Empowering customers through education-based videos in e-commerce

Empowering customers through education-based videos in e-commerce

Digital marketing is a fascinating discipline. It is getting matured before our eyes and surprises us every day as it is expanding fast into various sub-disciplines. Video marketing is one of them. The objective of this paper is to examine the different marketing functions of video promotion with a special focus on the e-commerce environment. There, it traditionally served customer education, focusing exclusively on products and their features. However, the current practice demonstrates that marketing managers have quickly realized the potentials of content marketing in general, and education-based content specifically. As a result, they started to prepare video sessions designed to educate their customers in the whole context of their products and brands, not just explaining a product and its features. While processing the data of prominent e-shops from the Czech Republic and Austria, examples of video sales promotion and branding in the e-commerce environment have been analysed both from the viewpoint of their content focus and added value to customers. The comparative analysis proved a much higher interest in video promotion of the Czech e-retailer than in the case of the Austrian counterpart. Managerial implications and proposals for further research have been suggested.


The popularity of video as a communication tool is truly enormous. Training Zone, the UK company specializing in corporate education, reported in its research that over one billion YouTube learning-related videos are viewed every day on the YouTube platform. Simultaneously, video as a communication tool was named on the top of 10 learning technologies (TrainingZone 2019). The popularity of video as a preferred way of consuming information is a strong reason for its use in the field of customer education as well. With the help of carefully crafted education-based content aiming at prospects and customers, different video formats can serve various educational goals. Therefore, the implementation of video marketing in e-commerce is just another extension of the already well-functioning approach.
In its sixth annual survey, Wyzowl (2020), a leading specialist in the explainer video industry, published the data proving the ever-growing trend of different video formats’ implementation in marketing. The representative sample of 656 unique respondents surveyed in December 2019 included both marketing professionals and online consumers. According to the survey results, the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool, overall, has increased from 61% to 85% since 2016 – see Graph 1.

Graph 1: The number of businesses using video as a marketing tool in the period 2016-2020
Source: Own elaboration based on Wyzowl Video Survey (Wyzowl 2020)

According to this survey, the perceived importance of video as a marketing tool has significantly increased, i.e. from around 78% in 2015 to 92% of video marketers expressed their opinion that video was an important part of their marketing strategy. Finally, the video marketers expressed their opinion on ROI generated from video – see Graph 2.

Graph 2: The role of video in ROI in the period from 2015-2020
Source: Own elaboration based on Wyzowl Video Survey (Wyzowl 2020)

The authors of the survey are quite optimistic in their interpretation of the respondents’ opinions on ROI from the video: „There has been an almost unfaltering rise in the number of marketers reporting a positive ROI from video. Back in 2015, only a third said they got a good ROI. That number more than doubled in the following 12 months, and has since seen further increases, peaking this year at 88%.“ (Wyzowl, 2020)
Besides the persuading statistics, it is important to examine the latest theoretical works and researchers’ approaches towards digital content marketing (DCM) as a sub-category of digital marketing. Education-based content is another significant phenomenon, currently paving the way for another sub-category of digital marketing, i.e. education-based marketing.

Theoretical framework

Already in 1996, in an iconic essay entitled „Content is king”, Bill Gates compared the content posted on the Internet to radio or television. In this essay, Bill Gates writes: „One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create” (Gates 1996, 2014).
Among the entities actively sharing digital content on the Internet, there are brands. They are becoming ever better informed and far-sighted players in the media market, whether they work with owned media, paid media or acquired media. Brands strive to be unique in their communications, always offering their customers valuable insight into the issue and original content. This is far from being easy, however, an endless source of inspiration can be found in the publications of the world-renowned author Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), who is considered by many to be ‘the father of content marketing’. In his publication „Epic Content Marketing”, the author predicts success to brands if they „develop stories that inform and entertain and compel customers to act – without actually telling them to. Epic content distributed to the right person at the right time is the way to truly capture the hearts and minds of customers. It’s how to position your business as a trusted expert in its industry. It’s what customers share and talk about” (Pulizzi 2014).
Despite numerous activities of CMI, the ideas of content marketing still need to be actively promoted, explained and shared. With the objective to carry the flag of content marketing further and being concerned for the generally poor understanding of DCM, in their recent research article, the global team of researchers conceptualized the digital content marketing as „the creation and dissemination of relevant, valuable brand-related content to current or prospective customers on digital platforms to develop their favourable brand engagement, trust, and relationships (vs. directly persuading consumers to purchase)” (Hollebeek and Macky 2019). Based on an extensive literature review and applying a holistic approach to the analysed topical theme, the team of researchers highlighted that the content’s nature and execution are pivotal to DCM success.
Owing to the fact that the comparative analysis focuses on the education-based content as the storyboard of video promotion, it is important to highlight that education-based content is a sub-category of DCM. Unlike the traditional product-related videos which focus on the product itself and explanation of its features and use, the goals of education-based videos are different. They offer valuable insight into the whole context of a particular area, e.g. in their educational labs, Apple company offers courses of digital photography for free on the premises of their stores instead of just teaching their customers how to use the camera inbuilt in their iPhones. These marketing activities focused on customer education in the broad sense represent an added value to customers who appreciate and welcome them (Knihová 2019). With their focus on sales promotion, product-related videos, or „how-to-videos” don’t share the fundamental ideas of content marketing that never directly persuades customers to purchase.
Applying the concept of DCM to e-commerce environment as one of the digital platforms, the content’s nature of the video marketing message may serve different purposes, from the classical approach of product-related video to a more sophisticated approach of contextual video, pursuing at the same time different marketing and business goals. These goals may include, for example, the company’s efforts to become a brand leader in a particular sector, foster lasting customer relationships or enhance the brand trustworthiness and brand image. Whatever the goal, video marketing with the plethora of various video types with different content focus may serve well each particular situation. Among the most common, there are the following: (1) product introduction (product properties and the context in which it is used); (2) brand promotion video; (3) video from the corporate event; (4) expert interview video; (5) educational videos and tutorials; (4) how-to-video/explainer video; (5) video customer references; (6) live video/streaming video; (7) panoramic video; (8) virtual reality video; (9) augmented reality video; (10) video recording of a press conference, (11) customer support video; (12) behind the scenes video and (13) F&Q video for frequently asked questions and the like.
Apart from the video content focus, also video hosting platforms need to be mentioned. The most common platforms for sharing video content are YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia (WPBeginner. 2019); furthermore, the video content can be uploaded on the website of a company or of a third party, and ultimately inherently belongs to social networks, where, according to the rules of the provider, there may be various restrictions, especially in terms of video length or concerning the preconditions of placing an ad before, during or after broadcasting a particular video. The latest video sharing tool can be chat applications like Messenger or WhatsApp.
Customer education through education-based content distributed both in an e-commerce environment or elsewhere appertains to a wide portfolio of specific customer activities and domains.
The idea and potentials of education-based content were highlighted already in 2015 when Forbes magazine focused on building customer confidence in brands and at the same time, it offered a new perspective on the content focus of corporate communication, namely on educational content (Olenski 2015). Among other valuable insight, the author examined the topic from a customer perspective and also from the viewpoint of brands’ ability to provide added value at every touchpoint (Olenski 2015). The concept of education-based content (EBC) has also been examined by other marketing professionals: (1) in terms of customization of educational content (EBC), and dovetailing it with the individual learning styles of customers, (2) the EBC’s potential to generate ROI, (3) the EBC’s role in customer navigation through the purchasing process, which is characterized by an ever-expanding supply, and (4) the potential of EBC to act as the marketer’s differentiation agent adding value to the product (Talbot 2017). Customer training has also been examined in terms of quality of service as a brand’s ability to provide added value: „Customer education or the extent to which firms are seen as providing customers with the skills and abilities to utilize critical information is often considered a valuable augmentation to a firm’s service offerings” (Bell et al. 2017). A study examining consumer learning behaviour in social networking environments from a social learning perspective provides valuable insight into what really affects customer attitudes in both the cognitive and affective dimensions, including the impact on customer intentions to make purchases. At the same time, it is an important extension of the proactive use of educational content in the social business environment (Chen et al. 2017).
The scientific literature brings many research papers and expert studies focused on the customers and the process of their education. The point of view of individual researchers is always somewhat different, but systematically arranged valuable findings of individual researchers bring greater insight into the whole issue and the interaction of individual elements can then be perceived in all their synergy.


This paper seeks to address the question of customer education through the implementation of video marketing in e-commerce. Previous research work has focused predominantly on customer education with the help of product-related videos. The brands started to offer multimedia content in the form of product-related educational videos usually when a new product was launched and its features, assembly tips and/or accessories needed to be communicated to prospects and customers. However, current marketing practice has changed a lot, and the traditional imagination about video-marketing is oversimplistic in relation to the dynamics of implementation of video as a communication tool in companies. With this in mind, the author of this paper aims to shed new light on this topical issue and help to close the gap between marketing theory and practice.
In order to achieve these objectives, a comparative approach that allows analytical comparisons has been given priority and chosen in devising the research structure. In the core of the research, the methods of empirical, content and comparative analyses play the key role. The data sets collected will be analysed, critically evaluated and interpreted. As a result, managerial implications will be formulated. Thus, anybody who is seriously interested in the topic may start building his/her e-commerce solutions based on these findings, saving a lot of time, money and efforts, and benefiting from the best practice.
Two business entities selected to be subjects of these analyses can be both justly characterized by Jeff Bezos’s „The Everything Store”. They are the following: Alza.cz (www.alza.cz), a Czech business entity that is the leading e-shop in the Czech Republic, and Universal.at (www.universal.at), the third biggest e-shop in Austria. Both of these business entities are very popular and respected for their professional services.
While processing the data of these two prominent e-shops from the Czech Republic and Austria, hundreds of examples of video sales promotion and branding in the e-commerce environment will be analysed both from the viewpoint of their content focus and added value for customers. Then, the content focus of video marketing will be examined separately according to its character, i.e. (1) non-education-based content and (2) education-based content (typically advertising) – see Fig. 2.

Figure 2: Content analysis model
Source: Author

Owing to the fact that the attitude towards education-based content might vary, from being welcomed to being rejected, not only at the level of an individual but also taking into account socio-cultural differences, habits and traditions, the two business entities under investigation come from different countries, i.e. Austria and the Czech Republic. Thus, more objective empirical data will be analysed.
The research structure reflects the fact that different but related data sets will be analysed so that the results of these analyses may then be compared in harmony with the research objectives.
The current trend in the Czech Republic is video marketing with the use of videos either in the context of a particular brand or its product portfolio in the whole context of its use and applicability. Many companies cater for their clients through their corporate video channels mostly on YouTube.

Alza – a Czech online retailer: general characteristics

Alza, a prosperous Czech e-shop with a wide range of products, can be described as the leader in the PC and electronics sector, however, they continuously expand both in term of their commodities and geographically. For the purpose of this research, only operations on the territory of the Czech Republic are analysed.
A detailed empirical analysis shows that Alza is very active in video marketing and runs its videos on three video broadcasting channels on YouTube (Alza Tube, Alza Ads and Alza Power). This gives the customers quick access to the content they need. The creators of the Alza Tube channel characterize it as a „lifestyle channel” on which educational videos are waiting for you. In the „How to Choose” section, tens of explainer videos have been helping you make the right choice of what you need right now. In their promotional materials, they also remind customers that their videos are always impartial, which is a very important message from an e-shop message that offers hundreds of different brands. The videos on this channel objectively inform and educate customers in a broader context.

Universal – an Austrian online retailer: general characteristics

The Austrian Universal e-shop belongs among the most prosperous online retailers in Austria. It opted for a claim that specifies its product portfolio, i.e. Fashion Online Shop – Clothing – Shoes – Furniture – Universal Mail Order.
On their website, they encourage customers to enter: „Here you will find an extensive range from different product categories! Enjoy a special shopping experience and be inspired by the diverse ideas from the ranges: fashion, technology, furniture, shoes, garden, leisure and sporting goods. No matter whether you have specific wishes or just want to browse: With us, you can enjoy the advantages of modern home shopping” (Universal.at 2020).
As already mentioned above, Universal is Austria’s third largest online retailer. Thus, we can associate the name Universal with tradition and experience. It was founded in 1968 and celebrated already its 50th birthday.
Universal is a source of shopping inspiration and an individual purchasing advisor for the whole family and their home (Universal.at 2020).

Content analysis and data comparison

Content analysis possesses several advantages: it is often referred to as an ‘objective method of analysis’, namely due to the coding scheme and sampling. It is also a highly flexible method which can be applied to a wide range of unstructured information (Bryman et al. 2019, p. 290).
The content analysis has been chosen as a relevant research method. „The key points are:
1. While traditionally associated with the analysis of mass-media content, content analysis is, in fact, a very flexible method that can be applied to a wide range of phenomena.
2. Content analysis is very much located within the quantitative research tradition of emphasizing measurement and the specification of clear rules that exhibit reliability” (Bryman et al. 2019, p. 291).

In order to achieve a clear arrangement of the collected data, they are presented in the form of a table – see Tab. 1.

Table 1: Content analysis of video YouTube channels of Universal and Alza (date of data mining: April 29, 2020)
Source: Author

Author’s comments

Taking into account some facts which might slightly influence the data comparability (e.g. the population of Austria of is 8 858 775 people while the population of the Czech Republic is 10 693 939), the differences in the two data sets are still rather striking. Video marketing on YouTube channel of Alza is followed by the total number of 100 921 subscribers while the number of education-based content subscribers has reached 16 400 subscribers. The Austrian e-shop Universal does not upload any videos of non-education-based content, i.e. for example, video advertising is not part of their YouTube content. All its 66 videos are based on educational topics, inspirational ideas or on the products’ use in wider contexts. However, they are only 66, and the total number of subscribers is 331.
A typical example of education-based content produced by Alza would deal with a wider context of a product, e.g. How to choose wireless headsets (62 videos dealing with this topic; the videos are highly informative, and no hints to particular producers or brands of headsets are made by the moderators). Marketing experts from Universal Versand focus on DIY ideas, e.g. Christmas Decoration Design, Christmas Table Decoration Design, Home-made marmalade as a Christmas present Good Life Bowl Recipe, i.e. topics which appeal to all generations. In its video promotion, Alza demonstrates that it is a tech-savvy brand by uploading interesting videos „We are playing with applications” and „We are playing with virtual reality”, i.e. topics which are of genuine interests especially for young generations (Millennials and Gen Z). The topic of virtual reality has been elaborated further into sub-topics: (1) VR concept explanation, (2) History of VR and (3) VR expert interview. By timely thinking about our future and sharing education-based content, the Alza team is preparing its prospects for the time when the portfolio of VR products and customer solutions is much more sophisticated than today. However, due to the education-based video content, the client is already prepared for an unpredictable future.
Tabs. 2 and 3 show the structure of video promotion on YouTube channels of Alza and Universal Versand.

Table 2: Structure of YouTube channels operated by Alza (to the date of April 29, 2020)
Source: Author

The Czech nation can be justly proud of its craftsmanship. It has always been a nation fond of technologies, and this spirit is still embodied even in the youngest generations (Millennials and Gen Z), which had the privilege to grow up in a tech-savvy environment. The number of subscribers to AlzaTech is enormous, and it is a clear proof of the technological traditions passed on from one generation to the next.

Table 3: Structure of YouTube channels operated by Universal (to the date of April 29, 2020)
Source: Author

Results, limitations and discussion

Due to the limited number of business entities investigated, the author is fully aware of the limitations of this research. Though the results cannot be considered a „trend”, certain implications of the analysis are worth taking into account. For researchers with direct access to internal corporate data, an interesting correlation between the number of education-based content videos/view count and the turnover achieved for the specific product portfolio addressed by this video might be a future research orientation beneficial for the business sector. The comparison between education-based and non-education-based video marketing demonstrates the genuine interest of YouTube video channels’ subscribers in obtaining information not only related to a particular brand and its product portfolio but also their interest in knowledge acquisition in the broader sense. Contextual videos and inspirational videos full of creative ideas are not only very popular but often shared by the brand fans, mostly in social media.
However, the integrative results of the empirical analysis revealed a significant difference between both analysed e-shops: in relation to the the total number of promotional videos Alza outperforms Universal by 2 918%; in the total number of education-based content videos Alza outperforms Universal by 377%, and in the total number of Alza’s YouTube subscribers outperforms Universal by 30 490%. The ratio between education-based video content and non-education-based video content produced by Alza, i.e. exclusively the YouTube sub-channel Alza Tube which specializes in the promotion of education-based content only, can be calculated as the total number of its videos (249) in comparison with the total number of videos shared via the remaining three Alza video channels (1677), i.e. non-education based video content outperforms Alza Tube channel by 673%. It is necessary to point out once more that Alza Tube which describes itself as „a lifestyle channel with educational videos” and their videos don’t consistently favour any brand. Thus, the education-based content videos are shared by Alza with no direct links to any companies or brands.
The research results opened new questions to be answered and implied new directions of research in social sciences. Some of these might deal with examining the phenomenon from inter-cultural perspectives and lifestyle differences, or, perhaps, economic reasons (the costs of video production or competitive pressure) which may lie behind the comparative analysis results. All these needs to be examined.

Managerial implications and recommendations

The author of this paper considers this study to be the first step towards our better understanding of video content marketing from the e-commerce perspective. The benefits of being seriously involved in video content production are numerous. It is not only about SEO, which is by no means insignificant. All multimedia has the power to engage and entertain the audience, be it a narrative, products in the context of their use, or video branding. Thanks to the appealing video content, customers will be able to evaluate the products from a different perspective.
The first investigations into the topic of education-based and non-education-based video content, as well as the findings outlined in the literature review partly verified the research data through the comparative analysis, could be applied to any e-commerce solution, disregarding the business sector. A few managerial recommendations can be drawn upon these findings: (1) video marketing within an e-shop can help to enhance customer empowerment, shorten customer journey and give a powerful reason to a customer to remain in touch with the brand; (2) a video published on YouTube offers the possibility to use a purchase URL, i.e. a link redirecting the customer to the company website and/or to the e-commerce environment; (3) description boxes on YouTube channel offer the possibility for a detailed company/product/brand introduction; (4) encouraging the audience to express their opinions in the discussion board under the video on YouTube is worth doing to get more feedback; (5) the use of different video types is a strategy welcomed by the brand fans; (6) to educate customers through video content about „the future world” means to prepare them for the state-of-the-art products and services already today, and (7) promotion and cross-promotion of corporate videos published on YouTube, including links to social media is an important pre-condition for the success of video marketing in e-commerce.


Generally, people appreciate ‘educational nuggets’ in any form, especially when these are of high-quality, funny, free of charge, and in the form of a video „on-demand”. Both the e-commerce shoppers and brand fans and followers want to have relevant, interesting and helpful just-in-time information. Customer education with the help of educational videos respecting the content marketing principles should not be viewed as marketing costs but rather smart investments into future profits. If brands want to stay competitive, they must invest funds into video marketing, trying to make every effort and mission their best people to create stunning video content. If a picture is worth a thousand words, if a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures, what is the equivalent to a well-crafted marketing video?

Literatúra/List of References

[1] Bell, S. J., Auh, S. and Eisingerich, A. B., 2017. Unraveling the customer education paradox: When, and how, should firms educate their customers? In: Journal of Service Research. 2017, 20(3). ISSN 1094-6705. [online]. [cit. 2020-01-23]. Available at: <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1094670517691847>
[2] Bryman, A., Bell, E. and Harley, B., 2019. Business research methods. Oxford, United Kingdom, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019. ISBN 978-0-19-880987-6.
[3] Chen, A., Lu, Y. and Wang, B., 2017. Customers’ purchase decision-making process in social commerce: A social learning perspective. In: International Journal of Information Management. 2017, 37(6), pp. 627-638. ISSN 0268-4012.
[4] Gates, B., 2014. Content is King. 1996, 2014. Silkstream, 2014. [online]. [cit. 2020-04- 13]. Available at: <https://www.silkstream.net/blog/2014/07/content-is-king-bill-gates-1996.html>
[5] Hollebeek, L. D. and Macky, K., 2019. Digital content marketing’s role in fostering consumer engagement, trust, and value: Framework, fundamental propositions, and implications. In: Journal of Interactive Marketing. 2019, 45(1), pp. 27-41. ISSN 1094-9968.
[6] Knihová, L., 2019. Educational labs pave the way for education-based marketing. In: Marketing Identity: Offline is the New Online, 2019. Smolenice: University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava. 2019. ISSN 1339-5726. [online]. [cit. 2020-04-13]. Available at: <https://fmk.sk/download/MI2019_AJ_final-1.pdf>
[7] Olenski, S., 2015. 5 ways to implement education-based marketing. In: Forbes, 2015. [online]. [cit. 2020-01-22]. Available at:
[8] Pulizzi, J., 2014. Epic content marketing: how to tell a different story, break through the clutter, and win more customers by marketing less. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014. ISBN 978-0-07-181989-3.
[9] Talbot, P., 2018. How marketers leverage educational content to create value. In: Forbes, 2018. [online]. [cit. 2020-01-22]. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2018/05/10/how-marketers-leverage-educational-content-to-create-value/>
[10] TrainingZone. 2019. Research: Which learning technologies are trending in 2019? 2019. [online]. [cit. 2020-04-13]. Available at: <https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/resources/research-which-learning-technologies-are- trending-in-2019>
[11] Universal.at. 2020. Mode – Möbel – Technik online kaufen. Universal, 2020. [online]. [cit. 2020-04-13]. Available at: <https://www.universal.at/>
[12] WPBeginner. 2019. 7 best video hosting sites for bloggers, marketers, and businesses, 2019. [online]. [cit. 2020-04-13]. Available at: <https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-video-hosting-sites-for-bloggers-marketers-and-businesses/>
[13] Wyzowl. 2020. State of video marketing survey 2020. Wyzowl, 2020. [online]. [cit. 2020-04-13]. Available at: <https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-survey- 2020/>

Kľúčové slová/Key Words

customer empowerment, digital content marketing, education-based content, explainer video, non-education-based content, video marketing
posílení postavení zákazníka, marketing digitálního obsahu, vzdělávací obsah, vysvětlující video, obsah nezaložen na vzdělávání, video marketing

JEL klasifikácia/JEL Classification

M31, M37


Posílení postavení zákazníků prostřednictvím videí založených na vzdělávání v elektronickém obchodování

Digitální marketing je fascinující disciplína. Dozrává nám před očima jako dobré víno a stále překvapuje inspirativními ukázkami implementace do marketingové praxe. Video marketing je toho příkladem. Cílem této studie je prozkoumat a kriticky zhodnotit marketingové funkce video propagace se zvláštním zřetelem na prostředí elektronického obchodování. Video formát již dříve tradičně sloužil pro účely vzdělávání zákazníků, avšak zaměřoval se převážně na produkty a jejich vlastnosti. Současná praxe však ukazuje, že marketingoví manažeři si rychle uvědomili potenciál obsahového marketingu celkově, a konkrétně pak i potenciál vyplývající z obsahu zaměřeného na vzdělávání zákazníků. Výsledkem bylo, že firmy začaly sdílet videonahrávky s cílem vzdělávat své zákazníky v celém kontextu nabízených produktů a značek. Při zpracování dat významných e-shopů z ČR a Rakouska byly analyzovány příklady podpory prodeje a brandingu pomocí videí,
a to jak z hlediska jejich obsahového zaměření, tak i z hlediska přidané hodnoty pro zákazníky. Komparativní analýza prokázala signifikantně větší zájem českého e-shopu Alza o video marketing, než je tomu v případě rakouského e-shopu Universal Versand. V závěru příspěvku jsou formulovány manažerské implikace i náměty na zaměření dalšího výzkumu.

Kontakt na autorov/Address

PhDr. Ladislava Knihová, MBA, University of Economics, Faculty of Business Administration, Department of Marketing, W. Churchill Sq. 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic, e-mail: [email protected], [email protected]


27. April 2020 / 27. April 2020

Service innovation across borders: Challenges and potentials of service innovation collaboration in Upper Austria and South Bohemia

Service innovation across borders: Challenges and potentials of service innovation collaboration in Upper Austria and South Bohemia

In an increasingly globalized and competitive environment, it is essential that geographical regions pool available resources and create synergies in service innovation management in order to sustain an innovative edge. Collaborative innovation management entails substantial synergies, especially for connected regions. However, existing potentials of such a cross-border innovation collaboration system have hitherto been exploited only partially. In order to overcome several challenges, two regions, Upper Austria and South Bohemia investigated novel paths of innovation collaboration through the European Union research project SIP-SME aiming at supporting innovation processes mainly in Austrian and Czech SMEs. To this end, qualitative interviews with local innovation experts were conducted in order to assess the current situation with regard to innovation capacities and barriers in the Upper Austrian and South Bohemian region. Based on the data collected during the in-depth interviews, the authors analysed and identified potentials and challenges in the two regions, which affect the cross-border knowledge creation environment. Despite being neighbouring regions with almost non-existent physical borders, significant differences in the current state of the innovation climate in Upper Austria and South Bohemia were determined. The most significant barriers hindering the cross-border innovation collaboration activities between the South Bohemian and Upper Austrian regions were identified as the lack of trust and financial resources, language barriers, absence of personnel with skills and experience, the inability to identify suitable cooperation partners, and a low degree of awareness about the benefits of cross-border innovation collaboration. The findings of this paper are relevant for future design and creation of a borderless region and joint policymaking in Austria and the Czech Republic.


Even though Upper Austria is one of the most export-oriented and innovative regions in the European Union, in order to maintain its competitive edge, it is crucial not only to keep up with the market trends but also to fully exploit its already existing innovation potential. On the other hand, the South Bohemian region, with its favourable location close to the Austrian and German borders and its expanding production capacities, faces a relatively low rate of growth due to the lack of high-tech manufacturing representation (JČK 2014). Both regions face specific problems and challenges, which have been limiting not only their regional growth potential but also possible cross-border collaborations.
With a constantly increasing pressure of globalization, companies and regions are forced to pool resources and form collaborations across borders in order to stay competitive. Nevertheless, borders remain a significant barrier limiting potentials in innovation activities. The benefits of geographical proximity are diminished by a substantial lack of national and international focus on the creation and further development of borderless regions. Many regional strategies for regions along international borders (including the „smart specialization” strategies designed for use of EU funds) don’t take this cross-border dimension into account, constituting a missed opportunity (OECD 2020). Regional policymakers and companies need to realize and acknowledge the so-called „co-optition” or „cooperation for competition”; the motion that the neighbouring region can be a collaboration partner in the face of global competition (OECD 2013).
To support cross-border innovation collaboration between Upper Austria and South Bohemia, the lead partner the University of Upper Austria, campus Steyr, together with project partners Business Upper Austria, South Bohemian University (EF JCU), and South Bohemian Science and Technology Park (JVTP) implemented a European Union research project SIP-SME (Service Innovation Processes in SMEs). The project focuses on SMEs, as they form the backbone of the local economies, however, engage only in unstructured and often unconscious innovation activities (Janssen, den Hertog and Kuusisto 2014).
The main output of the project, an online tool in German and Czech languages, was specifically designed for innovation-oriented SMEs in both regions to help them assess their existing innovation potential, as well as to guide them on their path to diminish any hurdles identified in their innovation management processes and to support their cross-border activities. In order to develop a tool, which meets particular regional needs and addresses existing problem areas, 10 in-depth interviews with innovation experts were conducted in Upper Austria and South Bohemia. This article presents the interview findings and analyses and discusses similarities and differences in the innovation realm in both regions. The theoretical basis of the article is grounded in a comprehensive literature review on the topic of innovation collaboration conducted in 2018 (Fratrič, Überwimmer and Füreder 2018).

Cross-border innovation collaboration

State borders not only pose a physical barrier but are diverse also in their „manifestations of social practice and discourse” (Paasi 1996). Nevertheless, regions along borders, which sometimes find themselves in a somewhat disadvantageous position, might focus on transforming this hindrance into an opportunity in a highly globalized world in a form of crossborder innovation collaboration. „Different measures of the benefits of innovation activities find that the strongest interactions take place in proximity” (OECD 2013). Formalized innovation collaboration helps to bundle finances and knowledge, reduces the time to market, and enables risk-sharing among organizations (Hertog 2010; Storey et al. 2016; Tyler and Steensma 1998). It is also one of the key strengths of the innovation potential of the Upper Austrian and South Bohemian regions as it has been focusing on forming international partnerships to cope with increasing competition (Janssen, den Hertog and Kuusisto 2014). In order to specifically analyse the cooperation possibilities, similarities, and differences between the innovation situations in Upper Austria and South Bohemia, the SIP-SME project partners prepared several benchmarking and comparison reports as well as conducted in-depth interviews with regional innovation experts. Numerous problematic areas restricting regional innovation potential were identified in both territories.

Evidence from in-depth expert interviews

The Austrian and Czech experts were chosen by project partners Business Upper Austria and the South Bohemian Science and Technology Park (JVTP), as they have been in long-term cooperation with local enterprises and experts and they were able to evaluate and select suitable respondents with in-depth knowledge about the topics examined. The project focus on SMEs, the backbone of the regional economies, was taken into consideration. In-depth interviews were chosen as a suitable data collection method, as it enables gaining detailed information about the issues analysed, as well as providing the possibility for respondents to share their thoughts and description of behavioural patterns. The guidelines for the interviews were standardized (40 questions in total) and focused on the innovation aspects and issues identified through a comprehensive literature review conducted by the project partners beforehand. The sample size of 10 respondents was determined by the project resources and limitations. Each interview took approximately 1.5 hours and was conducted either at the premises of the project partner or the enterprise. Forty open questions were discussed with the aim to analyse the innovation challenges and potentials in both regions, as well as to provide in-depth information about similarities and differences in the fields of regional innovation processes, preferred collaboration partners and common collaborative practices. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and subsequently analysed. To capture diverse views, opinions, and knowledge, the project partners specified numerous attributes in 5 different categories, which the experts had to fulfil in order to be selected for the interviews. Following professions and positions were defined based on these criteria:
• Regional innovation policymaker
• Regional consultant for innovation processes
• Owner or manager of an SME, which is regionally recognized for its innovative activities
• Innovation leader of a specific industry in the region (not necessarily an SME, but has vast knowledge about the situation of SMEs regarding innovation)
• Manager of a small or medium-sized enterprise, not known for innovation, but willing to
innovate and acts regionally as the „critical voice” among SMEs

Based on the information gathered, the project partners were able to identify hurdles and barriers of cross-border innovation collaboration between the Upper Austrian and South Bohemian regions (Table 1).

Table 1: Challenges of cross-border innovation identified in Upper Austria and South Bohemia.
Source: Authors

The South Bohemian innovation experts noted that the regions face uneven starting points with regards to innovation; whereas in Upper Austria, innovative activities are supported by the regional authorities and programs available, South Bohemia was named as a more conservative region with a lack of funding for novel ideas in many areas of business. Moreover, the degree of business sophistication is generally lower compared to the Austrian counterpart. The main barrier identified in South Bohemia hindering its cross-border collaboration was the lack of finances to engage in innovation activities with foreign partners such as Austria, which has a higher level of costs (salaries, materials etc.). Additionally, the cross-cultural communication differences were named as a significant barrier between the two regions. Not only are there not enough personnel speaking foreign languages such as German or English, but the Czech experts also noted that the differences in communication style in business settings pose a substantial problem during cross-border talks and meetings when the company representatives could not identify the information and messages received from their respective partners. These differences might stem from, for example, variations in speech patterns. Whereas Austria is considered a low context country, the Czech Republic leans more to the high context spectrum. „In terms of cultural categorization, (Hall 1976) suggested a differentiation between high context (HC) and low context (LC) cultures to better understand differences in their communication patterns. While in HC cultures, speech patterns are affected by clearly structured social hierarchy and strong behavioural norms in which the deeper meaning of a message is usually embedded within the information or frequently even internalised in the person, LC cultures tend to expect that the majority of the information is part of the transmitted message” (Gaisch et al. 2016; Hall 1976).
The South Bohemian experts also quoted a lack of qualified workforce, which could engage in cross-border innovation collaboration activities with external partners. Due to the region’s position near the Austrian borders, a significant percentage of the Czech employees with relevant knowledge and language skills migrated to Austria, leaving Czech regions struggling to find sufficiently educated and experienced staff. However, it is essential to mention that this issue has been relevant also for Upper Austria, as according to the innovation experts, highly skilled workforce tends to migrate to larger cities such as Vienna, which threatens the future innovation capacities and capabilities of the Upper Austrian region. Furthermore, Czech companies found it difficult to navigate through the complex bureaucracy present in Austria. Lastly, an overall feeling of mistrust was recorded among the Czech representatives towards their Austrian counterparts, which significantly limits the potential of cross-border innovation collaboration.
On the other hand, the main issue observed by the Austrian innovation experts was the general lack of information about the Czech Republic; mainly in the spheres of local Czech networks supporting innovation and possible collaboration partners. Moreover, the language barrier between the regions was highlighted, mainly with regard to highly technical innovation projects where precise vocabulary is essential. Finally, a lack of awareness about the benefits of crossborder collaboration was recorded. According to several experts, Upper Austrian companies often perceive it unnecessary to collaborate with foreign partners as all the essential resources and information is available on the Austrian market.


The article presented findings from 10 in-depth interviews with Austrian and Czech innovation experts, which were conducted as a part of a three-year Interreg project SIP-SME (Service innovation processes in SMEs). For both Upper Austria and South Bohemian regions, the main reasons to collaborate on innovative projects remain pooling of resources to compensate for various limitations, as well as to access know-how, share ideas, and due to the fear of missing out. The problematic areas limiting any regional and international collaborations are the fear of imitation, legal problems and strict contracts between the parties, possible know-how leakage, and the overall lack of innovation and project management. Specific problems of the Czech companies trying to cooperate with Austrian businesses are cross-cultural communication problems, lack of trust, language barriers, lack of financial resources, absence of personnel with enough skills and experience, as well as complex Austrian bureaucracy.
The Austrian experts noted a general lack of information about the Czech business environment, existing networks supporting innovation in the Czech regions, as well as the inability to identify suitable cooperation partners, language barriers, and a low degree of awareness about the benefits of cross-border innovation collaboration. In order to overcome these identified issues, cross-border communication and a cross-cultural platform bringing the regions together could be beneficial. The underlying need for intercultural understanding and further development of language competencies seem to be the first steps in the creation of a borderless region with fruitful innovation collaboration activities. Moreover, the South Bohemian policies need to take into consideration the limited resources of regional SMEs, which are hindering new activities with foreign partners. Both regions should consider activities to attract adequately educated and experienced workforce in order to improve the competitiveness and innovation potential of the regions. Furthermore, information about existing innovation networks, platforms, and supporting systems, as well as about potentially suitable collaboration partners needs to be disseminated more effectively, as the information channels seem to be targeting SMEs in an insufficient manner.

Limitations and outlook

Due to the limited resources and time constraints, a limited number of in-depth interviews was conducted. A larger sample of participants would enable a more complex insight into the topics discussed. Furthermore, other Austrian and Czech regions could be included in the assessment to evaluate and identify possible regional differences and similarities. This would enable the researchers to create a more comprehensive outlook of the Austrian and Czech policies and activities and recognize state-wide patterns and barriers limiting cross-border innovation potentials, which would subsequently lead to an increased degree of national competitiveness in a highly globalized world.


The research was conducted as part of the Interreg AT-CZ SIP-SME (Service Innovation Processes for SMEs) project financed by the European Fund for Regional Development.

Literatúra/List of References

[1] Fratrič, A., Überwimmer, M. and Füreder, R., 2018. Service innovation processes in SMEs in Upper Austria. In: Marketing Science & Inspiration. 2018, 13(2), pp. 34-44. ISSN1338-7944.
[2] Gaisch, M., Chydenius, T., Preymann, S., Sterrer, S. and Aichinger, R., 2016. Gender microaggressions in low-context communication cultures: A perceptual study in the context of higher education institutions. In: Proceedings Cross-Cultural Business Conference 2016, University of Applied Sciences, 2016. ISBN 978-3-9504257-0-3.
[3] Hall, E. T., 1976. Beyond culture. Anchor Press, 1976. ISBN 9780385087476.
[4] Hertog, d. P., 2010. Managing service innovation. Firm-level dynamic capabilities and policy options. Utrecht: Dialogic Innovatie & Interactie, 2010. ISBN 9789080698543.
[5] Janssen, M., Hertog, d. P. and Kuusisto, J., 2014. Summary assessment of Upper Austria. ESIC European Service Innovation Centre report.
[6] JČK. 2014. South Bohemia region: Regional annex to national RIS 3, 2014. [online]. [cit. 2020-03-10]. Available at: <ttp://www.risjk.cz/files/risjk/uploads/files/J%C4%8CK_RIS3_krajsk%C3%A1%20p%C5%99%C3%ADloha_en-final.pdf>
[7] Kindström, D. and Kowalkowski, Ch., 2015. Service-driven business model innovation. In: Foss, J. N. and Saebi, T., Business model innovation. The organizational dimension. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 191-216. ISBN 9780198701873.
[8] Lorenz, R., Burger, T., and Hottum, P., 2012. Barriers to service innovation – perspectives from research and practice. In: 2012 IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation & Technology (ICMIT): IEEE. 2012, pp. 710-17. ISBN 978-1-4673-0108-4.
[9] OECD. 2013. OECD reviews of regional innovation. Regions and innovation. Collaborating across borders. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2013. ISBN 978-92-64-20530-7. [online]. [cit. 2020-02-15]. Available at: <https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/urban-rural-and-regional-development/regions-and-innovation-collaborating-across-borders_9789264205307-en#page4>
[10] OECD. 2020. Innovation, regions and innovation. Collaborating across borders, 2020. [online]. [cit. 2020-02-15]. Available at: <https://www.oecd.org/innovation/regions-and-innovationcollaborating-across-borders.htm>
[11] Paasi, A., 1996. Territories, boundaries, and consciousness. The changing geographies of the Finnish-Russian border. Belhaven studies in political geography. Chichester: J. Wiley & Sons, 1996. ISBN 9780471961192.
[12] Robbins, P. and O’Gorman, C., 2016. Innovation processes. Do they help or hinder new product development outcomes in Irish SMEs? In: The Irish Journal of Management. 2016, 35(1), pp. 3. ISSN 1649-248X.
[13] Storey, Ch., Cankurtaran, P., Papastathopoulou, P. and Hultink, J. E., 2016. Success factors for service innovation. A meta-analysis. In: Journal of Product Innovation Management. 2016, 33(5), pp. 527-48. ISSN 1540-5885.
[14] Toivonen, M. and Tuominen, T., 2009. Emergence of innovations in services. In: The Service Industries Journal. 2009, 29(7), pp. 887-902. ISSN ‎0264-2069.
[15] Tyler, Beverly, B. and Steensma, K. H., 1998. The effects of executives’ experiences and perceptions on their assessment of potential technological alliances. In: Strategic Management Journal. 1998, 19(10), pp. 939-65. ISSN 1097-0266.

Kľúčové slová/Key Words

service innovation, across borders collaboration, regional development, innovation management
inovácia služieb, cezhraničná spolupráca, regionálny rozvoj, manažment inovácií

JEL klasifikácia/JEL Classification

H76, M31


Cezhraničná inovácia služieb: výzvy a potenciál spolupráce v oblasti inovácií služieb v Hornom Rakúsku a v Jihočeskom kraji

V stále globalizovanejšom a konkurenčnejšom prostredí je nevyhnutné, aby geografické regióny zhromažďovali dostupné zdroje a vytvárali synergie v oblasti riadenia inovácií služieb, aby si udržali inovatívnu výhodu. Spoločný manažment inovácií so sebou prináša značné synergie, najmä v prepojených regiónoch. Existujúce možnosti takéhoto systému cezhraničnej spolupráce v oblasti inovácií sa však doteraz využívali iba čiastočne. S cieľom prekonať niekoľko výziev skúmali dva regióny, Horné Rakúsko a Jihočeský kraj nové cesty inovačnej spolupráce prostredníctvom výskumného projektu Európskej únie SIP-SME zameraného na podporu inovačných procesov najmä v rakúskych a českých MSP. Za týmto účelom sa uskutočnili kvalitatívne rozhovory s miestnymi odborníkmi v oblasti inovácií s cieľom zhodnotiť súčasnú situáciu, pokiaľ ide o inovačné kapacity a prekážky v regióne Horného Rakúska a Jihočeského kraja. Na základe údajov zozbieraných počas hĺbkových rozhovorov autori analyzovali a identifikovali potenciály a výzvy v týchto dvoch regiónoch, ktoré ovplyvňujú cezhraničné prostredie vytvárania vedomostí. Napriek tomu, že susediace regióny nemajú takmer žiadne fyzické hranice, boli zistené významné rozdiely v súčasnom stave inovačnej klímy v Hornom Rakúsku a v Jihočeskom kraji. Najvýznamnejšie prekážky brániace cezhraničným činnostiam v oblasti inovačnej spolupráce medzi českým a rakúskym regiónom boli identifikované ako nedostatok dôvery a finančných zdrojov, jazykové bariéry, nedostatok personálu so zručnosťami a skúsenosťami, neschopnosť identifikovať vhodných partnerov spolupráce a nízka miera informovanosti o výhodách cezhraničnej inovačnej spolupráce. Zistenia tohto príspevku sú dôležité pre budúci návrh a vytvorenie regiónu bez hraníc a spoločnú tvorbu politiky v Rakúsku a v Českej republike.

Kontakt na autorov/Address

MA Alexandra Fratrič, Degree program Global Sales and Marketing, Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, School of Management, Wehrgrabengasse 1-3, 4400 Steyr, Austria, e-mail: [email protected]

MMag. Dr. Michael Schmidthaler, Degree program Global Sales and Marketing, Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, School of Management, Wehrgrabengasse 1-3, 4400 Steyr, Austria, e-mail: [email protected]

FH-Prof. DI Dr. Margarethe Überwimmer, Degree program Global Sales and Marketing, Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, School of Management, Wehrgrabengasse 1-3, 4400 Steyr, Austria, e-mail: [email protected]

FH-Prof. Ing. Mag. Robet Füreder, Degree program Global Sales and Marketing, Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, School of Management, Wehrgrabengasse 1-3, 4400 Steyr, Austria, e-mail: [email protected]


30. March 2020 / 1. April 2020

Role of regional tourism organizations in Slovakia from their perspective

Role of regional tourism organizations in Slovakia from their perspective

Destinations play a key role in tourism system with destination management organizations (DMOs) as entities responsible for finding the intersection between supply side (destination with its offer) and demand side (visitors) in destinations which they manage. DMOs perform various functions and have various roles in tourism system. Authors dealing with destination management mention several DMOs’ functions and roles. In Slovakia official establishment of DMOs supported by law started in 2011. Act No. 91/2010 Collection of Law on the Support of Tourism specifies the role and functions of regional tourism organizations (RTOs which can be considered as DMOs in Slovak conditions) in Slovakia. This means that on one hand we know the views of authors dealing with destination management and on the other hand we know the law. However, little is known about the view of RTOs themselves – how they perceive their role in tourism system and tourism development. The objective of this paper is to find out how regional tourism organizations as destination management organizations perceive their role in tourism development in Slovakia. The paper is structured into three parts: Literature review, Methodology and Results and discussion.

Literature review

Destinations have become the basic units of analysis in tourism (UNWTO 2002). Destination is a geographically defined area or place as continent, state, region, city, or even a specific small place with offer and potential for tourism development (Pike and Page 2014). It is important that in destination there exists a primary offer (attractions) as well as secondary offer (infrastructure) which are interconnected and sold to tourists (Palatková 2011). Small destination full of various attractions can be much more interesting for tourists comparing to geographically spacious destination which offers nothing interesting (Bornhorst, Brent Ritchie and Sheehan 2010). Destination is a strategically managed and competitive unit of offer in tourism market (Palatková 2011). It is necessary to manage and coordinate the supply and demand side of tourism in destination together with resources in destination, cooperation as well as relationships among various stakeholders in destination. The approach that involves management of all these destination components is called destination management (Pearce 2015). According to UNWTO (2007), destination management is a coordinated management (which uses the strategic approach) of all elements which create the destination (attractions, marketing, pricing policy, etc.). Morrison’s definition is based on UNWTO’s definition. He interprets the destination management as “a professional approach to guiding all the efforts in a place that has decided to pursue tourism as an economic activity. Destination management involves coordinated and integrated management of the destination product (attractions and events, facilities, transportation, infrastructure, service quality and friendliness)” (Morrison 2019). Vystoupil and Šauer (2006) emphasize the cooperation of public and private sector in the destination when defining destination management. According to them, destination management is a way to face the challenging tourists’ requirements as well as the intensifying competition in tourism. Destination management is based on cooperation of public and private sector (services providers) in destination which contributes to better management of supply and demand side of tourism in destination as well as improves competitiveness of destination. Longjit and Pearce (2013) presented the conceptual framework for destination management which is based on three management features, namely 1) goals, 2) management structures and 3) activities. Management structures as a part of conceptual framework for destination management means that there must exist organizations responsible for destination management. These organizations are called destination management organizations (DMOs). Pearce (2015) pointed to the fragmentation of views in interpreting the abbreviation DMO and generally understanding of this type of organization – whether it is a destination management organization, destination marketing organization or destination management and marketing organization. According to Pike and Page (2014), DMO is destination marketing organization due to the fact that the main task of this type of organization is destination marketing and not destination management. They are convinced that using the term destination management organization is misleading since in such case it evokes that the main task of such organization is destination management while in reality it is destination marketing. According to Hesková (2011) the organization which is established with the aim of creation, management and marketing of destination and destination’s products is called destination management organization. This type of organization is usually created and financed by the biggest and most important players in destination as they realize the need for management of destination. Despite the fact that the main task of DMO is usually marketing (Beritelli and Laesser, 2014) which is important since marketing activities often unite the conflicting interests of various groups like citizens, visitors, service providers, etc. (Olšavský, 2014), DMO performs many other functions as well (Beritelli and Laesser, 2014). Wang (2008) has specified nine roles of DMO based on his research. According to him DMO is an 1) information provider, 2) advocate, 3) network management organization, 4) partner and team builder, 5) convener and facilitator, 6) organizer, 7) catalyst, 8) funding agent and 9) community brand builder. He uses the term destination marketing organization but at the same time he acknowledges that the emphasis is currently shifting from marketing to management. According to Bieger (1998) DMO has four basic functions: planning, development of products, marketing and pool. Pearce (2015) has summarized the results of various case studies dealing with destination management and its functions as well as destination management organization and its functions. He created a list of DMO functions and listed them according to the frequency of functions’ citations (but not the importance of these functions). The list of DMO functions according to Pearce’s analysis is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: DMO functions
Source: Adapted from Pearce (2015)

In order to improve and develop tourism in Slovakia destination management organizations have been established. Some tourism clusters have been created since 2008 in form of open partnership. These clusters were mainly responsible for coordination of marketing activities and creation of simple products (Gajdošík 2017). Creation of clusters was not supported by law. In 2011 Act No. 91/2010 Collection of Law of Slovak Republic on the Support of Tourism came into force and since December 2011 new type of organizations have been established – regional tourism organizations (RTOs) which can be considered as destination management organizations in Slovak conditions. According to this act, RTO has various functions. We mention some of them: support for RTO’s members’ activities in creation and implementation of tourism development concept; marketing and promotion of tourism, destination and RTO’s members; cooperation with municipal authorities with the goal of destination development; events organization for residents and visitors; provision of advisory and consultancy services for its members; creation and implementation of tourism development concept; creation, management and presentation of tourism products, etc. (Act No. 91/2010 Collection of Law on the Support of Tourism).


Authors dealing with destination management describe various functions and roles of DMOs. On the other hand, Act No. 91/2010 Collection of Law on the Support of Tourism specifies the role and functions of RTOs in Slovakia. Here arises the question: How do RTOs in Slovakia perceive their role in tourism system and tourism development? Does their perception correspond with the theoretical basis of destination management and DMOs? To what extent?
The objective of this paper is to find out how regional tourism organizations as destination management organizations perceive their role in tourism development in Slovakia.
We decided to include all the 37 RTOs operating in Slovakia into our research however two of them were not willing to cooperate, therefore 35 RTOs were included in our research. We decided for qualitative research using the method of in-depth semi-structured interviews with representatives of 35 RTOs. 25 interviews were made personally, 6 interviews were made by phone and 4 through e-mail communication. During each interview we asked one open question: “What is the role of your organization?” When it was necessary we asked additional questions. Personal and telephone interviews were recorded (except for one) and regarding email-interviews we received written answers. Research was conducted between August 2018 and January 2020.
For analyzing the obtained data and obtaining the results, content analysis and comparative analysis were used. We decided to analyze the data gained from interviews about roles of RTOs following the list of DMO functions summarized by Pearce (2015) – see Table 1, summarized them and lined them up according to the frequency in which they appeared during interviews (number of RTOs’ representatives who mentioned them).

Results and discussion

According to Pearce’s summarization, the top three most cited functions of DMO in analyzed case studies were: 1. destination marketing, branding and positioning, 2. relationship building/coordination/facilitation and 3. product development/development activities (Pearce 2015).
Results of our research among 35 RTOs in Slovakia showed that these are exactly the three most mentioned roles of RTOs which RTOs’ representatives mentioned during interviews. Destination marketing, branding and positioning were mentioned by 26 representatives (Pearce’s order: number 1), product development/development activities were mentioned by 24 representatives (Pearce’s order: number 3) and relationship building/coordination/facilitation were mentioned by representatives of 18 RTOs (Pearce’s order: number 2). All functions of RTOs (summarized by Pearce as DMO functions) together with number of regional tourism organizations, representatives of which mentioned the functions when identifying the role of their organization are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Function and role of RTOs according to RTOs’ representatives
Source: Authors

We have already mentioned the top three RTOs’ functions mentioned by RTO’s representatives. The order of other functions (according to the number of RTOs’ representatives who mentioned the function when identifying the role of their RTO) was following: information provision and reservations was mentioned by 8 representatives, representatives of 4 RTOs mentioned destination planning, strategy formulation, monitoring and evaluation as well as human resource development and training. Three interviewees mentioned destination management when answering about role of their organization and functions: quality assurance, business support and enhance well-being of destination residents were mentioned by 2 representatives. Service provision and coordination was mentioned by representative of only 1 RTO. The other functions (resource stewardship, environmental management, research, information management and knowledge-building, visitor management, managing the visitor experience, policy making or enforcement, assistance with accessing finance) did not mention any of the representatives.

Role of RTOs by RTOs’ representatives

We have already mentioned that in literature there are different points of view on what to understand by abbreviation DMO – destination management organization, destination marketing organization or destination management and marketing organization. The reason seems to be the fact that often destination marketing is considered as a key function of DMO. This fact was confirmed by results of our research among 35 RTOs in Slovakia. 26 of the RTOs’ representatives consider destination marketing as their key function when talking about role of their organization. This means that RTOs put a lot of effort as well as financial and human resources on promotion of their destinations. They create printed promotional materials, promote destinations on tourism fairs and exhibitions, they create and manage destinations’ webpages, communicate with visitors through social media like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, pay for advertisement in television, radio, newspapers and magazines, advertisement on billboards as well as for online advertisement. Some of RTOs also create and manage destination mobile applications.
Second most mentioned function among RTOs’ representatives when identifying the role of RTO was product development and development activities which was mentioned by representatives of 24 RTOs. RTOs create products like information and promotional materials as very simple but very important product. They organize events, construct routes like hiking and cycling routes, cross-country trails, via ferratas, educational trails and necessary equipment like sightseeing towers, panoramic maps, telescopes, etc. Some RTOs also create, manage and sell regional card, organize sightseeing tours and buses like ski-buses, tour-buses, bike-buses. RTOs also organize and sell thematic trips and create regional games (Marišová and Smolková 2020). In this way RTOs are able to enrich the destination offer, improve its competitiveness, create some income by selling some of the products and contribute to the destination development (by construction of routes, educational trails, sightseeing towers, etc.) Besides the construction of routes, RTOs are also responsible for their maintenance.
Relationship building, coordination and facilitation was the third most mentioned RTOs’ function which was mentioned by 18 RTOs’ representatives when talking about role of their organization. RTOs’ managers realize the need for cooperation among entities within the destination and thus try to support relationship building (especially among organizations’ members since each RTO has members from public sector, private sector and other members). This varies among destinations due to the fact that in each destination different resources (financial and human) are available and so options which RTOs have also vary. Despite that, RTOs realize that their role is to coordinate entities in destination and try to build and improve relationships among them.
Obtained results are also supported by visualization of key words got from answers to the question “What is the role of your organization?” asked during interviews. This visualization is shown in Figure 1 (the font size of key words depends on the frequency of the keyword in which it appeared in answers of RTOs’ representatives). We can see that the words that appeared most frequently in the answers are: destination, members, marketing, products and region. These words correspond with the three RTOs’ functions most mentioned by RTOs’ representatives.

Figure 1: Visualization of key words from answers about role of RTOs
Source: Authors

Role of RTOs – What are the shortcomings?

Results of our research also show the shortcomings in the perception of the RTOs’ role. For instance, only 3 RTOs’ representatives stated that destination management belongs to their role. There can be two reasons for this: 1. RTOs’ representatives do not consider destination management as role of their organization or 2. they consider other functions which they mentioned as part of destination management and thus did not mention destination management separately. Only 4 representatives mentioned destination planning, strategy formulation, monitoring and evaluation when identifying the role of their RTO. Lack of understanding of the importance of strategy in destination management by RTOs’ representatives together with the consequences which it brings was mentioned in the article by Marišová, Smolková and Vaľko entitled Strategic Planning in Destination Management: Do Slovak Destination Management Organizations Realize the Need for Strategic Planning? (Marišová, Smolková and Vaľko 2020) and was confirmed by results of our research. Destinations have to be strategically managed and RTOs should set goals which they want to reach and create plans how to reach the goals. Otherwise they face problems with lack of members as well as lack of financial and human resources.
Further we see great room for improvement in the following (when talking about RTOs’ role): quality assurance was mentioned by only 2 representatives. RTOs as tourism authority in destination should control the quality level so it is able to ensure quality services for visitors. Research, information management and knowledge-building was not mentioned by any RTO’s representative. RTOs should regularly do research in order to get necessary data for decision making, management and marketing. Data could help RTO to choose the suitable promotional methods, to create the right products and manage the destination as successfully as possible.
When demonstrating our findings we have to take into consideration the limitations which our research and results had: for instance the information gained during interviews could have been incomplete or a certain degree of subjectivity in answers might have appeared which should always be taken into account when using the in-depth interview method. Despite the identified research limitations we think that we have reached the paper’s goal.


Results of our research supported the theories that the main function of DMOs is destination marketing what causes differences in views on understanding of the abbreviation DMO. Due to the fact that destination marketing is usually considered as main DMO function, many authors refer to DMO as a destination marketing organization. Research results showed that 26 out of 35 RTOs’ representatives mentioned marketing when talking about role of their RTOs. However, using the term destination marketing organization could be confusing due to the fact that besides destination marketing, RTOs’ representatives mentioned other functions when identifying the RTO’s role. The other two most frequently mentioned functions were a) product development and development activities and b) relationship building, coordination and facilitation. That means that RTOs can be mainly considered as marketers of destination. RTOs are also development agents who are responsible for destination development and products creation. Besides that, they are also coordinators and relationship builders who motivate entities operating in the destination to cooperate, who coordinate them and in that way contribute to destination development. On the other side, research results showed that for instance planning and strategy formulation, destination management, quality assurance or research and information management do not belong to the main functions mentioned by RTOs’ representatives when identifying the role of RTOs which means that they do not consider RTOs as strategic destination managers, quality controllers or researchers and information managers.


This contribution was supported by the VEGA research project no. 1/0737/20 „Consumer literacy and intergenerational changes in consumer preferences when purchasing Slovak product “, which is solved at the Department of Marketing, Faculty of Management, Comenius University in Bratislava.

Literatúra/List of References

[1] Act No 91/2010 Collection of Law of Slovak Republic on the Support of Tourism.
[2] Beritelli, P. and Laesser, Ch., 2014. Getting the cash-cow directors on board – An alternative view on financing DMOs. In: Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. 2014, 2(4), pp. 213-220. ISSN 2212-571X.
[3] Bieger, T., 1998. Reengineering destination marketing organisations – The case of Switzerland. In: 33RD TRC-MEETING BRIJUNI, Croatia, 1998. [online]. [cit. 2020-05-15]. Available at: <https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/14221/1/ReengeneeringCh.pdf>
[4] Bornhorst, T., Brent Ritchie, J. R. and Sheehan, L., 2010. Determinants of tourism success for DMOs & destinations: An empirical examination of stakeholders’ perspectives. In: Tourism Management. 2010, 31(5), pp. 572-573. ISSN 0261-5177.
[5] Gajdošík, T., et al., 2017. Innovations and networking fostering tourist destination development in Slovakia. In: Quaestiones Geographicae. 2017, 36(4), pp. 103-115. ISSN 2081-6383.
[6] Hesková, M., et al., 2011. Cestovní ruch. Praha: Fortuna, 2011. p. 153. ISBN 978-80-7373-107-6.
[7] Longjit, Ch. and Pearce, D. G., 2013. Managing a mature coastal destination: Pattaya, Thailand. In: Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. 2013, 2(3), pp. 165-175. ISSN 2212-571X.
[8] Marišová, B. and Smolková, E., 2020. Product creation in destination management – What types of products do regional tourism organizations in Slovakia offer? 2020. Unpublished contribution to the conference proceedings. In: 1st International Student Conference „Days of Management and Economics Students 2020”.
[9] Marišová, B., Smolková, E. and Vaľko, L., 2020. Strategic planning in destination management: Do Slovak destination management organizations realize the need for strategic planning? 2020. Unpublished contribution to the conference proceedings In: International Scientific Conference „Horizonty podnikateľského prostredia V”.
[10] Morrison, A. M., 2019. Marketing and managing tourism destinations. Abingdon: Routledge, 2019, p. 8. ISBN 978-1-138-89729-8.
[11] Olšavský, F. Marketing územných jednotiek v kontexte komunálnych volieb. In: Marketing Science and Inspirations. 2014, 9(4), 43-57. ISSN 1338-7944.
[12] Palatková, M., 2011. Marketingový management destinací. Praha: Grada Publishing, 2011, p. 11, 52. ISBN 978-80-247-3749-2.
[13] Pearce, D. G., 2015. Destination management in New Zealand: Structures and functions. In: Journal of Destination Marketing & Management. 2015, 4(1), pp. 1-12. ISSN 2212-571X.
[14] Pike, S. and Page, S. J., 2014. Destination marketing organizations and destination marketing: A narrative analysis of the literature. In: Tourism Management. 2014, 41, p. 202-227. ISSN 0261-5177.
[15] UNWTO. Conceptual framework. Market intelligence and competitiveness, 2002. [online]. [cit. 2018-12-03]. Available at: <http://marketintelligence.unwto.org/content/conceptual-framework-0>
[16] UNWTO, 2007. A practical guide to tourism destination management. Madrid: World Tourism Organization, 2007, p. 4. ISBN 978-92-844-1243-3.
[17] Vystoupil, J. and Šauer, M., 2006. Základy cestovního ruchu: distanční studijní opora. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, Ekonomicko-správní fakulta, 2006, p. 121. ISBN 80-210-4205-2.
[18] Wang, Y., 2008. Collaborative destination marketing: roles and strategies of convention and visitors bureaus, 2008. In: Wang, Y. and Pizam, A., 2011. Destination marketing and management: Theories and applications. Wallingford: CAB International, 2011, p. 10. ISBN 978-1-84593-762-1.

Kľúčové slová/Key Words

destination, destination management, destination management organization, destination marketing, regional tourism organization
destinácia, destinačný manažment, organizácie destinačného manažmentu, destinačný marketing, regionálna turistická organizácia

JEL klasifikácia/JEL Classification

L83, M31, Z30, Z33


Úloha oblastných organizácií cestovného ruchu na Slovensku z ich perspektívy

Autori zaoberajúci sa destinačným manažmentom poukazujú na rôzne funkcie organizácií destinačného manažmentu a prezentujú rôzne pohľady na ich úlohu v systéme cestovného ruchu. Avšak doposiaľ nebolo preskúmané, ako svoju úlohu vnímajú samotné organizácie. Príspevok skúma pohľad oblastných organizácií cestovného ruchu (OOCR) na Slovensku, ktoré môžu byť považované za organizácie destinačného manažmentu v slovenských podmienkach, na ich úlohu v rozvoji cestovného ruchu. Do výskumu bolo zahrnutých 35 OOCR z celkového počtu 37. Výsledky výskumu poukázali na to, že OOCR za svoju úlohu považujú hlavne marketing ich destinácie, rozvoj cestovného ruchu v destinácii, tvorbu produktov cestovného ruchu, či budovanie vzťahov medzi subjektmi pôsobiacimi v destinácii, ich koordináciu a podporu. Na druhej strane výsledky výskumu poukázali na to, že OOCR za svoju úlohu nepovažujú napríklad plánovanie spolu s tvorbou stratégie, destinačný manažment, zabezpečenie a garanciu kvality služieb v destinácii, či marketingový výskum a manažment informácií.

Kontakt na autorov/Address

Mgr. Barbora Marišová, Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Management, Department of Marketing, Odbojárov 10, P. O. BOX 95, 820 05 Bratislava 25, Slovak Republic, e-mail: [email protected]

doc. PhDr. Eva Smolková, CSc., Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Management, Department of Marketing, Odbojárov 10, P. O. BOX 95, 820 05 Bratislava 25, Slovak Republic, e-mail: [email protected]


20. May 2020 / 28. May 2020

Postoje obyvateľov hlavného miesta Slovenskej republiky voči vybraným témam reklamy. Časť I.

Postoje obyvateľov hlavného miesta Slovenskej republiky voči vybraným témam reklamy. Časť I.

V rámci procesu realizácie reklamnej kampane majú participujúce strany, primárne zadávateľ reklamy a reklamná agentúra, resp. komunikačná agentúra spoločenskú zodpovednosť, ktorá sa prejavuje v etickej rovine. Keďže realizácia reklamnej kampane je iniciovaná konkrétnym podnikom, či iným zadávateľom, jej recipienti či samotná cieľová skupina ju namiesto akceptácie nielenže môže vnímať ako nevyžiadanú, ale aj ako obťažujúcu. Práve na postoje recipientov reklamy, v prípade tohto príspevku na postoje obyvateľov hlavného mesta Slovenskej republiky, sú orientované výstupy realizovaného primárneho výskumu. Príspevok akcentuje postoje recipientov voči vybraným kontroverzným aspektom reklamy, a to konkrétne postoje voči reklame na cigarety, tvrdý alkohol, pivo, víno a lieky a postoje voči erotickým motívom v reklame. Východiskom realizácie výskumu bol výskum Česi a reklama pre rok 2020. Na Slovensku sa do výskumu zapojilo 726 respondentov.

Obmedzenia reklamy a etická samoregulácie reklamy

Hranica medzi snahou o uspokojovanie potrieb zákazníkov a obťažovaním neželanými produktmi je veľmi tenká. Preto je dôležité zistiť, ako reklama na jej recipientov pôsobí, aké vlastnosti sú pre zákazníkov kľúčové a čo od nej očakávajú. Môžu sa totiž vyskytnúť problémy, ako klamanie alebo podvodné správanie, či iné praktiky, ktoré nie sú síce regulované legislatívne, ale etickou samoreguláciou. Ako uvádza Horňák (2018, s. 227), konečným cieľom etiky v reklame je totiž naozajstný prospech pre všetky zúčastnené zložky propagačného procesu. Teda nielen pre zadávateľa reklamy, reklamnú agentúru, prenosové médium, ale predovšetkým pre spotrebiteľa. Vzhľadom na všetky tieto aspekty, ktoré treba adekvátnym spôsobom riešiť, existuje celý rad obmedzení pre oblasť reklamy a marketingovej komunikácie. Rozlišujeme pritom dva typy limitov, a to vnútorné limity a vonkajšie limity (Štarchoň 2004, s. 70).
Vnútornými limitmi rozumieme všetky zásady, ktoré vplývajú na prebiehajúce činnosti v podniku. Tak, ako každý človek má vlastné etické zásady, ktoré mu určujú hranice, čo je pre neho ešte morálne v poriadku a čo nie, tak isto sa podnik, či iný typ organizácie alebo inštitúcie riadi vlastnými vnútornými limitmi, ktoré vychádzajú z vnútorných organizačných poriadkov, prijatých etických kódexov alebo vlastnej autoregulácie každého zo zamestnancov. Vonkajšie limity sú formulované mimo organizácie a sú nadradené vnútorným limitom organizácie. Vonkajšie limity je možné členiť na inštitucionálne a neinštitucionálne.
Inštitucionálne limity vyplývajú z členstva organizácií v záujmových združeniach a asociáciách týkajúcich sa reklamy a marketingovej komunikácie (napr. etický kódex reklamných agentúr), z právneho systému, ktorý vytvára legislatívny rámec reklamy (napr. ochrana autorských práv, ochrana individuálnych a spotrebiteľských práv atď.), ale tiež vyplývajú z miesta pôsobnosti reklamy a rámca na úrovni miestnych samospráv (napr. obmedzenie umiestnenia určitých typov reklamy na niektorých verejných miestach vydaným obcou). V prípade neinštitucionálnych limitov, keďže reklama je robená hlavne pre spotrebiteľov, sú to obmedzenia takej reklamy, ktorá by negatívne zasiahla základné všeobecne uznávané hodnoty, ktorá by narušila niektoré z individuálnych alebo skupinových práv, alebo iným spôsobom by mohla pobúriť verejnosť (Štarchoň 2004, s. 71). Ako ďalej uvádza Štarchoň, veľmi významným regulačným alebo samoregulačným prvkom pri reklame je etika. Z jej hľadiska je potrebné sa už pri tvorbe reklamnej správy vyvarovať neúplným informáciám, zavádzaniu, nesplniteľným ponukám, skresľovaniu a falošným prísľubom, čo môžeme označiť pojmom klamlivá reklama. Aj keď zadávatelia reklamy neporušujú žiadne legislatívne obmedzenie, neznamená to, že konajú správne aj z etického hľadiska.
Aj keď si svet bez masovej produkcie a masovej spotreby bez reklamy nie je možné predstaviť, reklama musí byť, ako uvádzajú Vysekalová a Mikeš (2018, s. 26) spoločensky zodpovedná, čo si priemysel a obchod veľmi dobre uvedomujú. I z toho dôvodu Medzinárodná obchodná komora so sídlom v Paríži vydáva inštrukcie o regulácii reklamy, ktoré sa stávajú súčasťou etických noriem jednotlivých štátov. Na Slovensku je pri etickej samoregulácii dôležité pôsobenie Rady pre reklamu, ktorá združuje asociácie zadávateľov reklamy, reklamné agentúry, média ale aj podnikateľské subjekty, využívajúce propagáciu formou reklamy, ktoré určitým spôsobom zasahujú do procesu marketingovej komunikácie. Hlavným cieľom Rady pre reklamu je zabezpečovať a presadzovať, aby sa na území Slovenskej Republiky šírila čestná, slušná, decentná, legálna a pravdivá reklama. Od roku 1995 je aj členom Európskej aliancie samoregulačných orgánov v oblasti reklamy (European Advertising Standards Aliance – EASA). Členovia Rady pre reklamu prijali Etický kódex reklamnej praxe (naposledy aktualizovaný v apríli roku 2019), ktorý obsahuje etické pravidlá platné na území Slovenskej republiky. Cieľom kódexu je pomôcť tomu, aby reklama na území Slovenskej republiky slúžila čo najlepšie nielen verejnosti a spotrebiteľom, ale aj zadávateľom reklamy, aby bola eticky korektná a spĺňala etické normy požadované občanmi Slovenskej republiky, aby bola pravdivá, slušná, nepoburujúca, čestná a aby rešpektovala medzinárodné zásady reklamnej praxe. V prípade podozrenia na porušenie etiky vzhľadom na Kódex môže verejnosť, konkurencia, asociácie alebo štátne orgány podať sťažnosť, ktorú posudzuje nezávislá 13 členná Arbitrážna komisia (bližšie: Rada pre reklamu).
Za citlivé témy v reklame sú považované reklamy na cigarety, alkohol, voľnopredajné lieky, ale aj erotické a sexuálne motívy. Etický kódex Rady pre reklamu taktiež stanovuje špecifické pravidlá reklamnej praxe týkajúce sa produktov s reklamnými obmedzeniami alebo zákazom, pričom sa konkrétne vzťahujú na zbrane a strelivo, dojčenské prípravky a následné doplnkové prípravky, tabakové výrobky, určité druhy liekov, erotické služby, erotický tovar a erotické audiotextové služby, určité druhy alkoholických nápojov. Podľa etického kódexu osobitnú pozornosť musia zadávateľ reklamy a ním poverená osoba venovať produktom, ktorých reklamu všeobecne záväzné právne predpisy výrazne obmedzujú (bližšie: Rada pre reklamu).
Etickým aspektom reklamy a vybraným postojom spotrebiteľov voči reklame na produkty s reklamnými obmedzeniami alebo zákazom je venovaný celý rad výskumných štúdií, napríklad postojom mileniálov voči reklame na alkohol (Zúñiga a Torres 2019), regulácii reklamy na alkohol (Pettigrew a kol. 2020; Zerhouni a kol. 2020), ale aj využitiu erotiky ako reklamného apelu, napr. v kontexte morálky, etiky a náboženstva (Alam, Aliyu, a Shahriar 2019) provokatívnym reklamám (Borau a Bonnefon 2019), samoregulácii sexistickej digitálnej reklamy (López Jiménez a kol. 2020) či nákupným zámerom spotrebiteľov (Van Quaquebeke a kol. 2019). V prípade spracovania v príspevku prezentovaných výsledkov však bola využitá metodika realizovaného výskumu v rámci výskumného projektu českého spotrebiteľského trhu „Postoje českej verejnosti k reklame“. Tento projekt je komplexným zoskupením výskumov s názvom Česi a reklama, ktorý je realizovaný každoročne od roku 1993. Na začiatku bol realizovaný agentúrou Marktest, a.s., ale v posledných rokoch je realizovaný výskumnou agentúrou ppm factum research v spolupráci s Českou marketingovou spoločnosťou, POPAI Central Europe a Českým združením pre značkové výrobky (Hábová 2020).

Legislatívne obmedzenia reklamy

Etická samoregulácia sa prelína s legislatívnym obmedzeniami, no zásadný rozdiel predstavuje skutočnosť, že legislatívny rámec a jeho dodržiavanie sú povinné. To, čo je protiprávne je spravidla aj etické, no čo je neetické ešte nemusí byť protiprávne (Horňák 2018, s. 231). Reklamu, ako súčasť marketingového mixu podrobne reguluje slovenský zákonodarca. Z hľadiska systematiky práva je reklama upravená tak v oblasti verejného práva, ako aj súkromného práva. Ide najmä o oblasť ústavného práva, správneho práva, obchodného práva a v neposlednom rade aj občianskeho a trestného práva. Tieto oblasti práva však musia rešpektovať často komplikované prenikanie nadradeného európskeho práva do národného práva (Peráček 2019).
Z pohľadu právnych noriem reklamu na Slovensku reguluje hlavne Zákon č. 147/2001 Z. z. o reklame a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov, ktorý hovorí napríklad o tom, čo reklama nesmie (napr. byť klamlivá, obsahovať produkty, ktoré by škodili či už životnému prostrediu alebo zdraviu bez toho, aby na škodlivosť upozornili, alebo propagovať násilie či prezentovať nahotu poburujúcim spôsobom), ale tiež v akých prípadoch je porovnávacia reklama prípustná. Zároveň obmedzuje reklamu na tabakové výrobky, alkohol, zbrane a strelivo či lieky. Zákon o reklame ďalej kogentným spôsobom nedovoľuje, aby reklama obsahovala osobné údaje, údaje o majetkových pomeroch osôb bez ich predchádzajúceho súhlasu. Takisto je potrebný súhlas užívateľov aj na šírenie reklamy určitými médiami, napríklad automatickým telefónnym volacím systémom, telefaxom a elektronickou poštou, tzv. e-mailom. Zákonodarca vychádza zo štyroch základných zásad, ktorými sú zákonnosť, čestnosť, pravdivosť a slušnosť.
Medzi ostatné zákony, ktoré majú vplyv na reklamu patria Zákon č. 308/2000 Z. z. o vysielaní a retransmisii upravujúci práva a povinnosti vysielateľov. Pôsobnosť reklamy ovplyvňuje z pohľadu súkromného práva aj Obchodný zákonník, kde podľa § 44 ods. 1 Obchodného zákonníka sa nesmie šíriť reklama, ak je v rozpore s dobrými mravmi, prezentuje produkty, ktorých výroba, predaj, poskytovanie alebo používanie sú zakázané, alebo ak nespĺňa požiadavky podľa osobitného predpisu.
Právna regulácia reklamy je obsiahnutá aj vo viacerých právnych predpisoch Európskej únie. Tie sú našim zákonom nadradené. Kľúčové miesto patrí Smernici Európskeho parlamentu a rady č. 2006/114/Es z 12. decembra 2006 o klamlivej a porovnávacej reklame. V súvislosti s reklamou vybraných produktov zaujíma osobitné miesto Smernica Európskeho parlamentu a Rady zo 6. novembra 2001 č. 2001/83/ES, ktorou sa ustanovuje zákonník spoločenstva o humánnych liekoch (Peráček 2019).
Pri reguláciách zo strany legislatívy sú za porušenie nariadení sankcie záväzné, na rozdiel od etických pravidiel a pri porušení právnych noriem musí každá organizácia niesť za svoje konanie zodpovednosť. Dodržiavanie ustanovení jednotlivých zákonov kontroluje Rada pre vysielanie a retransmisiu, Slovenská obchodná inšpekcia, Slovenská poľnohospodárska a potravinárska inšpekcia, Štátna veterinárna a potravinová inšpekcia, Štátny ústav pre kontrolu liečiv a Ministerstvo kultúry Slovenskej republiky (Štarchoň 2004, s. 88).
Samostatnou kapitolou sú vonkajšie reklamy – billboardy, megaboardy, plagáty či vývesné tabule a vitríny. Tie robia problém nielen pri cestách, ale aj v mestách. Reklama pri cestách, ktorá má jediný účel – rozptyľovať vodičov je dôvodom mnohých dopravných nehôd (Cottingham 2019). V okolitých krajinách prijali zákony obmedzujúce množstvo reklám pri cestách. Napríklad v Českej republike bola v roku 2012 prijatá novela zákona, podľa ktorého nesmú byť reklamné billboardy umiestnené v ochrannom pásme v okolí ciest stanovenom na 250 metrov pri diaľniciach a 50 metrov pri cestách prvej triedy. Novela zákona, ktorá prišla do platnosti 1. septembra 2017 sa však netýka zastavaných oblastí miest a obcí (Ondrejková 2017). Na Slovensku od 2. januára 2015 platí podobná novela stavebného zákon, ktorá reguluje vonkajšiu reklamu. V nej sa prekvalifikovali billboardy z reklamného zariadenia na reklamnú stavbu, na ktorú sa vzťahuje stavebný zákon. Mimo obcí a miest sa pri diaľniciach a cestách I. triedy vytvorilo ochranné 100 metrové pásmo, v ktorom je zakázané umiestnenie reklamných stavieb (Zákon č. 135/1961 Zb. Zákon o pozemných komunikáciách v znení neskorších predpisov). Tieto nariadenia však neupravujú reklamu v mestách, kde je takzvaný vizuálny smog. Ide o zamorenie verejného priestoru častokrát agresívnou, nevkusnou alebo veľkostne neprimeranou reklamou, čo je dlhodobým problémom najmä vo väčších mestách. Hlavné mesto Bratislava s vizuálnym smogom bojuje niekoľko rokov a snaží sa nasledovať celosvetový trend sprísnenej regulácie verejnej reklamy a očistiť Bratislavu od nánosov vizuálneho smogu. Okrem odstraňovania nelegálnej vonkajšej reklamy sa snaží aj o obmedzenie počtu reklamy na verejných miestach, keďže asi 30 % verejného priestoru prenajíma reklamným zariadeniam mesto. Ostatné sú umiestnené na súkromných plochách (Cebrová 2019).

Erotika ako reklamný apel

Využitie erotiky v reklame nie je jednoznačné, i keď podlieha legislatívnym obmedzeniam a je aj predmetom etickej samoregulácie. Podľa Vysekalovej a kol. (2014, s. 89) je potrebné zvážiť jej vhodnosť vo vzťahu k produktu, značke i cieľovej skupine, pričom záleží aj na prijímaní sexuality v spoločnosti. Podľa Etického kódexu reklamnej praxe Rady pre reklamu je v kontexte rešpektovania slušnosti a ľudskej dôstojnosti potrebné venovať osobitnú pozornosť v reklame použitým slovným hračkám, hrubému slangu a dvojzmyslom, predovšetkým sa vyvarovať použitia takých slovných hračiek, hrubého slangu alebo dvojzmyselných vyjadrení, ktoré pôsobia sexisticky, diskriminačne, urážlivo alebo ponižujúco s ohľadom na svoj sexuálny alebo iný podtext, ako aj prejavov nekriticky posilňujúcich rodové či sexuálne stereotypy, či už priamo, alebo v spojení s vizuálnou alebo inou stránkou reklamy. V zmysle spoločenskej zodpovednosti reklamy reklama nesmie propagovať nadmierne podliehanie sexualite tým, že zobrazuje sexuálne stimuly, poddajnosť, nahotu alebo čiastočnú nahotu ľudského tela nevhodným spôsobom a nesmie bez oprávneného dôvodu prezentovať produkt ako vhodný prostriedok na odstránenie sexuálnych zábran. Viaceré príklady slovenskej a českej reklamnej praxe uvádzajú v danom kontexte napr. Krupka (2012) alebo Horňák (2018).

Cieľ a metodika výskumu

Cieľom príspevku je identifikovať postoje obyvateľov Bratislavy voči kontroverzným témam v reklamách, ako sú reklamy na cigarety, alkohol či využitie sexuálnych a erotických motívov, a to na základe výsledkov primárneho výskumu realizovaného v období od 7. do 22. februára 2020. Objektom výskumu boli obyvatelia hlavného mesta Slovenskej republiky, predmetom skúmania sú ich postoje voči reklame. Primárny kvantitatívny výskum bol realizovaný prostredníctvom dopytovania s využitím elektronického (online) dotazníka a bol zameraný na populáciu vo veku 15 rokov a viac. Aby dotazník zasiahol cieľovú skupinu, teda obyvateľov hlavného mesta, bol zdieľaný prostredníctvom sociálnej siete Facebook v záujmových skupinách a stránkach zameraných na Bratislavu a jednotlivé mestské časti, ako napríklad: „Bratislava“, „Bratislava- Petržalka“, „Karlova Ves / Dlhé Diely = naša srdcovka“, „Vrakuňa Bratislava“, „Dúbravka“ a ďalšími skupinami. Dotazník obsahoval celkovo pätnásť otázok, pričom prvých jedenásť z nich mapovalo postoje respondentov k reklame a štyri konkretizovali demografické údaje o respondentoch. Štruktúra a obsah dotazníka korešpondoval s dotazníkom využitým v rámci výskumu Česi a reklama 2020, a to so súhlasom ich realizátorov.
Kontroverzným témam v reklame boli venované dve otázky. Prvá bola orientovaná na postoje respondentov voči reklame na alkohol, cigarety či voľnopredajné lieky, pričom pri alkohole boli rozlišované tvrdý alkohol a destiláty, pivo a víno. Respondentom bola kladená otázka, či im takáto reklama nevadí, či by mala byť s určitými obmedzeniami, alebo sú za úplnú voľnosť reklám na takýto druh produktov. V druhej otázke boli respondenti dopytovaní, ako vnímajú erotické a sexuálne motívy v reklame, a to so zámerom zistiť, či takúto reklamu akceptujú s obmedzeniami, bez obmedzení, alebo sú dokonca za úplné zakázanie erotických motívov v reklame.

Profil respondentov

Počas zberu dát bolo zozbieraných 726 odpovedí od náhodných opýtaných pomocou sociálnych sietí. Z nich bolo vyradených 17 odpovedí od respondentov, ktorí uviedli že nemajú v Bratislave trvalý alebo prechodný pobyt a tiež aj jedna odpoveď od respondenta mladšieho ako 15 rokov. Skúmanú vzorku teda tvorí 708 odpovedí, čo je vzhľadom na veľkosť populácie dostatočné (počet obyvateľov Bratislavy vo veku 15 rokov a viac v roku 2018, čo je najnovší dostupný údaj, je 363043). V tabuľke 1 je prezentovaná štruktúra respondentov.

Tabuľka 1: Zloženie respondentov vo výskume na základe pohlavia, veku a vzdelania
Zdroj: Vlastné spracovanie

Z demografického hľadiska dotazník vyplnilo viac žien – 71% a 29% tvoria odpovede od mužov. Z hľadiska veku má najväčšie zastúpenie veková kategória od 30 do 44, a to 41%, tesne pred skupinou respondentov vo veku od 15 do 29 rokov vrátane – 40% respondentov. Nasleduje skupina od 45 do 59 rokov, ktorá tvorí 16% zo skúmanej vzorky. Najmenšie zastúpenie má najvyššia veková kategória respondentov vo veku 60 rokov a starších. Podľa vzdelania tvoria najväčšiu kategóriu v skúmanej vzorke vysokoškolsky vzdelaní respondenti – 63%. Nasleduje skupina s najvyšším dosiahnutým vzdelaním stredným v 33% zastúpení a najmenšou skupinou sú respondenti so základným vzdelaním, ktorých sú 4%.

Koniec I. časti.


Príspevok je čiastkovým výstupom projektu VEGA 1/0737/20 Spotrebiteľská gramotnosť a medzigeneračné zmeny v preferenciách spotrebiteľov pri nákupe slovenských produktov a vznikol aj vďaka podpore pani doc. PhDr. Jitky Vysekalovej, Ph.D., riaditeľky Českej marketingovej spoločnosti, s ktorej súhlasom bola pri jeho spracovaní využitá metodika výskumu Česi a reklama 2020.

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Kľúčové slová/Key Words

reklama, postoje spotrebiteľov, etika, etiká samoregulácia
advertising, consumer attitudes, ethics, ethical selfregulation

JEL klasifikácia/JEL Classification

M31, M38


Attitudes of the inhabitants of the capital of the Slovak Republic towards selected topics of advertising. Part I.

As part of the process of implementing an advertising campaign, the participating parties, primarily the advertiser and the advertising agency, respectively communication agency, have social responsibility, which manifests itself in an ethical level. Since the implementation of an advertising campaign is initiated by a specific company or other client, its recipients or the target group itself, instead of accepting it, may not only perceive it as unsolicited, but also as annoying. It is on the attitudes of the recipients of advertising, in the case of this contribution the attitudes of the inhabitants of the capital of the Slovak Republic, that are oriented to the outputs of the primary research. The article emphasizes the attitudes of recipients towards selected controversial aspects of advertising, namely attitudes towards advertising of cigarettes, hard alcohol, beer, wine and medicines and attitudes towards erotic motives in advertising. The starting point for the research was “Czechs and advertising for year 2020”. In Slovakia, 726 respondents took part in the research.

Kontakt na autorov/Address

Mgr. Martina Jantová, Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, Fakulta managementu, Katedra marketingu, Odbojárov 10, 820 05 Bratislava, e-mail: [email protected]

prof. Mgr. Peter Štarchoň, PhD., Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, Fakulta managementu, Katedra marketingu, Odbojárov 10, 820 05 Bratislava, e-mail: [email protected]


3. máj 2020 / 7. máj 2020