City Marketing

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ABSTRACT

One of the most interesting issues in the literature of urban studies, the last thirty years especially, concerns the significance of city marketing procedure on high degree of city competitiveness achievement. The basic questions arising refer to the effectiveness of city marketing and how it can be measured, to the ability of public local authorities to plan and implement promotion policies as well as to the determination of the prerequisites according to which the “final produced good”, which is the “city image”, can be promoted effectively to the potential target markets.

‘The City Marketing’ what it means:

In the introduction of the book ‘Selling Cities ‘- The marketing and the promotion of towns and cities 1850 –2000’, Stephen Ward (1998), mentions that all the cities, industrial, metropolitan as well as those of Eastern Europe, are actively involved in the ‘Place Marketing game’. Levering (1995:117) suggests that place marketing procedure, is the main action related the local development and the promotion of investment actions of cities that aim to the emergence and the sustaining of their image towards their external environment. According to Goodwin (1993),‘the cities have become ‘goods’, have been standardized, grouped, advertised and become the object of negotiations more than any other good in the capitalist society’ We do not use the term 'product' or 'service' and instead we use the term 'good', because a city or a place constitutes a multiple grouping of products and services which are called 'local distinctive characteristics' (European Commission-LODIS Programme; Ashworth and Voogd, 1990:17) and which finally raise the image of the place as a whole (Metaxas, 2003). Cities that exist in this market compete with each other trying to be attractive to the potential target markets by satisfying their needs and their observation. Cases of cities traditionally industrial, such as Glasgow, Bilbao, Bradford etc., which showed signs of turn down during the deindustrialization period, reinforced their image, their development and their competitiveness through planning and implementing marketing action proposal. Although place marketing importance is supported by the existence of scores of successful references to cities, it is being questioned as a procedure since it comes short of analyzing the internal and external environment of cities, specifically determining the potential target markets, developing solid strategies aiming at the satisfaction of the potential target markets which they desire to attract and, finally, presenting a specific methodology to measure the effectiveness of promotion policies implemented in city competitiveness.

Different types of place marketing policies implementation

This very point is especially important since economic geographers mainly, (Cheshire and Gordon, 1998; Cheshire and Magrini 1999, 2001; Rodriguez-Pose and Arbix, 2001) talk about the ‘Waste Strategies’, phenomenon, that is the strategies for the attraction of potential target markets, which developed without any kind of evaluation and consequently they do not generate any profit on local as well as on regional level. Finally one last downside of place marketing is the groundless checking of the effectiveness, the planning and the implementation of development policies used by the public local factors. This fact is especially important, since the implementation of policies such as place marketing, asks for the active involvement of public and private factors of the place, as with its inhabitants (Metaxas and Petrakos, 2005).

Planning, Managing and Implementing City Marketing Policies

Michael Porter (1990) in ‘The Competitive Advantage of Nations’ pointed out the opportunities for cities and regions. He supported that, far from being smothered by the global economy, authorities had an increasingly important role to play in encouraging a local environment where business...
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