Today's headlines report cities going bankrupt, states running large deficits, and nations stuck in high debt and stagnation. Philip Kotler argues that thousands of "places" - cities, states, and nations - are in crisis, and can no longer rely on national industrial policies, such as federal matching funds, as a promise of jobs and protection. The authors show that places must, like any market-driven business, become attractive "products" by improving their industrial base and communicating their special qualities more effectively to their target markets. From studies of cities and nations throughout the world, Kotler offer a systematic analysis of why so many places have fallen on hard times, and make recommendations on what can be done to revitalize a place's economy. He shows how "place wars" - battles for Japanese factories, government projects, Olympic Games, baseball team franchises, convention business, and other economic prizes - are often misguided and end in wasted money and effort.The hidden key to vigorous economic development, the author argues, is strategic marketing of places by rebuilding infrastructure, creating a skilled labour force, stimulating local business entrepreneurship and expansion, developing strong public/private partnerships, identifying and attracting "place compatible" companies and industries, creating distinctive local attractions, building a service-friendly culture, and promoting these advantages effectively. Strategic marketing of places requires a deep understanding of how "place buyers" - tourists, new residents, factories, corporate headquarters, investors - make their place decisions. With this understanding, "place sellers" - economic development agencies, tourist promotion agencies, mayor's offices - can take the necessary steps to compete aggressively for place buyers.
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Al Ries Chairman, Trout & Ries Marketing Strategists This book not only forecasts the future, but also serves as a blueprint for those places that want to have a profitable future. It's well-written, well-documented and a must read for the place marketing manager.
Philip Kotler is the S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.