Marketing Kingdom Baku 2: local business community to have chance to network with some of world's brightest marketing minds

As you have probably already heard from the news, there are only a few days left until the largest marketing event in the region starts. We are referring to the Marketing Kingdom Baku - the second edition, taking place at the Fairmont Hotel on the 10th and 11th of April. Trend sat down with the organizers of the event, P World, Nar Mobile and PASHA Bank, to get last-minute details for its readers.

- Thank you all for coming! It is very exciting to talk about the most important marketing event in the region. Could you tell us what is the concept of the event?

Lavinia Iosub, Country Manager P World: It is very exciting indeed. The event this year is the second edition of the Marketing Kingdom Baku, whose first edition proved to be extremely successful last year. The concept is the same as in all the other several European countries it is taking place in: to put the local marketing community in touch with the most avant-garde marketing trends, with some of the brightest marketing minds in the world and with each other. We are very glad to see the event turning into an annual tradition in Azerbaijan as well.

- Last year you invited to speak senior managers from London Olympics, LEGO, Henkel, Cocal-Cola to name but a few. Who are the speakers this year?

Lavinia Iosub, Country Manager P World: We have an exceptional line up of speakers again, which includes, among others, Mary Jo Jacobi, one of the most reputable corporate communications seniors in the world, she has worked for two US Presidents, BP America, Royal Dutch Shell, Lehman Brothers, HSBC and dignitaries from the UK such as David Cameron or Her Majesty the Queen; Sebastian Micozzi, Head of Marketing, PepsiCo; Hubert Grealish, former Head of Brand Commuications, Diageo, Philips and TomTom, currently at MPERA; Richard Beaumont, VP Rolls Royce or Patrick Jephson, former Private Secretary of Princess Diana. The full list of speakers and agenda can be consulted on our website, www.thepworld.com .

- How will this edition be different compared to the last one?

Lavinia Iosub, Country Manager P World: The event is based on the same concept described above, but significantly improved: we added a panel discussion after each two presentations so we can give the audience more chances to ask targeted questions regarding their own challenges. The speakers are, naturally, new as well, most of them have never been here and it is a very good opportunity to welcome them in Azerbaijan for the first time. We also "grew" the concept into a whole "marketing week". This year we don't only have the two full days of corporate presentations but also a student edition, which is hosted by ADA on the 8th and 9th and it is completely free of charge, as a CSR activity on the behalf of P World and sponsors; we also have the "Golden Crown" Marketing Awards - the first international contest to award excellence in marketing in Azerbaijan; as well as private corporate sessions for our partners.

- Now that we know who the speakers are, could you give us a few examples of what will the participants learn or hear about?

Lavinia Iosub, Country Manager P World: There will be two days of sessions, 12 speakers, so an attentive and active participant will learn a great deal of things. To give a few examples, the delegates will hear about how it is to create a marketing plan that will reach 1 billion people in 70 countries (Pepsi), how to create content that will go viral and have a successful social media strategy (Mads Holmen of AOL), what is a glo-cal brand or how to enhance your brand value using your supply chain (Rolls-Royce). There will be many forward ideas that can be replicated or can, even better, challenge the participants to come up with their own strategies. One of the very important parts of the conference will focus on reputation - Mary Jo jacobi being one of the most acclaimed specialists in the world in this field. She is very good at helping people create a mindset around reputation - it is not about your latest and shiniest message, as it is about the reality of the brand that people come in contact with. One of the things she teaches for example is that "your reputation is as strong as the experience your customer has in your weakest branch with your weakest customer service employee on their worst day". But I'm already giving out too much, right? However, the full agenda can be checked on our website as well.

- Questions for the sponsors now, why did you decide to partner with the event?

Max Fyodorov, CMO, Nar Mobile:

Azerbaijan's economy is currently developing rapidly. In this regard, it should be noted that the nation of Azerbaijan is making its best efforts to secure a remarkable success in various fields of public life. This fact has a noticeable impact upon the economic growth and cultural development of Azerbaijan. Our sponsorship and participation in this high-level conference reconfirms our desire to be a part of the progress and development in Azerbaijan. The event will serve as a platform for discussing current trends in marketing, establishing market relations and studying the international marketing practice. The conference can be seen as a re-training program for marketing specialists and will facilitate an exchange of experiences between experts, as well as know-how transfer in regards to the newest trends in advertising or managing a profitable business. The conference will bring together some of the world's most reputable marketing specialists who will share the secrets of their successful practices. Such events call for our attention and should not be left unattended - companies that have high goals shall both participate in such events and make a direct contribution to the organizing efforts. The conference will definitely provide an impetus for the development of contemporary marketing in Azerbaijan and help local companies in developing and applying the standards of fair and responsible marketing practice.

Sona Abbasova, Corporate Communications Director PASHA Bank: First of all, because the Marketing Kingdom Baku last year was a big success. We had an excellent opportunity to position PASHA Bank as a financial institution which strives to ‎contribute to the development of economy in Azerbaijan. ‎Diversification of economy from oil and gas has been one of the priorities for Azerbaijani policymakers. State programs and regulations, that paved a way for the development of non-oil sectors, reinforce SME sector in Azerbaijan. As a bank which is looking at increasing its market share in SME sector-the backbone of any economy- we will support initiatives such as Marketing Kingdom, which ‎help companies to apply modern marketing and sales techniques in their business to keep developing.

- Why are events like this important for the business community in Azerbaijan?

Max Fyodorov, CMO Nar Mobile: Nar Mobile is the most rapidly developing mobile operator in Azerbaijan. For seven years since establishment, Nar Mobile has provided subscribers with the most affordable communication services, constantly working on improving the quality of services. For us, quality does not only mean a developed communication network and high level of services. We are also extremely concerned about management standards and principles that guide our brand in serving its customers. We believe that the essence of marketing goes far beyond its purely functional meaning. As we are devoted to Azerbaijani culture and traditions, we are guided by national moral values and ideals in our messages addressed to the people of Azerbaijan. The values that we believe in help us achieve our vision and this event will provide additional opportunities for implementing our short- and long-term objectives. Because this is eloquently testified by our key mission - we are connecting people with each other and the rest of the world.

Sona Abbasova, Corporate Communications Director PASHA Bank: Azerbaijani companies have been developing really fast, especially on production and services side. However, the way ‎to move forward is to learn how to sell the product, how to attract customers, how to convince them that what you produce or offer is what they need. With large companies where they have dedicated teams of professionals it is easier. Nevertheless, when we talk about smaller companies that do not have resources to keep big marketing teams, such events which bring together the best marketing professionals from all over the world, are just priceless. On the other hand, we should keep in mind that Azerbaijan is becoming the economic leader of the region, opening up vast opportunities for Azerbaijani companies to expand beyond Azerbaijan. So, learning modern sales and marketing trends could help the companies aspiring to develop further into region, draw up successful marketing strategies and succeed.

- What do you advise the local marketing community?

Lavinia Iosub, Country Manager P World: First of all, if they haven't registered already - they should do so, it is the last day for buying tickets and we only have very few seats left. If they registered already, as the majority of the marketing community has already done, they should come prepared to do the best out of this two days: ask questions, network with their colleagues from other companies and with the speakers themselves (my advice is to approach them in the breaks - they love to talk to the participants), do not expect ready made-solutions to the problems you have in your company - expect ideas that will challenge you to think, to make associations, to come up with your own strategies. This is, on short, the beauty of global events and we should take advantage 100%.

- Thank you all!

For more information on the event, please go to: http://www.thepworld.com/pevents/event/64/marketing-kingdom-baku-2 .

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