Congress Marketing Management 2011 revealed that the companies that gave less and lower discounts last year were winners
Published 5/13/2011
More than 150 participants from leading companies of five countries have gathered on 11th May in Prague hotel Grand Majestic Plaza at the Marketing Management 2011 congress to cope with the  motto “End of Sales – Long Live the Brand!” Participants came  to get inspired on how to sell brand quality and value without unnecessary price underbidding.

“Sure there are other ways of offer than endless discounting and saleouts. But they are tough. Discount is a simple tool, easy to apply. And many still believe it works properly. But slow changes are coming – customers and consumers start to distinguish also other attributes of bought items than price again. Therefore we went opposite direction with the topic of this year – to building the brand value, gaining loyal customers and finding innovations,” explained the conference intention Antonín Parma from Blue Events, the event organizer.
The conference was opened by a session “Good Brand can be sold without discounts”. Petr Božoň from K Brewery Trade shared how his company was able to notice 13% growth of sales in 2010 thanks to activities targeted on actual market opportunities. Very successful actions attracted consumers back from “bottled beer on sofa”   to restaurants – which was profitable not only for the brewery, but also participating restaurants, so the marketing effort was beneficial to more participants. Josef Vojta, renowned marketing expert, then introduced the issue of neuromarketing. Main idea of this marketing branch is to balance working with intellect and emotions of information receivers. 80% of new brands launched on the market will not survive first six months, because they make no sense to customers. Michal Vodák from the company explained why online brands want to enter the offline world and vice versa. Miroslava Škrabalová from Chiquita company walked through the path of this brand from 90’s till now – from building awareness of the product values through building awareness of the brand to current building of preferences through working on functional and emotional benefits. She also revealed new trend of engaging the brand into socially responsible activities and directing to sustainability as a respond to growing awareness of consumers.
At the beginning of the second  session Jiří Svoboda of GfK company brought ten successful central European stories . The fact there is a lot of space for innovations can be proven by polish PKN Orlen, which was able to differentiate among strong competitors of fuel vendors by increasing quality of food at its petrol stations. Generally the results of researches in many copuntries and across categories prove that innovation is more efficient differentiator than “sale”. It was clearly docummented that those companies giving more discounts had conclusively worse results than those who rather focused on launching new things on the market.
A complete euphoria was risen by David Kisilevsky, ex-marketing director of Burger King. In his amusing and attractive presentation he motivated the attendants to break groovy standards of communication, work with imagination and emotions of customers and build a passionate relationship to the brand in them. For Burger King this was the way leading to stand in hard competition of other brands. According to David customers don’t worship those who are kneeling in front of them, but those who are strong, proud, independent and not afraid someone may not like their opinion.”The biggest obstacle in life and business is a fear of failure,” said David at the end of his presentation.
Elena Feoktistova from Mastercard showed how her company was able to target its campaigns on emotional motives of customers. They appreciated empathy with which the brand focused on what is really important for them. This is still revealing in positive results, proved also by continuously growing number of awards for the campaign during its 14 years old history. An important factor of success of the whole brand platform is also a respect towards local cultural differences and connection with partners relevant for each geographic territory.
The panel entitled “There are also other ways than sales” led by Tomáš Poucha, co-founder of Marketing Institute brought the discussion of resentatives of different camps – Managing Director, PR expert and CRM expert, Tomáš himself represented the world of marketing. David Seibert, Managing Director of Halada, first showed how it is possible to operate on hypercompetitive markets. Michal Seifert from Česká spořitelna introduced audience to a ROI  per Customer, which according to him, is more suitable for measuring marketing efficiency than ROI of individual campaigns, because it evaluates impact of all marketing activities on the whole portfolio of customers. Roman Frkous from GE Money Bank came with an idea that even in today’s era it is possible to raise prices, if we know our target groups and we have the right products for them. It is also important to remember it is more expensive to gain new customer than to keep the current one. In the conclusion all discussing participants and the moderator agreed it is necessary to work with emotions, proper data and courage to be different and successful.
After lunch the conference was divided into two parallel discussion sessions – Best practices on the FMCG market and on the Non-FMCG market. In the FMCG panel there were often mentioned terms like leadership, sustainability, emotional benefits and also necessity of true cooperation of the chain producer-distributor-retailer or communication between business partners and with customers. “The best weapon is,” as the moderator of this section Josef Vojta concluded after the end, “to have a meaningful brand with value the customers will honour”. Also in the Non-FMCG panel the topic of communication was discussed, mainly the communication between brand and customer. In the today’s world overflowed with information, when everyone is daily attacked by thousands of commercial messages, when internet is a playground for huge number of communities and all truths exist concurrently even though they are excluding each other, companies are fighting with a painful issue of necessity to communicate with people and impossibility to have such communication under control. Good effort can therefore bring also sensible losses. “Maybe in recent times we have a feeling that new tools (like social networks or sales websites) are changing marketing processes. But the truth is marketers have still the same task – to find the right target group and be able to offer what it expects,” concluded the discussion its moderator, David Seibert.
Interested professionals are invited by organizers to discuss the shape of the next year of the conference in LinkedIn group Marketing Management Congress.
Pictures from the event can be found at
Blue Events
Zuzana Mračková, Client Service Manager
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