from Rovaniemi continued the vocational training schedule for social media by editing three new YouTubes to the ERA-collection: "Bergisch Gladbach", "China Youtube" and "PanBalkan Initiave". Those YouTubes are also training-material to understand geopolitical aspects. But Aleksi and Jouko also used their stay for connecting with FinnFriends: a platform of the twin-cities Odenthal & Paimio. They met exchange students visiting Bergisch Gladbach and University of Cologne as well as the Advent Celebration of FinnFriends in Odenthal.

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Vocational Competence Indonesia: n Indonesia 1293 high schools do have a shop for students at their campus. Sponsored by the German Senior Services SES the business manager Jo Vorstadt is promoting in Jakarta's vocational school SMKN 10 a strategy for visual merchandising based on shop-software (DOSIS) designed by students.

Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier promotes this project for digital vocational training as Indonesia’s retail association APRINDO will be host of APREC 2021 and by this could present the result of that educational know-how transfer on national and international level as a bridge between theory and applied sciences. http://www.european-retail-academy.org/eucvot/ Holistic Marketing Management


“Marketing Science and Inspirations”: Truly Relevant and Useful Content

Dr. Dan SMEDESCU Associate Editor of the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal Member of the scientific association Romanian Distribution Committee

JEL Classification: Y30 “Marketing Science and Inspirations” Journal is a true brand of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Journal is constantly reconfirming the recognized vocation of giving its educated, affluent and implied readers a holistic perspective on modern marketing issues, rigorously encouraging their engagement and improving the brand image by maintaining the memorable connection with them, always ensuring that experience desired by highly motivated readers with purpose. Therefore we are continuing to witness our partners’ hard and smart work to provide to both current and new readers truly relevant and useful content on current business situations and key challenges faced by agile marketers.

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We were again happy to receive by post the Issue 2, Volume XV, 2020, of our Partner Journal “Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. As usual, the new issue of this well-known academic journal addressing to academics and practitioners covered a wide range of interesting topics in the marketing research field, such as: • “Role of the regional tourism organizations in Slovakia from their perspective”. The authors Barbora Marišová and Eva Smolková started from the key role played by destinations in the tourism system with destination management organizations (DMOs) as entities responsible for finding the intersection between the supply side (destination with its offer) and the demand side (visitors) in destinations which they manage. As DMOs perform various functions and have various roles in tourism system, the authors identified several DMOs’ functions and roles, also showing that: the official establishment of DMOs in Slovakia is supported by a low initially promulgated in 2011; Act No. 91/2010 with regard to the Collection of Laws on the Support of Tourism specifies the role and functions of Slovakian regional tourism organizations (RTOs, which can be considered as DMOs in Slovak conditions). And as there is little known about how the RTOs view themselves, how they perceive their role in tourism system and tourism development, that is why the objective of this paper was to find out how regional tourism organizations as destination management organizations perceive their role in tourism development in Slovakia. The paper is structured into three parts: Literature review, Methodology and Results and discussion. • “Service innovation across borders: Challenges and potentials of service innovation collaboration in Upper Austria and South Bohemia”. The authors Alexandra Fratrič, Michael Schmidthaler, Margarethe Überwimmer, and Robet Füreder have argued that in an increasingly globalized and competitive environment it is essential that geographical regions pool available resources and create synergies in service innovation management in order to sustain an innovative edge, collaborative innovation management entailing substantial synergies, especially for the connected regions. Despite the existing potentials of such a cross border innovation collaboration system, they were hitherto exploited only partially, and in order to overcome several challenges, two regions, Upper Austria and South Bohemia have investigated novel paths of innovation collaboration through the European Union research project SIPSME, aiming at supporting innovation processes mainly in Austrian and Czech SMEs. In accordance to this target qualitative interviews with local innovation experts were conducted in order to assess the current situation with regard to the innovation capabilities and the barriers in the Upper Austrian and South Bohemian regions. On the bass of the data collected during the in-depth interviews the authors analyzed and identified potentials and challenges in the above two mentioned regions, which affect the cross border knowledge creation environment. And in spite of being neighboring regions with almost nonexistent physical borders, significant differences in the current state of the innovation climate in Upper Austria and South Bohemia were determined. With regard to the most significant barriers Holistic Marketing Management


hindering the cross border innovation collaboration activities between the above two mentioned regions, there were identified the lack of trust and financial resources, language barriers, absence of personnel with skills and experience, the inability to identify suitable cooperation partners, and a low degree of awareness about the benefits of cross-border innovation collaboration. atahere is no doubt that the findings of this paper are relevant for the future design and creation of a borderless region and also the joint policymaking in both Austria, and the Czech Republic. • “Empowering customers through education-based videos in e-commerce”. The author Ladislava Knihová started from the digital marketing as a fascinating discipline which is getting matured before our eyes and is surprising us every day, as it is expanding fast into various sub-disciplines, video marketing being one of them. This paper’s objective was to examine the different marketing functions of video promotion with a special focus on the e-commerce environment. Without doubt, it traditionally served customer education, focusing exclusively on products and their features. The current practice demonstrates however that marketing managers have quickly realized the potentials of the content marketing in general, and of the education-based content specifically. As a result, marketing managers started to prepare video sessions designed to educate their customers in the whole context of their products and brands, not just explaining a product and its features. And while processing the data of prominent e-shops from the Czech Republic and Austria, examples of video sales promotion and branding in the e-commerce environment have been analyzed both from the point of view of their content focus, and of the added value to customers. The comparative analysis made by the author has proved a much higher interest in video promotion of the Czech e-retailer than in the case of the Austrian counterpart, context in which managerial implications and proposals for further research have been suggested. • “Priorities when looking for servitization in the mechanical engineering industry”. The authors Patrick Großpötzl, Ulrich Seiler and Margarethe Überwimmer underlined the following aspects: Purpose. The necessity of a holistic framework for servitization and the discussion and classification of the associated measures for the development of a servitization strategy to expand the business areas in mechanical engineering is implicit. This is particularly relevant as servitization must take into account both business models (BM) and organizational change. Therefore, this paper sets out to investigate crucial measures, to implement a servitization strategy, ranked by their importance of implementation. Design/ Methodology/ approach. The design of the research is twofold, consisting of a data gathering and data analysis step. While the first-mentioned aspect was carried out through systematic literature research, the second part focused on analyzing gathered information, including ranking the conclusions drawn. This was achieved through the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which is one of the most comprehensive frameworks that is seen as decision making for several criteria. The method makes it possible to consider the problem both quantitatively and qualitatively. Findings. This paper suggests that at the beginning of the process of servitization, the focus has to be set on a Holistic Marketing Management


major change in the mindset of the workforce and the organizational culture to succeed with the servitization model. Besides, significant investments must be made in infrastructure and resources to enable services at all. If defining the services offered is of mediocre importance, adapting existing processes away from a product centric view towards a service-oriented view is indispensable, but not of the highest relevance. Evidently, the evaluation of services is of less importance during the implementation of servitization. Research limitation. Since the paper is primarily based on literature research and subsequent analytical comparison through the AHP, further research is necessary to extend and validate the framework and measures found. Practical implications. The paper tackles a business problem which importance will continue to increase in the next years, as there will be a need to develop existing strategies towards more service-centric business models: Differentiating oneself from competition and expanding the range of services and products contribute significantly to the long-term survival of companies which is driven by growth and sustainability. • “Digital transformation in B2B sales – differences and best practices in three different European countries”. The authors Stefan Wengler, Margarethe Überwimmer, Pia Hautamäki, Gabriele Hildmann, Ulrich Vossebein and Robert Füreder started from the fact that there has been an increasing discussion around both B2B sales and the need for their digital transformation as it may strongly accelerate company’s performance. And as sales are an essential element of the business growth, it is important to study B2B sales and the level of digital transformation on a country-specific level. For this purpose, the authors have studied the role of digital transformation in three different countries from the sales organization’s perspective. Our qualitative preliminary findings show that the European Union’s classifications on digitalization of European countries do not correlate with the companies’ digital transformation of their sales operations in these countries. • “Attitudes of the inhabitants of the capital of the Slovak Republic towards selected topics of advertising. Part I.” The authors Martina Jantová and Peter Štarchoň underlined from the very beginning that as part of the process of implementing an advertising campaign, the participating parties, primarily the advertiser and the advertising agency, respectively communication agency, have social responsibility, which manifests itself in an ethical level. Since the implementation of an advertising campaign is initiated by a specific company or other client, its recipients or the target group itself, instead of accepting it, may not only perceive it as unsolicited, but also as annoying. It is on the attitudes of the recipients of advertising, in the case of this contribution the attitudes of the inhabitants of the capital of the Slovak Republic which are oriented to the outputs of the primary research. The article emphasizes the attitudes of recipients towards selected controversial aspects of advertising, namely attitudes towards advertising of cigarettes, hard alcohol, beer, wine and medicines and attitudes towards erotic motives in advertising. The

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starting point for the research was “Czechs and advertising for year 2020”. In Slovakia, 726 respondents took part in the research. This new issue of the “Marketing Science and Inspirations” Journal also includes other sections such as: ▪ “Marketing Briefs”: Pavel Štrach – “On marketing planning: How VUCA has faded into oblivion to re-emerged as a new normal”; ▪ “Captured us”: “30 years of CMS history”; “Preparations for Marketer of the year contest continue”; ▪ “Reviews”: Magdaléna Samuhelová – “Newport, Cal: Digital minimalism”; ▪“Dictionary of Useful Marketing Terms”, Dagmar Weberová.

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We always remember with pleasure that the Editor-in-Chief of the “Marketing Science and Inspirations” Journal – Professor Peter Štarchoň, Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia – is also a Member of the Editorial Board of both the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal, and of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”.

It is also our honor and pleasure to remember both the significant meeting in Koln, Germany, in 2011, on the occasion of the working meeting of the European Retail Academy (ERA), and the different significant moments when the ERA President, Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier (also a Member of both above mentioned Editorial Boards), visited the Romanian-American University.

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