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What Does Place Marketing Mean in Practice? A Preliminary Content Analysis of North West England Place-Related Websites

Ntounis, NF and Parker, Cathy and Bennison, David (2014) What Does Place Marketing Mean in Practice? A Preliminary Content Analysis of North West England Place-Related Websites. In: 47th Academy of Marketing Conference, Marketing Dimensions: People, places and spaces.

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Abstract

Place marketing has been used widely as a strategy for improving the competitive image of a place. However, confusion over what place marketing is, difficulties of identifying which practices are part of a place marketing framework, and the unclear roles of stakeholders, are hindering the field's progress. Therefore, this exploratory study is concerned with identifying a range of place marketing practices, supported by the literature, that are implemented by place marketing actors. A preliminary content analysis of 49 web pages from place-related organisations in North West England was conducted, and Chi-Square tests for independence explored the relationships between practices and stakeholders. The results showed that top-down practices associated with planning, place promotions, image communication, and service offerings (retail, events) are more common than practices concerned with engaging a variety of stakeholders for the common good of a place. Chi-Square tests also showed disparities between place stakeholders, as visitors/tourists appear to have a larger effect in the implementation of place marketing practices than citizens and investors. Overall, the study contributes to a better understanding of how place marketing is implemented in practice. The results will be used for further exploration of the relationships between place marketing practices and place stakeholders.

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