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 Editorial Board
John L. STANTON
Léon F. WEGNEZ
William PERTTULA Levent ALTINAY
Andrew KILNER Dana ZADRAZILOVA Riccardo BELTRAMO Sinisa ZARIC Gabriela SABĂU Hélène NIKOLOPOULOU Vasa LÁSZLÓ Peter STARCHON John MURRAY Kamil PÍCHA Irena JINDRICHOVSKA
President of European Retail Academy; President of EuCVoT, Member of the Astana Economic Scientists Club; Former Managing Director EHI Retail Institute, Germany, Chairman of the Advisory Board of EuroShop, Chairman of the Board of the Orgainvent, Trustee of EHI Retail Institute at GLOBALG.A.P. President - Association of Global Management Studies (USA); Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues; Former Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Management Systems, USA; Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology; Member of France’s National Academy of Scientific Research (CNRS); Director - ESB International Teaching and Research Exchanges, Reutlingen University, Germany Professor of Food Marketing, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, USA; Director, Institute of Food Products Marketing, Editor, Journal of Food Products Marketing Secretary General, International Association of the Distributive Trade, AIDA Brussels; Member of France’s Academy of Commercial Sciences; Doctor Honoris Causa of NUPSPA (SNSPA) Bucharest; Hall of Fame of the European Retail Academy, Honored Personality 2015 Internet Marketing Professor, College of Business, San Francisco State University, USA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Research Area Leader, Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, UK First MBA Director at the Rennes Graduate School of Business in France; Director of RAFME Research into Management Excellence; PhD (Cambridge), MBA (City, London) Faculty of International Economic Relations, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic University of Turin, Italy University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Canada University of Lille 3, France Szent Istvan University, Hungary Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice Deputy Head of Department of Business Economics, University of Economics and Management, Prague, Czech Republic
Norbert HAYDAM Constantin ROŞCA Hans ZWAGA Roxana CODITA Dumitru MIRON Valeriu IOAN-FRANC Iacob CĂTOIU Virgil BALAURE Gheorghe ORZAN Luigi DUMITRESCU Marius D. POP Petru FILIP Ion VOICU SUCALA Virgil POPA Alexandru NEDELEA Olguța Anca ORZAN Ana-Maria PREDA Ovidiu FOLCUȚ Doinița CIOCÎRLAN Marius Dan DALOTĂ Mihai PAPUC Gheorghe ILIESCU Alexandru IONESCU Olga POTECEA Oana PREDA Nicoleta DUMITRU Monica Paula RAȚIU Costel NEGRICEA Elisabeta Andreea BUDACIA
Faculty of Business, Marketing Department, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa President of Romanian Scientific Society of Management - SSMAR Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, Finland Technische Universität München, TUM School of Management Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest National Institute for Economic Research, Romanian Academy; Romanian Marketing Association; Romanian Distribution Committee Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Management and Economic Engineering Department; University of Glasgow, UK, College of Social Sciences, School of Social & Political Sciences; Managing Editor, Review of Management and Economic Engineering Valahia University of Târgovişte Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University
Associate Editors Diana SOCA Irina PURCĂREA Dan SMEDESCU Art Designer Director Alexandru BEJAN 2
“Holistic Marketing Management” (A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University)
Volume 5, Issue 2, Year 2015
Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA - Editorial: AFER General Assembly and ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing. “ONEF me” - a Benchmark for Student Engagement.........................................................................................4
Andrew KILNER - Improving Company Management: Review of Recent Ideas………………………11
Costel Iliuță NEGRICEA - Digital Marketing, Addressability and Time, the New Currency for Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Theodor PURCĂREA - At the Confluence of Customer Knowledge, Delivery and Engagement Forming a Challenging Evolving Delta of Marketing, Technology and Management…21
Monica Paula RAȚIU - Digital Tourism on the Way to Digital Marketing Success…………………...30 Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Theodor PURCĂREA - The Latest Issue of our Partner Journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia………………………………..38
The responsibility for the contents of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
Editorial: AFER General Assembly and ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing. “ONEF me” – a Benchmark for Student Engagement:
The works of the Association of Faculties of Economics in Romania (AFER) General Assembly took place on March 27, 2015, being hosted by the Romanian-American University (RAU), which proved once again to be an excellent choice for an AFER productive and participative meeting. RAU Rector Ovidiu Folcut was the traditional great master of ceremonies, ensuring the right tone according to the objective of the important academic event. Professor Ovidiu Folcut, internationally recognized for “the diligent dedications that he always brings forth for Romanian-American University”, was one of the coordinators of the Anniversary Volume launched by AFER: “Pages from the Romanian Economic Higher Education History, 18432013”.
Professor Constantin ROSCA, AFER Executive Director, saluted the very good collaboration with RAU, underlining that the collaborative leaders allow solutions to develop from the best ideas, and that is why it’s always a pleasure coming here in this well organized beautiful place (RAU), really a place to come back and to enjoy working collaboratively at the level of AFER as a powerful forum for discussion of specific problems, identifying best practices in Education and Research Universities dedicated to promoting national and international reference standards for higher economic education in Romania. On the occasion of the works of this AFER General Assembly hosted by the beautiful RAU Aula Magna, it has been celebrated 4
the 95th anniversary of the birth of Academician Nicolae N. Constantinescu (“NN”). Professor Constantin Popescu, the author of the commemorative book “The life and work of the Academician Nicolae N. Constantinescu (1920-2000). 95 years since the birth” (ASE Publishing House), brought again to our attention (with a consistent and emotional approach) the invaluable contribution of the Academician Nicolae N. Constantinescu. Professor Ileana Constantinescu (the Academician’s daughter), received an AFER Distinction and the AFER Anniversary Volume handed by Professor Ioan TALPOS, President of AFER. Theodor Purcarea, Professor at the Romanian-American University, Editorial Advisor of the AFER Anniversary Volume (“Pages from the Romanian Economic Higher Education History, 1843-2013”), and former student of Professors Ileana Constantinescu, Constantin Popescu and Dumitru Patriche, grabbed the audience’s attention by remembering what he wrote in the AFER Anniversary Volume: “14 years ago, as a member of the team that prepared the paper “Istoria Economiei Naţionale” (History of National Economy) (vol. II) , I had the pleasure of meeting again the professionalism, generosity and pedagogical skill of Academician N. N. Constantinescu. In 2011 I felt again this joy thanks to Professor Niţă Dobrotă, having the honor to work with him when preparing the paper “Mari economişti europeni” (“Great European Economists”), paper indexed both in HOLLIS Classic catalogue of the Harvard University library, no. 013221078, and Chicago University library,no. 8838201). Professor Niţă Dobrotă reminded us in this volume about the “total and disinterested attachment towards Romanian economic education” of Academician N. N. Constantinescu, who was considered, among others, all meaningful, “fearless fighter in the trenches of transition against imposture, incompetence, and irresponsibility”. 20 years have passed since the reception Speech – the ecological principle in economic science – delivered at the Romanian Academy by the person who showed that the environmental ecologist will fight against both narrow economics and abusive ecology.”
Professor Dumitru Patriche received AFER Lifetime Achievement Award, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, and at the proposal of the Romanian-American University, the Laudatio being presented by Professor Theodor Purcarea. Professor Dumitru Patriche was always that special person inspiring us to give our best in discovering knowledge and innovation, in order to become what we potentially are on the continuous way of shaping our personality. And all this as a continual extension of his powerful personality while guiding us in creating our way by our walking, by stimulating critical and creative thinking, the ability to find, to access, evaluate and use information in order to solve complex problems faced by entrepreneurs, and – in the opinion of RAU Rector Ovidiu Folcut who showed warmth and deep respect towards our distinguished Professor Dumitru Patriche – by helping to create expertise in managing the development of the knowledge society, building interactions between scientists and entrepreneurs, by propelling scientific and economic progress, by pledging for exiting from the current crisis through education and training, and by adequately organizing the transformation process in step with the times.
AFER also awarded, within this context, various distinctions recognizing specific achievements (based on the evaluation forms, in accordance with the criteria for the award category). Two month later, on May 27, 2015, at the International Conference Center of Valahia University, Targoviste, took place the AFER’s Awarding Ceremony of the Prizes of the National Students Studying Economics and Business Competition, ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing. The Members of the Presidium were Professors: Adina Neamţu (President of the Jury, Bachelor’s Section), Dorina Tanasescu (the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Valahia University), Ion Stegaroiu (Dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Valahia University), Razvan Zaharia 6
(President of the Jury, ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing), Ioan Corneliu Salisteanu (Vice Rector of the Valahia University), Constantin Rosca (AFER Executive Director), Ion Cucui (President of the Senate of the Valahia University), Theodor Purcarea (President of the Jury, Master’s Section), and Sorina Gîrboveanu (Vice President of the Jury, ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing). Other Members of the Jury were: Professors Andreea Daniela Moraru and Tudor Jijie, Student Elena Alina Rada (Bachelor’s Section); Professors Amalia Duţu and Dinu Sasu, Student Alina Nicoleta Preda (Master’s Section). Allow us to remember that a moment of silence was held within this context in memory of the venerable Professor Paraschiv Vagu, who passed away on May 22, 2015. The Professor’s personality was also evoked, in the presence of his distinguished wife, being well-known that the Professor’s personality was underlined by the AFER’s Volume “Pages from the Romanian Economic Higher Education History, 1843-2013”.
It is well-known the AFER’s strong focus on providing graduates up to date knowledge and practical skills required in the modern workplace, and a framework for their continued development , likely to stimulate critical and creative thinking, the ability to find, to access, evaluate and use information in order to solve complex problems faced by entrepreneurs aware of the implications of the actions initiated and complex decisions in a competitive business environment on the specific relevant markets at the confluence of globalization and integration. The importance of the right interaction with the students was also recalled within this context of ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing, targeting responsibly and accountably teaching students to adequately apply what they have learned in their marketing courses in approaching the competitive job market and obtaining not only their first job, but also increased financial gains, 7
and greater overall job satisfaction. All 71 participants at ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing, proved to be at the level of the AFER’s proactive marketing vision, making it very difficult for the Jury to finally decide the Winners. It is worth to underline both: the Olympic spirit that prevailed again, by inspiring all the participants believing in their abilities to improve, considering that the most important thing is the struggle, and that the essential thing is to have fought well; the participants were impressed by the quality of the organization (the Organizing Committee of the Valahia University being congratuled), the team spirit and collegial atmosphere confirming that excellence in leadership means that people have confidence in themselves. The AFER’s Jury ONEF 2015, Section: Marketing, awarded Prizes (“Constantin Florescu” Marketing Grand Prize; “P. Vagu” Special Prize; Applied Research Prize; Originality Prize; Interdisciplinary Research Prize; Creativity Prize) and Honorable Mentions.
It was a happy coincidence that in the same day of May 27, 2015, Ernan Roman (author of both, “Voice of the Customer Marketing”, and well-known Huffington Post published blog “Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices”; inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame thanks to the three Customer Experience methodologies he created: Voice of Customer Relationship Research, Integrated Direct Marketing, and Opt-in Marketing), referred to the importance of seeking new ways to inspire existing customers and attract new customers to a brand so as to give them the best customers experience. This time, Roman asked the well-known “4 Questions for Marketing Innovators” (What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator? Why is this so important? How will concentrating on this help improve the customer experience? How will concentrating on this help improve the overall effectiveness of marketing?) to Dr. Jens Thiemer, Head of Marketing Communications at Mercedes-Benz Thiemer explained that as they want to give their customers the “Best Customer Experience” 8
thinkable, they are always seeking new ways to inspire existing customers and attract new customers to their brand. That is why they provided customers with the so-called “Mercedes me” (an initiative started in the spring of 2014 as one hub access into the world of MercedesBenz ), a digital ecosystem revolving around the customer’s personal needs, which is combining owned vehicle related solutions with lifestyle content, e.g. travel, music. etc. The above mentioned initiative addresses existing and future Mercedes-Benz customers (while going beyond the “car” as a product and tailoring services, products and lifestyle offers individually for the customers) both primarily via a digital, dynamically growing platform, and via physical touchpoints, like the “Mercedes me Stores”. Going on this way, they increase the retention period of customers using “Mercedes me”, thanks to the customized content. (Ernan Roman Mercedes-Benz Marketing Exec Answers 4 Questions for Marketing Innovators, May 27, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.erdm.com/blog.php#ufh-i-87371271-mercedes-benz-marketingexec-answers-4-questions-for-marketing-innovators, 6/19/2015) We think that AFER’s National Students Studying Economics and Business Competition, (ONEF) is an innovative work (a kind of “ONEF me”) taking a long time, while: ▪ managing the routine, reorganizing, and marrying utility with engagement, as Tom Peters would say; ▪ actively aligning with students, engaging in open communication, and listening to AFER’s professors feedback and students comments, as Ernan Roman would say.
And speaking of our students let us remember that exactly one month before, on April 27, 2015, Răzvan Andrei Nacea – Managing Director, Seytour, and former Romanian-American University Student, communicated to us that he was nominated in Top „30 under 30” special 9
edition of Forbes Romania – the Romania edition of the famous and world influential Forbes magazine. It is worth to remember within this context that: ● on March 5, 2015, putting together skills, experience and knowledge, and offering all-inclusive packages, Dr. Leahu – Dental Clinics (Dr. Ionut Leahu), and Seytour (Răzvan Andrei Nacea) – the first specialized medical tourism company in Romania – opened the first “Center of Excellence in Health and Tourism” in Romania, by guaranteeing better coordination of patient care for patients travelling from one country to another; ● the Romanian-American University (RAU) organized on May 15, 2013, in collaboration with the Romanian Distribution Committee, a remarkable Round table: “Challenges and opportunities in the tourism industry within the context of globalization,” and on that occasion, Răzvan Andrei Nacea addressed the topic of “Medical tourism – a new engine for Romanian tourism development.” We are proud of our former RAU Student Răzvan Andrei Nacea, well-known for the application of the creativity in an organizational context, while acting rightly in search of excellence, and committing himself to excellence. Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor - in - Chief
Improving company management: review of recent ideas
Abstract. This paper is largely based on over a hundred articles and comments (including the author's),submitted to the french Les Echos online business daily during the past few months. It reviews possible management improvements to help companies and consequently also their national economies. Keywords: management, organisation, leadership JEL classification: M10; M14; M51; M53
Introduction With the continuing problems of most countries trying to re-launch their economies after the crisis,commentators are putting the onus on companies to create growth and hence more employment by using better management. Two kinds of approaches are being used: The first is to introduce ideas from other sources which has included sports teams (for cohesion),the military (leading by example), the theatre (for roles and communication) and even the Papacy (achieve change without conflict). Also from other discipines like neurosciences (emotion,stress). Various useful key words have been suggested in this context such as confidence,flexibility,slow business,ambition,audacity,agility to which I should like to add two less common ones namely realism and judgement- much missing on the political scene. The second and most common approach is based on action on the management processes*: Inside the company for improving performance by having an ORGANISATION which is flat rather than hiearchic to empower staff to make quicker and more effective decisions. 11
In addition,calling for a more humanistic LEADERSHIP based on communicaton,motivation and sharing rather than just on brute authority. This requires appointing as managers those who have the necessary human qualities as well as operational skills to successfully pilot change or even a comprehenive transformation if necessary.The Glassdoor organisation has regular surveys identifying the company leaders most appreciated by their employees. Combining the two factors of organisation and leadership,the idea is to move towards the analogy of the orchestra and its director rather than the general and his soldiers. The hope being to achieve a more congenial work environment with less stress and danger of 'burn out' which is becoming more common although not so much in anglo-saxon or scandinavian companies as those in southern & eastern europe (confirmed by a recent Edenred survey). In contrast, the annual surveys of 'best companies to work for' (prepared for several countries),are a useful aid for candidates seeking new employment.
Thus it should be pointed out to the critical commentators that the the kind of organisational structure they advocate ('organic' as opposed to 'mechanistic'), has existed for many years in the type of companies for which it is most suitable i.e.service firms and high tech firms like those newly created in the digital IT industry. Recommendations To apply exactly the same features to larger firms,particularly in manufacturing industry, is not automatically the best solution, especially nowadays when managers under pressure for results may need to be rather autocratic than democratic in order to more easily carry out unpopular decisions. These requirements do not of course excuse dictatorial behaviour of which the most repugnant is the boss who surrounds himself with acolytes to do the 'dirty work' of sanctioning and firing staff.
In contrast to the above,firms which are less subject to pressure from shareholders or company head office have more easily adopted the norms which critics are advocating. Among these are a large proportion of family owned companies and more recently, firms which have organised themselves as cooperatives where workers manage themselves in teams or circles and do not have one fixed 'boss'.
Even more recently have appeared variants of the latter based on the principles of Zobrist management, OuiShare collaboration or Holacracy techniques. As well as creating a better 12
internal climate for their workers,these firms are more long term oriented and more respectful of all the actors in their microenvironment rather than just the pursuit of incessant growth (pocheco moonfish syndrome) for the benefit of shareholders. However such consideration of all stakeholders has been advocated since many years and a suitable evaluation chart prepared by EFQM was used to define 'excellent companies' in the Management Excellence book**.
Having attained most of what is possible internally,additional progress must be sought externally. Unfortunately since the financial crisis the external environement has become so unstable that even medium term PLANNING is difficult and more emphasis has to be put on seizing available opportunities wherever they present themselves . However during such activity the fourth process of CONTROL cannot be ignored; new projects still have to satisfy the requirements of realism and return in terms of cost,quality and timing.
Growth possibilities mostly arise from additional demand either in-country or overseas. However demand almost everywhere is now very modest (people have little money to spend on non-essentials),and exporting is hampered by the tendency of the foreign countries to want to manufacture the products themselves. Investment for expansion is thus at low levels and that for innovation is more oriented towards process and productivity improvements than new products (except those in the digital sectors which however often have a very short lifespan).
A common related suggestion is to encourage more entrepreneurship but unfortunately most of these ventures have a relatively minor revenue impact and create few jobs. Even worse,the new digital revolution where they are most active,while creating some new jobs is destroying many more in the service sectors. Under these conditions government pressures on more investment (for more employment) are unrealistic-companies find other less risky ways (finance,publicity..) to improve their results and thus satisfy demanding shareholders. "It is only free enterprise and companies that create wealth" liberal oriented peope have always been saying,but this is less the case today as the priorities of companies and the state are now no longer the same. And yet the demands on essential state services (lodgings,education,health) are growing with the increasing number of elderly,or young,or both. In addition, governments are now faced with immense challenges: the environment (pollution,resources..) which have been too much neglected in the past ,and the new issues in 13
geopolitics (world conflicts,immigration...) which will take up more of the already scant state resources available. At the same time private sector finance is reduced since those who have amassed great riches (legally or by tax evasion or corruption),are either speculating on the financial markets or putting their money in paintings,villas on tropical islands etc Conclusion The net outcome of all of this for the future is therefore bleak; even with more investment and growth it will probably not be possible to have all segments of our western society improve or even maintain their past prosperity levels. This has just been demonstrated in the Polish election where those groups seeing meagre future prospects (despite the country's recent successes), voted out the incumbent President.
It is therefore rather world affairs which will have to be managed quite differently-a subject previously brought up in the Management Excellence book of 2010** and due to be developed further in future RAFME research. Adjustments in management procedures inside companies-the initial topic of this article- are therefore of relatively minor significance within such a broad context, *http://rafme.homestead.com â&#x20AC;˘
**www.businessexpertpress.com/books/achieving-excellence-managementidentifying-and-learning-bad-practices Copyright Andrew Kilner, June 2015
Digital marketing, addressability and time, the new currency for CMOs Dr. Costel Iliuță NEGRICEA Ioan Matei PURCĂREA
Abstract We are looking through the window of the digital age, trying to connect talent with opportunity. We observe the rapidly growing digital marketplaces of the new “gig economy”, questioning if it’s time for a new definition of employee. There are already new digital tools and new ways to drive change. It is important to identify the most useful information when researching digital marketing solutions, and to understand what is happening at the confluence between humans and technology, considering the marketing technologists’ ability to link different technologies. Marketers need to master the connected customer relationship management with the help of a new synergy of capabilities, process and skills, making the digital dialogue more strategic and helping the organization evolve. Keywords: digital age; digital hives; digital marketing solutions; addressability JEL Classification: L81; L86; M15; M31; O33
Looking through the window of the digital age and connecting talent with opportunity. The rapidly growing digital marketplaces of the new “gig economy” A new McKinsey Global Institute report – “A labor market that works: Connecting talent with opportunity in the digital age” – examined the current state of employment and the impact the digital platforms which include websites (like Monster.com and LinkedIn) and digital marketplaces of the new “gig economy” (like Uber and Upwork) could have. (Manyika, Lund, Robinson, Valentino and Dobbs, 2015) In the opinion of McKinsey representatives’, there is a real promise for injecting more transparency and dynamism into job markets showed by these 15
online talent platforms connecting people with work opportunities more efficiently, while keeping pace with rapid shifts in the global economy. As finding the right talent matters and drives results (the adequate human capital management can produce significant returns on investment), in today’s more digitally connected and knowledge-based economy there is a clear evidence of the adoption of these online talent platforms by today leading companies, considering the opportunity of improving the full spectrum of talent management, from onboarding and compensation to engagement, team formation, and performance feedback, as underlined in the above mentioned report. It is worth to remember that some years ago an article posted on the blog of the prestigious “Economist” (2011) referred to an interesting series for the “Atlantic” written by Sara Horowitz (founder of the Freelancers Union) on the emergence of the freelance or “gig” economy ( people working independently as freelancers, part-timers, consultants, contractors, and the self-employed). This year, on February 17, 2015, a reporter at Fast Company (Kessler, 2015) launched the question if it’s time for a new definition of employee, highlighting, for example, that the “gig” economy companies own just a marketplace with two sides: people who need a job done; people who are willing to do that job.
Driving change with the help of the “digital hives”. Researching digital marketing solutions Robert Litan, the author of the book “Trillion Dollar Economists: How Economists and Their Ideas Have Transformed Business”, John Wiley & Sons, 2014, attracted our attention in April 2015 by underlining that: “Economics is a living field whose generation of ideas with business relevance bears watching all the time.” (Litan, 2015) In his opinion, economists’ insights and ideas have sometimes an enormous impact on the evolution of industries, by being put to use in very practical and profitable ways by real companies. Following this direction, allow us to show that the opportunity of unleashing collective intelligence through a “digital hive” (managers thinking ahead and developing an agile response capability) was recently highlighted, which facilitates a collective approach to problem solving, its nature amplifying the peer pressure and the social recognition (people tending to stimulate and encourage others, performing well, and seeking recognition, if they are following clear rules of engagement and having a level playing field). (Gast and Lansink, 2015) According to the McKinsey’s representatives, the “digital hives” are: “electronic hubs bristling with collective activity and designed to solve a particular problem or set of problems, to drive new habits, and to encourage organizational change.” These new digital tools unlock previous tacit knowledge and speed up execution, four ways to drive change being identified: engaging the workforce in better strategy; connecting silos with a social chain; enlisting key customers to improve the proposition; uniting a dispersed sales force to drive higher sales. And in order to drive broader 16
and deeper employee engagement, the companies’ managers should consider the followings: leading while letting go (a delicate balancing act); looking inward (and improving role modeling by adequately using social tools to drive employee engagement); becoming more responsive (by maintaining pace and encouraging deeper engagement only through transparent feedback and rapid follow-up). When researching digital marketing solutions, (Nanji, 2015) the most valued information the small and medium businesses (SMBs) find most useful are: pricing information; peer recommendations; customer testimonials or references (according to a report – conducted by “G/O Digital” and “Entrepreneur” - based on data from a survey of 591 US SMBs in various categories, including retail, medical, home services, and legal services). On the other hand, when evaluating the digital marketing services/products of a vendor, the most important factors SMBs consider are the following: price (33% of respondents); an understanding of organizational goals/needs (27%); the ability to deliver on commitments (18%); post-sales support (7%); delivering within agreed-upon timeframes (5%); insight/leadership in digital marketing concepts (6%); other (4%). Additional key findings from the above mention report referred to: research channels (Google or other search engines, 69%; trade associations websites related specifically to your field of business, 12%; specific industry related websites, 11% ; Facebook, 4%; twitter, 0,7%; other 3%). Time, the new currency for CMOs. Humans and technology in today’s digital world, a time of fast change in digital interfaces “The Father of Management” (and Kotler’s Mentor), Peter Drucker, said that time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed. Marketers know that time is a precious resource and that people are searching for instant digital gratification (the best possible customer experience), that is why marketers need to connect in that moment that matters, (Rigney, 2015) so as to reach consumers with attention-grabbing digital experiences (tiny windows of opportunity for brands). Recently published statistics (that explore marketing through the lens of instant digital gratification) showed why time is the new currency for CMOs, for example: some 55% of Internet users only use two or three trusted sites for their content discovery and purchasing (Carat CCS); 55% of Web pages viewed get less than 15 seconds of attention (Chartbeat); 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load (KISSmetrics); 22% of digital marketers see user experience as the most exciting trend of the year (Perficient); 69% of marketers say they feel challenged by a lack of enough time (MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute); 30% of B2B marketers say they feel a lack of time to be their greatest challenge (MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute). The beginning of June 2015 brought to us a very interesting opportunity to question the real reason in today’s digital world for studying humans and technology: to learn how people 17
will shop or how they choose to socialize in order to make user friendly apps or as a deeper need to understand what is happening at the confluence between humans and technology in the coming age of the Internet of Things. (Glickman, 2015) Within this framework, the need for deploying scientific rigor was underlined, not just on the technology side of the equation but also on the people side, because humans are so much more than just numbers. For example, it is important to take into account the Heisenberg Principle (changing the model attempted to be observed during the process of observation, the observer becoming part of the model through the act of observation itself and impacting it and perhaps corrupting the observation’s findings), because the observer finds himself in the situation to draw conclusions about technology’s user based on his own perception and proficiency with technology that he already possess. On the other hand, allow us to remember the significant pledge for a better understanding of the role of marketing technologists and for increasing marketing technologists’ ability to link different technologies. (Purcarea, 2015) In the last years we witnessed the exploration (Couldry, Stephansen, Fotopoulou, MacDonald, Clark and Dickens, 2015) of the possibilities for new forms of “digital citizenship” emerging through digitally supported processes of narrative exchange (storytelling, narrative, story archiving and commentary). In the opinion of the above mentioned authors of the exploration, the strongest examples of “digital citizenship” were those in which digital connections were supplemented by “offline” social practices, and there is a real need for closely tracking the early signs of new forms of digital citizenship and their basis in a circuit of civic culture, digital resources being considered crucial to sustaining a circuit of civic culture on larger scales. Debating the “label” for digital marketing There is no doubt that marketing must be seen as a center of constant improvement and change, and marketers must identify and face the current challenges, finding out the right balance between inbound and outbound marketing, and creating connected experiences between their companies and the audiences they need to reach. (Purcarea, 2015) At the end of April this year, Karlin Linhardt, Vice president, strategic partnerships, for Merkle (a performance marketing agency specializing in data-based marketing solutions) highlighted today’s marketing reality where digital can empower unprecedented levels of consumer insights, knowledge and performance, by providing an accurate and timely understanding of consumer needs and demand. Within this context Linhardt expressed the opinion that the best term for “labeling” the digital marketing is not personalization or relevancy, but “addressability” (connected CRM). He defined this digital marketing’s “label” as: “the process of customizing a brand’s message, product, placement and timing to match the personal lifecycle needs of the customer at a specific point in the purchase cycle, thus optimizing relevance.” (Linhardt, 2015) And in order to deliver this “addressability” (which requires a new synergy of capabilities, process and skills from the three major digital disciplines: infrastructure, 18
analytics, plan execution) it is necessary to understand and balance the followings: identity vs. anonymity; shopping experience vs. used car salesman tsunami; connected recognition (acting in a way that will endear, not offend, customers). It is also worth to remember that six months ago McKinsey Quarterly (Bossert, Laartz, and Ramsoy, 2014) recommended making the digital dialogue more strategic and to evolve the organization, considering that the digital competition may dictate a new organizational architecture in which emerging digital processes coexist with traditional ones. This new organizational architecture is a two-speed architecture which help companies navigate whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely to be a tricky period of transition: a fast speed (for functions that address evolving customer experiences and must change rapidly) and a transaction speed (for the remaining functions, where the pace of adjustment can remain more measured). Conclusion Indeed, there are already new digital tools and new ways to drive change, while considering the top strategic priority of digital customer engagement and making the digital dialogue more strategic and evolving the organization. CMOs, directly involved in digital initiatives, must take into account addressability and time in properly connecting experiences between their companies and the audiences they need to reach.
References James Manyika, Susan Lund, Kelsey Robinson, John Valentino, and Richard Dobbs - Connecting talent with opportunity in the digital age, Report, McKinsey Global Institute, June 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Employment_and_growth/Connecting_talent_with_opportunity_in_the_digital_ age?cid=other-eml-alt-mgi-mck-oth-1506, 6/5/2015 W.W. - The gig economy, Sep 16th 2011, Retrieved from: http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/09/labour-markets, 6/8/2015 Sarah Kessler - The Gig Economy Won't Last Because It's Being Sued To Death, Retrieved from: http://www.fastcompany.com/3042248/the-gig-economy-wont-last-because-its-being-sued-to-death, 6/8/2015 Robert E. Litan - Economists: Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave home without one, April 2015, McKinsey Quarterly, ,Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/economic_studies/Economists_Dont_leave_home_without_one?cid=other-emlalt-mkq-mck-oth-1504, 4/16/2015 Arne Gast and Raul Lansink - Digital hives: Creating a surge around change, McKinsey Quarterly, April 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/digital_hives_creating_a_surge_around_change, 4/1/2015 Ayaz Nanji - What SMBs Look for in Digital Marketing Solutions, June 3, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/print/2015/27707/what-smbs-look-for-in-digital-marketing-solutions, 6/4/2015
Brian Rigney - 'Instant Digital Gratification': 15 Stats You Need to Know [Infographic], June 3, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2015/27779/instant-digital-gratification-15-stats-about-you-need-toknow-infographic#ixzz3c7TQirTO, 6/8/2015 Corey Glickman - People in the Mist. Predicting how people will engage a digital world, June 1, 2015, Retrieved from: http://customerthink.com/people-in-the-mist-predicting-how-people-will-engage-a-digital-world/, 6/8/2015 Theodor Purcarea - A Review of the Different Marketing Opinions on Marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Maturity and Challenges in the Second Half of 2014, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 4, Issue 4, Year 2014 Nick Couldry, Hilde Stephansen, Aristea Fotopoulou, Richard MacDonald, Wilma Clark & Luke Dickens (2014) Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture, Citizenship Studies, 18:6-7, 615-629, DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2013.865903, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2013.865903, 4/19/2015 Theodor Purcarea - Marketing as a center of constant improvement and change, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2015 Karlin Linhardt - Addressability: The New Term for Digital Marketing, Retail Online Integration, April 29, 2015, available at: http://www.retailonlineintegration.com/article/addressability-the-new-term-for-digital-marketing/1 Oliver Bossert, JĂźrgen Laartz, and Tor Jakob Ramsoy - Running your company at two speeds, McKinsey Quarterly, December 2014, Retrieved from: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/Running_your_company_at_two_speeds?cid=other-emlalt-mkq-mck-oth-1412, 12/17/2014
At the confluence of customer knowledge, delivery and engagement forming a challenging evolving delta of marketing, technology and management Theodor Purcărea
Abstract As youth is the primary driver of business and culture in our hyper-socialized world, businesses must to adapt accordingly, including by better understanding the human nature and refocusing on long-term value creation and for building long-term sustainable futures around the needs of the customer. Marketers cannot enforce inertia which keeps company’s customers around, going beyond the retention marketing and customer development efforts, and letting the customers to tell what the patterns, rediscovering the invisible consumer, while loving both the invisible and visible consumers, not forgetting that the measure of company’s success consists of creating a remarkable brand in the habits and minds of very ordinary people. And as we live in impatient times characterized by the tendency to discount the value of future gains, marketers should place customers at the center of their company, focusing on delighting them. Digital marketing, as part of the bigger whole that is marketing, has brought new aspects to that whole. Today, complexity is a challenge and a reality. The marketing organization must redefine itself as a revenue generator, marketers need to embark on a journey “with” customers (not “for” customers), by sharing purpose, which is what powers brand value. In our user driven world, modern marketing is built on a continually updating view of the customer, a comprehensive view of the customer being central to marketing’s challenge, always remembering that there are people at the other end. Modern marketers are adaptable, inquisitive and have the ability to collaborate, having a good understanding of technology, taking appropriate action in the right moment by creating and managing increasingly targeted, personalized and action-oriented messaging across all changing marketing channels, helping their customers to quickly get guidance and make decisions on critical matters, ensuring a higher quality faster interaction with their customers deeper targeted through increased knowledge of their preferences and behaviors. They are always searching for ways to meet their customers’ changing needs and evolving life stage requirements, are developing multiple points for their customers’ feedback, and are using marketing to educate not just promote. Modern marketers are also harnessing the power of new technologies, attracting the next generation of talent to build engaging brands and content, personalization of digital experience being at the heart of the efforts to overcome around how they create intimacy and relationship in the digital world of customers overwhelmed by a lack of time and too much choice. Keywords: “YouthNation”; modern marketers; marketing manifestos; marketing innovation JEL Classification: M31; M15; D83
The question of the day among the generation that has received the most marketing attention According to Matt Britton (Founder and CEO of MRY, a creative and technology agency dedicated to making brands remarkable; MRY was named two years ago “Digital Innovator of the Year” by Mashable), an expert on youth marketing and social media in leading media outlets, youth is the primary driver of business and culture in our hyper-socialized, Facebook fanatic, selfie-obsessed world, (Britton, 2015) and businesses must to adapt accordingly by embodying the ideals of today's “YouthNation,” becoming “agile, connected, authentic, artful, meaningful, immersive, and socially responsible.” (Britton, 2015) He reminded us recently about the question of the day among “Millennials”: Where to capture an unforgettable experience right now? Millennials (Millennial Generation, Generation Y, Echo Boomers), the generation (having birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s - wikipedia.org/) that has received the most marketing attention, (whatis.techtarget.com) are considered to be mostly the children of Generation Xers (Baby Boomers), being generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communication, media, and digital technologies. (mashable.com) The Founder and CEO of MRY shows the followings: this “YouthNation” was shifting away from the status symbols that defined Generation X (term coined by the Magnum photographer Robert Capa in the early 1950s, and popularized by Douglas Coupland in the 1991 novel “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture” - wikipedia.org; the Latchkey, Baby Buster, Slacker Generation jenx67.com) toward a new defining trait for millennials constructed around experiences; this new American experience revolution was helped to be cemented by the explosive popularity (especially among YouthNation) Instagram (which enables its users to take pictures and videos, then customizing it with filters and creative tools and post it on and share instantly on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc. or sending it directly as a private message - instagram.com; an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service - wikipedia.org), that became one of the fastest-growing communication tools in history (boasting well over 300 million users worldwide); it’s time to better understand this unique opportunity for brands or organizations offered by Instagram to connect this way with a community, with the help of some marketers’ “Pro Tips” such as: keep it real (the mantra of YouthNation for talking on Instagram being “show us - don't tell us”); go behind the scenes (there is always a story to be told, by keeping your audience engaged and feeling closer to you and your brand); be relevant (it’s better to be one of the first brands to jump on something happening across the social Web, then being ready to look for what’s next); cross-promote (not only to extend your great visual content but also to encourage your fans and followers to join you on, by getting one chance at a first impression). It is interesting to know that when it comes to shopper marketing recent US stats (Quick, 2015) show how Millennials (eighty million shoppers with one trillion dollars in buying power) know what they want: one-third of them being hyper-connectors (who use a wide variety of shopper media frequently); an almost equal number of them almost never using shopper 22
marketing to support buying needs (groceries and other CPG categories), rarely using, for routine shopping, digital tools that they deem essential to their daily lives. On the other hand, according to Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru (Forrester Research being one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world), retailers should stop obsessing over Millennials and instead turn their attention to older generations with greater financial power. (4hoteliers.com) And all these within the context a new study from the Pew Research Center for Media and Journalism (Ingram, 2015) which found that 61% of millennials who were surveyed get their political news from Facebook (this raising questions about the impact of the social network’s news-feed ranking algorithm), compared with 37% who got it from TV. Better understanding of the human nature. Throwing the nets in the more inertial directions, letting the customers to tell marketers what the patterns are. Refocusing on long-term value creation and for building long-term sustainable futures around the needs of the customer An opinion expressed at the beginning of June this year showed that as a surprising percentage of Ohio State college students are bartenders seems to be interesting to know what marketers have to learn from bartenders’ know-how, because they have a better understanding of the human nature. (Fletcher, 2015) These bartenders suggest accordingly the followings: ● “take a side trip to a 7-Eleven” (chain of convenience stores with 10500 locations throughout the United States and Canada), and if you think that campaign is a good idea, then test it first; for example, in the list business, (Fletcher, 2015) marketers should: think of testing as a strategy, instead of a sporadic chore; test at various times; cast a wider net; develop testing data before trying to negotiate a lower list rental; determine the testing dimensions: creative, targeting, offer, response channel); consider other measurements besides response rates; realize that list interaction reports still matter; implement a reuse strategy for prospecting efforts; ● “don’t date customers”; it is important to understand how many consumers feel about relationships with marketers, and in this respect to consider the arguments brought by Peter Fader (a marketing professor and co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania), about why consumers like to shop around. According to Peter Fader, (Fletcher, 2015) most of what keeps company’s customers around isn’t necessarily loyalty, but inertia and you can’t enforce inertia, the best we can do being the hope that we get a pretty good mix of inertial ones, trying to make customers more loyal (a little bit of cross-selling and upselling). Of course, the retention marketing and customer development efforts should happen, but it is better to understand that: - the impact of those standard kinds of customer-development tactics is pretty marginal, the company’s success being driven by the quality of the mix, spending more on acquisition, making customer lifetime value (CLV) calculations the right way, focusing on acquisition as much as we
should, making sure that we throw the nets in the more inertial directions, letting the customers to tell us what the patterns are; - as you stay around longer as a customer, your propensity to leave increases over time, the relationship between firm and customer and firm and employee being quite the same (what it says about us as a species being much stronger than what marketers believe; a lot of the best principles for these polygamists customers stemming from the London statistics professor (coming from a German academic family, and giving us the empirical basis to doubt deeply any number of marketing truisms – Creamer, 2011) Andrew Ehrenberg (Fader was building an Ehrenbergian model on some data set for some confectionary manufacturer, resulting that customers have relationships with lots of different providers at one time, like a bunch of different relationships going on at once, while recognizing that he is not an expert on how this translates to other forms of relationships, but believing that people will discover these same kinds of patterns in ways that a lot of businesspeople would find downright offensive); ● “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”; for marketers this ca be translated by the advice given to email marketers in 2011 by John Murphy (President of ReachMail, Chicago) in order to increase audience engagement: “select recipients who have opened an email within the last three months (calling this the “engaged” list); send a separate re-engagement email to all others. It should: re-introduce the marketer, assume the recipient forgot who you are; and provide an excellent incentive, make the best offer possible [and] if the recipient still does not engage, then you know you have virtually zero percent chance with them.” Coming back to the Ehrenbergian model developed by the marketing professor and codirector of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative, Peter Fader, let’s remind ourselves of the opinion expressed (Weigel, 2012) in April 2012 by Martin Weigel, on the marketers’ need of rediscovering the invisible consumer (whose behavior are less public, less theatrical and less vocal than those of the visible consumer) and recognizing, understanding and valuing him, while loving both the invisible and visible consumers, not forgetting that the measure of company’s success consists of creating a remarkable brand in the habits and minds of very ordinary people. Allow us to ad that two years after, (Weigel, 2015) in May 2015, Martin Weigel underlined that we live in impatient times characterized by the tendency to discount the value of future gains (coined by psychologists “temporal discounting”, and by economists “rates of time preference”), Moore’s Law continuing (while showing its age – Clark, 2015) to make its rampage and compressing everything it touches (including distance, time, and the feedback loop of the marketplace). Within this framework, Weigel referred to (among others): ▪ Lawrence Green (a co-founder of 101), who underlined the marketing mission drift: “from an art practiced for the longer-term health of a brand and business, to a science lopsidedly focused on the short term”; let us also remember here that on July 14, 2014 Lawrence Green argued, while approaching real-time advertising, (Green, 2014) that the marketing community should have a clear sense of the brand as “organizing idea”, find a space for the brand, seating brand at 24
top table, be lending its voice in calling for a refocusing of its efforts on long-term value creation and for building long-term sustainable futures around the needs of the customer. ▪ Roger Martin (Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto), who underlined that: “… Companies should place customers at the center of the firm and focus on delighting them, while earning an acceptable return for shareholders.” Modern and Human Marketing Manifestos Two years ago, Econsultancy CEO Ashley Friedlein introduced the Modern Marketing Manifesto (using the following alignment: Strategy; Brand; Experience; Data; Digital; Personalization; Technology; Creative; Content; Multi Screen; Social; Commercial), starting from their belief that the value of marketing is in the ascendancy, and from the need of reconstituting marketing as it is today with digital and classic fully fused. (Friedlein, 2013) At the top of the post Friedlein posed two questions (“Is marketing becoming more, or less, important within organisation? Has digital completely changed what marketing is or has it fundamentally remained the same?”), not forgetting to mention that digital marketing, as part of the bigger whole that is marketing, has brought new aspects to that whole. This post generated a very interesting debate which offered some very interesting perspectives. Let us summarize some of the ideas brought within this context by significant marketers’ representatives: complexity is a challenge and a reality; the tools (technology driven by ideas) used by the marketers and expectations of the served customers changed, the decentralization of brand and marketing execution is also a change, but the basic truths of why marketers “market things” hasn’t changed; the marketing organization must redefine itself as a revenue generator (rather than a cost center) – accountable marketing, responsible for business performance; it’s time that marketers to embark on a journey “with” customers (not “for” customers), by sharing purpose (which is what powers brand value), knowing if their customers really want a relationship; there is a cultural shift, and the distinction between digital and technology will reduce with time; a brand is more about what the company does and how it behave than what it says, and the only way to develop long term trust in brands and engage people in a truly positive way is to engage customers in the conversation about the use of data; in our user driven world, modern marketing (working to simplify systems, experiences, and messages) is built on a continually updating view of the customer, a comprehensive view of the customer being central to marketing’s challenge; one of the key marketing issues in this modern digital world is how to build a magnetic brand (putting marketing strategy at the very top of your brand), customer focus, personalization and social being core to online gaming, while multi-screen (desktop, mobile, tablet, kiosk & TV) being one of the major focuses in a streamlined offering; ethics etc. The last post within this debate was that of Brad Bush, CMO at GENBAND, highlighting his publication “Human Marketing Manifesto”: always remember there are people at the other end; see yourself as others see you; make your visuals count; not everyone is visual; moving pictures
move people to action; build for the next generation; there is power in a good story; good manners matter; earned media is earned for a reason; learn when to keep quiet. A year later, (Perkin, 2014) in May 2014, Neil Perkin (a renowned blogger, writer and the founder of Only Dead Fish, being also a consultant with Econsultancy, and writing regularly for FutureLab, Marketing Week and The Marketing Society etc.), spoke about the “Digital transformation” report (having Perkin as lead author produced with the assistance of Econsultancy Senior Research Analyst Heather Hopkins), which aimed: “to identify the key issues, challenges and opportunities around the evolving skills of modern marketers in response to the rapidly changing digital marketing and media environment. Key findings from this research about the skills of the modern marketer (as outlined in the above mentioned Manifesto) were as follows: adaptability, inquisitiveness and the ability to collaborate were the soft skills most often cited; critical for senior marketing leaders is a good understanding of technology; there is a real challenge of finding people that have both skills, the technical ones required for the job, and the soft ones to be successful in the organization. And as a conclusion: There is always time for Marketing Innovation On 2015April 27, 2015, Ernan Roman stated that Heather Smiley (a strong supporter of the US military and their families, being active with the USO and the Wounded Warrior Project), CMO, Retirement and Worksite Insurance at MassMutual (a Fortune 100 financial services company, focusing on helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love through employee benefits at the workplace; MassMutual currently serves 3 million American workers at over 40,000 companies and organizations), addressed (Roman, 2015) the well-known 4 questions (“4 Questions for Marketing Innovators ”): What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator? Why is this so important? How will concentrating on this help improve the customer experience? How will concentrating on this help improve the overall effectiveness of marketing? (Roman, 2015) Heather Smiley answered that to make MassMutual’s mission a reality, its customers need to be informed and motivated about something that is often out in the distant future or hard to imagine. She underlined that the company needs to be easy to take appropriate action when finding itself in that “motivated moment”, by creating and managing increasingly targeted, personalized and action-oriented messaging across all changing marketing channels. And this is very important because whatever a company can do to enable its customers to take action is a win for both the customer and its business (which is differentiating by a unique and comprehensive employee benefiting experience across human, mobile, social and web formats). On the other hand, by matching images and messaging that fits a customer's age, gender and life stage, a company can help its customers to quickly get guidance and make decisions on critical matters. While by understanding customers and their unique needs before even engage, the company can improve the effectiveness of marketing, ensuring a higher quality faster interaction
with its customers deeper targeted through increased knowledge of their preferences and behaviors, doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Two months later, (Roman, 2015) on June 8, 2015, Ernan Roman attracted our attention that most companies make three deadly assumptions about customers: ● customers understand everything about company’s products; ● company know everything about its customers; ● customers feel company is so special that they will be company’s customers forever. In the opinion of Ernan Roman, assumption and complacency are dangerous things when it comes to company’s existing customers, being always necessary searching for ways to meet customer’s changing needs and evolving life stage requirements. He recommends: ▪ to use marketing to educate not just promote, education being the key to consumption; ▪ to avoid missing critical insights regarding their rapidly changing needs and expectations, by doing deep research with customers and lost (key) accounts; ▪ to develop multiple points for customer feedback, by providing actionable measures that prove the constantly looking to improve customer experience. Six days before, on June 2, 2015, the works of the prestigious “The Marketing Innovators Summit” (part of the Financial Times Future of Marketing Summit Series) took place, the overall theme of this summit being “Transformational leadership in an evolving digital age”. (live.ft.com) The organizers underlined from the very beginning that marketing is at the intersection of customer knowledge, delivery and engagement, taking full advantage of the disruptive digital forces. The inspired and inspirational summit explored three dimensions of the marketing’s seismic evolution: ● the changing role of the CMO; ● the innovations driving marketing strategies; ● the next-generation tools and techniques that are shaping and enhancing the businesscustomer relationship across multiple channels. The attendees were challenged by significant key findings such as: traditional marketing methodologies challenged by the neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics mash-up; to stay effective as a leader today’s CMO needs to change about themselves, to harness the power of new technologies, to attract the next generation of talent to build engaging brands and content; the CMO’s role, profile, and relationship with the rest of the C-suite is changing fast; there is also a change of perception of the brand image via an integrated communications 27
approach; brands are reaching and engaging with consumers through the new breed of ‘social talent’; retailers and brands are striving to overcome around how they create intimacy and relationship in a digital world, at the heart of most of these efforts being personalization of digital experience; immediacy, offers and the ease of price comparison are driving consumer behavior towards promiscuity; interception marketing (IM) makes it harder to protect customers from competitive poaching (IM being driven by greater knowledge of consumer location and interests from consumers’ mobile and online activity); retailers can refocus their customers away from price as the paramount buying factor (taking also into account that customers overwhelmed by a lack of time and too much choice); we all are in the evolving intersection of marketing, technology and management. References Matt Britton - YouthNation: Building Remarkable Brands in a Youth-Driven Culture, Wiley, May 2015, Retrieved from: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd1118981146.html, 6/8/2015 Matt Britton - The Rise of “YouthNation” and How to Use Instagram to Reach Millennials, June 5, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/27793/the-rise-ofyouthnation-and-how-to-use-instagram-to-reach-millennials#ixzz3cCqdkZc8, 6/5/2015 Millennials, Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennials, 6/10/2015 Millennials (Millennial generation), Retrieved from: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/millennials-millennial-generation, 6/10/2015 Millennials, Retrieved from: http://mashable.com/category/millennials/, 6/10/2015 Generation X, Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X, 6/11/2015 Who Is Generation X? An Overview of Generation X, the Latchkey, Baby Buster, Slacker Generation, Retrieved from: http://www.jenx67.com/who-is-generation-x, 6/11/2015 https://instagram.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram Julie Quick - Shopper Marketing Is Hit Or Miss With Millennials, June 16, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/252136/shopper-marketing-is-hit-or-misswith-millennials.html, 6/19/2015 Millennials are overhyped, there is no customer for life, 14th June 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.4hoteliers.com/news/story/14397, 6/19/2015 Mathew Ingram - Why Facebook's algorithm matters: because 60% of millennials get news there, June 1, 2015, Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2015/06/01/facebook-algorithm-newsmillennials/, 6/19/2015
Heather Fletcher - 3 Bartender Tips for Marketers, June 4, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/3-bartender-tips-marketers/all/, 6/4/2015 Heather Fletcher - 8 Overlooked Testing Strategies, June, 16 2010, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/list-testing-strategies-direct-mail-testing/all/, 6/11/2015 Heather Fletcher - All Customers Are Polygamists and How Direct Marketers Can Understand Them, September 29, 2010, Retrieved from: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/whartons-fader-global-marketing-inertiapolyamory-consumers/all/, 6/11/2015 Matthew Creamer - Do Popularity and Penetration Trump Loyalty? February 14, 2011, Retrieved from: http://adage.com/article/news/ehrenberg-s-theories-influenced-today-s-marketers/148828/, 6/11/2015 Martin Weigel - The Invisible Consumer, April 16, 2012, Retrieved from: http://martinweigel.org/tag/ehrenberg/, 6/11/2015 Martin Weigel - Marketing crack: Kicking the habit , May 13, 2015 (the long copy version of a presentation given at the 2015 FutureFlash conference hosted by the Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Institute of Communications Agencies), Retrieved from: http://martinweigel.org/, 6/11/2015 Don Clark - Mooreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Law Shows Its Age, April 17, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/moores-law-runs-out-of-gas-1429282819, 6/11/2015 Lawrence Green - Real-time advertising: is it all about now? 14 July 2014, Retrieved from: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1303439/, 6/11/2015 Ashley Friedlein - Introducing the Modern Marketing Manifesto, Econsultancy, 23 April, 2013, Retrieved from: https://econsultancy.com/blog/62574-introducing-the-modern-marketingmanifesto/, 6/12/2015 Neil Perkin - Skills of the Modern Marketer, Econsultancy, May, 2014, Retrieved from: https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer/, 4/9/2015 Ernan Roman - A MassMutual CMO Answers 4 Questions for Marketing Innovators, 04/27/2015, Retrieved from: http://ernanroman.blogspot.ro/2015_04_01_archive.html, 6/13/2015 Ernan Roman - 3 Ways to Re-ignite the Bond with Current Customers, June 8, 2015, Retrieved from: http://ernanroman.blogspot.ro/2015/06/3-ways-to-re-ignite-bond-with-currentcustomers.html, 6/13/2015 FT Marketing Innovators Summit London, 02 June 2015, Retrieved from: https://live.ft.com/Events/2015/FT-Marketing-Innovators-Summit, 6/12/2015 http://mry.com/about/ http://mashable.com/
Digital Tourism on the Way to Digital Marketing Success Dr. Monica Paula RAČ&#x161;IU Ioan Matei PURCÄ&#x201A;REA
Abstract There is a real need of digital support of the tourist experience before, during and after the tourist activity, because digitization is steadily becoming the main pathway for consumer journeys. The digital revolution changed the way consumers shop for travel products and interact with brands. Tourism businesses need to utilize digital marketing techniques in their practices and to right track consumer activity across channels and devices. Getting vital information from customers via social media is already something essential for all brands and destinations. Travel-related companies should consider the vital aspect of making websites compatible with smartphonebased sales, but despite the fact that desktop remains an important part of travel-related businessesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; overall strategy, off-line methods of offering goods and services should not be neglected. Not only the contemporary digital marketplace is evolving rapidly, but also the development of both, the virtual reality as an alternative to holiday brochures, and the space tourism projects. Keywords: tourism marketing; digital tourism; connected consumer; virtual reality tourism; space tourism JEL Classification: L83; L86; M31; O33
Introduction It was argued that: tourism marketing reality implies a growing engagement in accepting the creative thinking challenge, progressing through knowledge and understanding, focusing on the targeted traveler-tourist, ensuring total traveler experiences; (Purcarea and Ratiu, 2010) at the heart of Digital Economy research there are four challenge areas: sustainable society; communities and culture; new economic models; information technology as a utility; (epsrc.ac.uk) the digitization of the economy has revolutionized the tourism market, radically changing its existing business models. (Radaelli) On the other hand, it is well-known that: â&#x2013;Ş Digital Tourism is defined as the digital support of the tourist experience before, during and after the tourist activity; (sachi.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk) â&#x2013;Ş New horizons of knowledge were opened by the development of the Big Data phenomenon (Tourist System: new digital ecosystems - see Figure below; Competitive intelligence systems in tourism; Cognitive systems for tourism; Advanced/intelligent Tourist System management (DMO, Industry); Modelling of the resort's competitiveness as a network); (tourgune.org)
Figure no. 1: The digital ecosystem and the tourist system as a community of interactive agents in conjunction with their physical environment Source: Tourism Systems in the Digital Age, http://www.tourgune.org/en/26/82/0/0/knowledge-areas-tourismsystems-in-the-digital-age
â&#x2013;Ş As digitization is steadily becoming the main pathway for consumer journeys, companies need the right DNA for the current evolving environment, marketers being challenged to choose the 31
right channels/strategies and digital marketing tactics, the right metrics to gauge marketing success and to allocate the right budget on the right digital areas. (Negricea and Purcărea) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness and the Perspective of the Connected Consumer It is well-known that competitiveness is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity (whose level sets the level of prosperity that can be earned by an economy) of a country. (weforum.org) The World Economic Forum has based its competitiveness analysis (since 2005) on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the components being grouped into 12 interrelated pillars of competitiveness: (Basic requirements subindex) Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic environment, Health and primary education - (4 key for factor-driven economies); (Efficiency enhancers subindex) Higher education and training, Goods market efficiency, Labor market efficiency, Financial market development, Technological readiness, Market size - (6 key for efficiency-driven economies); (Innovation and sophistication factors subindex) Business sophistication, Innovation - (2 key for innovation-driven economies). Within this framework it is worth to mention that (thanks to the same World Economic Forum) the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 (competitiveness analysis based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index – TTCI, comprising four subindexes, 14 pillars, and 90 individual indicators – measuring “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”) discussed “why the Travel & Tourism sector has proved resilient to several different unsettling forces and manage to grow globally and generally more quickly than the economy as a whole.” (weforum.org) On the other hand, according to Deloitte LLP report on the travel consumer in 2015, digital has disrupted the consumer path to purchase, the digital revolution changing the way consumers shop for travel products and interact with brands, consumers being empowered by the influence and reach provided by review websites and social media.” On the other hand, according to Deloitte LLP report on the travel consumer in 2015, (deloitte.com/uk) digital has disrupted the consumer path to purchase, the digital revolution changing the way consumers shop for travel products and interact with brands, consumers being empowered by the influence and reach provided by review websites and social media. A press release from April 30, 2015 of Deloitte U.K. (Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited) showed that travel consumers are now using the internet to compare prices (59% of holidaymakers comparing prices online as consumers keep recessionary behavior), 42% using review sites (compared to 31% using travel company websites and 21% internet only travel agents; holidaymakers sharing experiences and influencing each , moving from being content consumers to content creators), two or more devices (smartphones, tablets etc. using multiple apps and websites) being used by a third of these consumers when researching their holiday. The research conducted by Deloitte (Deloitte’s Travel Consumer 2015 report analyzed data from a 32
survey of 40,000 holidaymakers by the British Travel Awards, Deloitte LLP being the scrutineer for the results of the annual vote) revealed (Jun-Tai, 2015) that: travel has changed from being a seller’s to a buyer’s market; price is the main factor driving holiday booking decisions (showing the holidaymaker’s desire to get the best deal); posted travel-related reviews are increasing (third of holidaymakers have already posted, and older people becoming more active online); travel companies must adapt to the fragmented digital channel (by creating a recommendation culture, for instance, the word-of-mouth marketing being relatively low-cost and self-perpetuating); in order to use the potential wealth of data to understand and meet consumer expectations by right tracking consumer activity across channels and devices (while avoiding fragmentation generated by the appearance as two separate consumers of those abandoning an online basket in a tablet app to book on a laptop), companies should introduce an integrated experience (by offering differentiating features like personalization, and encouraging users to sign in on every platform, for example). A SEO and Inbound Marketing Consultant at Powered by Search (Bovykina, 2014) attracted our attention in March last year that one of the industries that is most affected by digital development is the tourism and hospitality industry, among the first ones to utilize digital marketing techniques in their practices (in order to engage communities and make sure their customers have the best possible away-from-home experience) being transportation and accommodation companies. Within this context there were given some examples of digital marketing application: Booking (companies recognizing the importance of second screen marketing, within the framework of the emerging trend of mobile-only travel agencies – MTAs – having the ability to book tickets through downloadable mobile/tablet-exclusive apps); On-board (experience marketing as relevant as ever, making the journey experience more pleasant for airlines travelers, by installing advanced in-flight entertainment system); At the Destination (as additional services result in repeat sales, large hotel chains facing local competition need to expand the range of their offering to deliver even more value to their customers. It was underlined the importance of carefully analyzing how people interact with surrounding environments while travelling, and of using these insights to: ● recognize existing customer needs; ● give travelers what they want to create the “wow”; ● ensure repeat sales. From Virtual Reality Tourism to Space Tourism, a Niche Project for the Immediate Future Destinations begin to take their first steps in utilizing Virtual Reality Tourism (a concept which has been discussed for some time, a form of digital marketing). The Digital Tourism Think Tank (an initiative aiming at providing thought leadership to the tourism industry in digital 33
marketing best practice - thinkdigital.travel) argued that becomes increasingly clear that virtual reality will play a major role in the industry going forward. As the first practical examples are already emerging, the Digital Tourism Think Tank quoted the example recently announced by Destination BC (utilizing Oculus Rift virtual reality technology), the tourist board for the Canadian province of British Columbia which is offering tourists a preview of what the region has to offer with a unique 360-degree video. (thinkdigital.travel) In the opinion of the Digital Tourism Think Tank the advantages for travel-related companies and destinations offered by the tourists virtual reality trips (which are expected to become considerably more common in the foreseeable future) are obvious, because this kind of tourism effectively enables companies to offer a better portrayal of the destination (compared to what is conveyed through brochures or even Internet content), by avoiding skeptical reactions of the customers. For example, Destination BC is utilizing virtual tours (an innovative and exciting way to showcase the destination as an attractive place to visit) as part of an overall marketing palette at national and international tourism trade shows, while embracing contemporary technology in providing this kind of tours expected to become a mainstream method of promoting tourism, being likely that in the next few years the virtual reality will play a major role as an alternative to holiday brochures. The founder and CEO of the retail giant which is Amazon, Jeff Bezos, continues to develop his space tourism project “The New Shepard”, being involved recently in the launching of a capsule (Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle was launched from western Texas) to the edge of the earth's atmosphere. (thinkdigital.travel) Bezos's space tourism project (the precursor to a much larger orbital rocket and spacecraft intended to be developed and launched in the foreseeable future from well-known Cape Canaveral) is part of a series of other project currently working on a providing commercial space travel, such as: ▪ Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic project (delayed because of technical difficulties and the fallout from the VSS Enterprise crash; to be launched before the end of the decade); it was suggested by estimates that the pricing of tickets for Bezos's space tourism project flights will be extremely similar to Branson's space tourism project flights (beyond the differences coming from way that the two crafts rise into the outer atmosphere); ▪ World View’s space tourism project (reliant on huge helium balloons; considered to be significantly more affordable than the two already mentioned tourism project flights, one-third to one-quarter of the price of Virgin Galactic), as reported by the Digital Tourism Think Tank. Something essential for all brands and destinations: Getting vital information from customers via social media It is considered (thinkdigital.travel) to be very important getting feedback from social media platforms (not only just targeting large numbers of potential customers with messages and 34
content, including co-created content), with the help of social listening technology (from Google Alerts and Social Mention till more robust platforms such as Sprinklr). According to the Digital Tourism Think Tank, in order to create a better customer experience around the travel-related company’s brand, social listening should be specifically directed to achieve pre-defined travelrelated company’s business goals. In this respect, the Digital Tourism Think Tank recommends the following tips: considering the importance of competitive intelligence (social listening strategy providing a broad view of social media content, which reveal key competitors’ aspects); improving on marketing (by providing a captive audience who will share their preferences and communicate them to you directly, enabling you to best use social media campaigns to reach your customers); eliminating problems (by paying very close attention to any particular issues and tidying them up as quickly as possible); improving customer service (by listening to and learning from customers’ frustrations and what they actually want); finding new customers (by adequately utilizing keywords and queries so as to track conversations efficiently and promote your products via social media in a more active fashion); identifying influencers (by adequately keeping track of everyone who is talking about your brand on social media, and connecting with these effectively listened people who will helping achieve your short and long-term goals); recruitment (by monitoring conversations, blogs and other communities online, and acquiring vital talents and skills); innovation and design (taking into account that thanks to its affordability social listening has a massive role in research and development); content marketing (by using social listening as a centerpiece of any content curation strategy, and providing the best content to your audiences, interacting with them in a much more appropriate fashion); anticipate opportunities (by using social listening programs which will enable you to benefit from the mistakes of your competitors, and gain new customers).
Conclusion There is no doubt that as the contemporary digital marketplace is becoming more centered on a complex consumer journey which includes multiple mobile devices, tourism businesses need to utilize digital marketing techniques in their practices and to right track consumer activity across channels and devices. At the beginning of June this year took place “Tourism Symposium 2015”, regarded as “the year’s most thought-provoking event” (hosted by Visit Kent, arranged by The Tourism Society, in partnership with Ashford Borough Council, and supported by VisitBritain, UKinbound, Arts Council England, Southeastern and the Coach Tourism Council; over 240 delegates representing businesses throughout Britain together with leading industry professionals attended the event) which enjoyed a comprehensive exploration of the topic “Connecting to the Future”, by focusing on ideas and solutions for sustainable inbound and outbound growth through the lens of the infrastructure (in its widest definition, including, for example, the soft and digital infrastructures of technology) debate. (tourismsociety.org) On this special occasion made the first official appearance in her new role the new Minister, Sandra Matthews. (tourismsociety.org) Two weeks later, an Expedia (a major and extremely well-known 35
name in the travel industry) report provided a snapshot of “UK Digital Usage”, (thinkdigital.travel) by analyzing online travel content consumption and bookings across devices and demographics in the UK (and comparing those to similar trends in the United States). The valuable report revealed that: “the contemporary digital marketplace is evolving rapidly, and becoming more centered on a complex consumer journey which includes multiple mobile devices.” A week after the above mentioned “Tourism Symposium 2015”, The Digital Tourism Think Tank informed us (thinkdigital.travel) of Adobe’s recently released annual Digital Index Travel Report (regarded as one of the most comprehensive set of travel insights which exist anywhere in the industry; based on both, aggregated and anonymous data acquired from the Adobe Marketing Cloud, and additional data from a complementary survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers who plan to travel this summer) which assessed consumer behavior across multiple mobile devices. According to the Adobe survey: customers are now booking more trips via smartphone than tablets; Travel-related companies should consider the vital aspect of making websites compatible with smartphone-based sales; despite the fact that desktop remains an important part of travel-related businesses’ overall strategy, off-line methods of offering goods and services should not be neglected.
References Theodor Purcarea and Monica Paula Ratiu – The ongoing challenge: How to remain competitive in the global dervice economy, Carol Davila University Press, July 2010, pp. 109-110 (book presented in September 2010, in “Distribution d’Aujoud’hui” and “Distributie vandaag”, Brussels) Digital economy, Retrieved from: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/ourportfolio/themes/digitaleconomy/, 6/2/2015 Cristiano Radaelli - Unlocking the economic potential of ‘digital tourism, 05/Jan/2015, Retrieved from: http://www.thedigitalpost.eu/2015/channel-business/internet-revolutionising-tourism-industry, 6/2/2015 Digital Tourism, Retrieved from: http://sachi.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/areas/digital-humanities/digital-tourism/, 6/2/2015 Tourism Systems in the Digital Age, Retrieved from: http://www.tourgune.org/en/26/82/0/0/knowledge-areastourism-systems-in-the-digital-age, 6/2/2015 Costel Iliuță Negricea and Ioan Matei Purcărea - Digital Marketing, Digital Disruption, and the New Rules of Digitization, Holistic Marketing Management, Volume 5, Issue 1, 2015, pp. 11-17 The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, Retrieved from: http://www.weforum.org/reports/globalcompetitiveness-report-2014-2015, 5/31/2015 The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.weforum.org/reports/traveltourism-competitiveness-report-2015, 5/31/2015 Travel Consumer 2015. Engaging the empowered holidaymaker, April 2015, Retrieved from: http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/travel-consumer-2015.html, 5/31/2015
Ben Jun-Tai - Online price comparison and review sites make travel a buyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market, 30 April 2015, Retrieved from: http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/online-price-comparison-and-review-sites.html, 5/31/2015 Katya Bovykina - How digital marketing is transforming the tourism industry, March 4, 2014, Retrieved from: http://www.poweredbysearch.com/digital-marketing-tourism-industry/, 5/30/2015 The Digital Tourism Think Tank, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/who-are-we, 5/30/2015 Destination BCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First North American VR Tour, 27 Th May 2015, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/destination-bcs-first-north-american-vr-tour, 5/30/2015 Amazon Space Tourism Project Testing in Texas, 29Th May 2015, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/amazon-space-tourism-project-testing-in-texas, 5/30/2015 Ten Advantages of Social Listening, 20Th May 2015, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/tenadvantages-of-social-listening, 5/30/2015 Tourism Symposium 2015, May 31, 2015, Retrieved from: http://www.tourismsociety.org/eventdetails/396/tourism-symposium-2015.htm.org/event-details/396/tourism-symposium-2015.htm, 6/20/2015 New tourism minister makes her debut at symposium, June 03, 2015 , Retrived from: http://www.tourismsociety.org/news-article/68/new-tourism-minister-makes-her-debut-at-symposium.htm, 6/20/2015 Expedia Report Provides Snapshot of UK Digital Usage, 15th June 2015, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/expedia-report-provides-snapshot-of-uk-digital-usage, 6/20/2015 Annual Adobe Digital Index Travel Report Released, 8th June 2015, Retrieved from: http://thinkdigital.travel/opinion/annual-adobe-digital-index-travel-report-released, 6/20/2015
The latest issue of our partner journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia Theodor PURCĂREA JEL Classification: Y30 We are happy to receive by post the latest issue of our partner journal, „Marketing Science and Inspirations”, Vol. IX, 2014, Number 4. „Marketing Science and Inspirations” is an academic journal addressed to academics and practitioners. The latest issue of this journal covers challenging topics in the marketing research field: “Marketing and forms of family businesses. Part II” (Lubomira Strazovska); “The importance of trust in modern marketing management” (Magdalena Samuhelova, Katarina Gubiniova); “A new dimension of marketing management – marketing performance measurement in the organization” (Gabriela Pajtinkova Bartakova); “Customer satisfaction as an instrument of marketing of marketing management in tourism” (Darina Nakatova); “Gender and attitudes of Slovak customers towards brands. Part I” (Peter Starchon, Dagmar Weberova); “Marketing of territorial units in the context of municipal elections in 2014” (Frantisek Olsavsky).
The „Marketing Science and Inspirations” journal also includes other sections such as: “Marketing Briefs” (Pavel Strach – “Unusual advertising or the dawn of a traditional component of marketing communications?”); “Captured us” (“An announcement of the tenth year of the Marketer of the year contest”); “Reviews” (Frantisek Olsavsky, Martina Drahosova - “Emilia Charfaoui: Professional lexicon of minimum managerial and economic practice,” Comenius University in Bratislava, 2014), “Dictionary of Useful Marketing Terms” (Dagmar Weberova).
It is worth to remember that the Editor-in Chief, Professor Peter Starchon, Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, is also Member of the Editorial Boards of the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal and of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”. We will always remember with pleasure our meeting in Koln, Germany, in 2011, on the occasion of the working meeting of the European Retail Academy (ERA). 39