In a world where cities are becoming more and more alike, a city should profile itself, differentiate and excel. Many cities lack a positive image among their own citizens and residents. Each city should plan for its growth and prosperity. Cities benefit from city marketing because attracting and retaining the right visitors, residents and companies leads to greater economic and cultural activity.
What is city marketing?
In his book, Marketing Places, Philip Kotler describes city and destination marketing. City marketing is a philosophy and skill set dedicated to market and improve a city and develop a core image that can attract visitors, residents, industries and companies.
Roadmap for city marketing
The roadmap for city marketing by Philip Kotler guides to address this issue in a structured way. Kotler uses a combination of classic market analysis and development of identity and individuality of the city. Kotlers roadmap contains five steps to activate and plan city marketing.
1. Local audit
A systematic account of what has to offer the city, the characteristics of the city’s strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats that come with it.
2. Visions and goals
What do the residents, businesses, tourists, the city currently and how they see the city in the future?
3. Strategy formulation
A cost-benefit analysis with a formulation of priorities. It involves exploiting the strengths: to accentuate that are or there is more to deploy by accelerating. The weaknesses have to accept or compensate. The strategy always leads to the formulation of a strong and attractive positioning and image for the city.
4. Action plan
Which activities when performed in the context of the strategy? The core activity is to promote the attractiveness and benefits of the city, so that potential users are fully aware of the distinctive advantages of the city. In addition, standing in the Action Plan the attractive rewards (incentives) for current and potential buyers and users of products and services, and a description of the way to deliver the products and services of the city accessible and efficient for users.
5. Implementation and control
Effective implementation of the activities and the evaluation and monitoring of the balance between claim and evidence. This can lead to the adjustment of the strategy.
Experience shows that crafting the city image, or brand, is the most important factor in city marketing. A tool here is divide the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of step 1 into three different categories, being: dissatisfiers, qualifiers and winners.
- Dissatisfiers are those elements that lead to dissatisfaction and which should be removed
- Qualifiers are those elements with which a town qualifies, but some of which are necessary in order to be able to comply with the standard-demand pattern of the users
- Winners are the unique elements of the city that are reinforce the image
The city brand comprises a large number of associations where there are two or three in combination are distinctive and characterize the specific nature of that city. In order to achieve the proper weighting of associations, it is good method for twelve to sixteen associations by large focus groups with the aid of, for example, the Spiderweb method by Bernstein.