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Regional Marketing to Change Regional Images: The Example of the Groningen Province Campaign
An important element in the urban and regional development strategy of many local and regional governments is geographical marketing. The process of geographical marketing combines promotional, spatial and organisational activities, and can be aimed at various groups.
From 1989 onwards, the province of Groningen, in the northern part of the Netherlands, has pursued such a geographical marketing campaign. This campaign, which is still being carried on, has used various means of communication: advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and radio and television commercials. It has been aimed at entrepreneurs and at the general public as well.
An ex ante study of the public image of Groningen was carried out in 1988, before the start of the campaign. For this purpose, a random sample of the Dutch population was inquired by telephone. Since then, similar inquiries were carried out every 2 years, in order to measure the ‘effects’ of the campaign. In these inquiries, the image of the provinces of Friesland and Noord- Brabant (considered as ‘competitors’ in the place marketing arena) was measured along with that of Groningen, and used for reference. The data set now reaches up to the year 2005. The availability of this kind of data for a period of 17 years, measured at regular intervals, provides a unique opportunity to study the development of regional images through time, and to find suggestions for the best possible way to continue the marketing campaign.
In this paper, the data of the inquiries will be analysed. The first question to be answered in the paper relates to the pace and the nature of the changes in image, observed in all three provinces. The second research question specifically deals with the influence of the marketing campaign on the image of Groningen.
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/Rowley 2008 : 64; Mayes 2008 : 125; Stock 2009 : 119). Das Image als entscheidende Zielgröße von place branding rechtfertigt sich dadurch, dass nicht die räumliche Realität, sondern die Wahrnehmung derselben durch relevante Zielgruppen für deren raumbezogene Entscheidungen relevant sind ( Vermeulen 2002 : 10 f.; Kavaratzis 2004 : 62). In der Fokussierung auf das Image als Zielgröße besteht nach Anholt der zentrale Unterschied zu herkömmlichen raumbezogenen Marketingkonzepten, die diesem Umstand keine Beachtung schenken. „[...] but placemarketing is still seen
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digital and media places and multiple levels of contact through iconic buildings
prescribed places of gathering, transport links and programed compositions on the urban scale
market forces and real estate development
human scale oriented urban and suburban neighbourhoods with civic anchor centres, market demand driven
city branding, placemarketing, decontextualised objects with highest real estate order & market driven
high density, compact city development, programmatic forms and compositions, city branding on large scale market
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