Information Communication Technologies and City Marketing: Digital Opportunities for Cities Around the World

Information Communication Technologies and City Marketing: Digital Opportunities for Cities Around the World

Mila Gascó-Hernandez (Pompeu Fabra University and Estratic, Spain) and Teresa Torres-Coronas (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: February, 2009|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 438
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-134-6
ISBN13: 9781605661346|ISBN10: 1605661341|EISBN13: 9781605661353|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616926212
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Description & Coverage

Important investments of the past several years have greatly contributed to the study of city marketing. Nevertheless, there is still an important tool brought about by the new era which remains unexplored; the new information and communication technologies -- in particular, the Internet.

Information Communication Technologies and City Marketing: Digital Opportunities for Cities Around the World promotes understanding of how ICTs contribute to the development of city marketing strategies to enhance local socio-economic development. Covering central topics such as city branding, export promotion, and industry marketing, this comprehensive book provides academicians, marketers, and city officials with an in-depth look into effective marketing initiatives for city development.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • City branding
  • City Development
  • City global management
  • City marketing initiatives
  • Digital tourism marketing
  • Effective ICT infrastructure
  • Export promotion
  • Global communication and competitiveness
  • Industry marketing
  • Information Communication Technologies
  • Integrated marketing communication strategy
  • Internet Marketing
  • Mobile commerce techniques
  • Strategic technology planning
  • Techno-global economy
  • Tourism Web sites
  • Web site communication
Reviews and Testimonials

This book presents insights gained by leading professionals from the practice, research, academic, and consulting side in the field. This is why it should be useful to a variety of constituencies, who are interested in the interrelationships between information and communication technologies and city marketing strategies.

– Mila Gascó-Hernández, International Institute on Governance of Catalonia, Greece
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Editor Biographies
Mila Gascó-Hernández holds a MBA and a PhD in public policy evaluation (Award Enric Prat de la Riba granted to the best PhD thesis on public management and administration, given by the Escola d’Administració Pública de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain). She is co-founder of Estratic as well as an associate professor at both the Open University of Catalonia and the Pompeu Fabra University, both in Spain. For seven years, she was a senior analyst at the International Institute on Governance of Catalonia. She has a wide teaching experience (she worked as a full professor in the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain) as well as a broad researching experience. She has taken part in numerous national and international seminars, she has published both in Spanish and English and she has supervised some Ph. D thesis. She has collaborated with several institutions such as both the provincial and city government of Barcelona, the World Bank Development Gateway, the United Nations Development Program, the University of Hull in United Kingdom, the Mayor’s Office in Valencia (Venezuela) or the Governments of Brazil and Dominican Republic. Her main interests are related to public policies that allow the transition of a society to the so-called knowledge era (in particular she is interested in e-government and e-governance), to the use of ICTs for human development and to public policy evaluation.
Teresa Torres-Coronas has a bachelor's degree in economics (Barcelona University) and a PhD in management (Rovira i Virgili University). She won first prize in the 2000 edition of EADA related management research. She is the author of the book Valuing Brands (Ediciones Gestión 2000, Spain), co-author of the book Retrieve Your Creativity (Septem Ediciones, Spain), and co-editor of the books Changing the way you teach: Creative tools for management education (Septem Ediciones, Spain), e-HRM: Managing knowledge people (Idea Group, USA), Higher creativity for virtual teams: Developing platforms for co-creation (Information Science Reference) and, The Encyclopedia of HRIS: Challenges in e-HRM (Information Science Reference). She is author of many articles and conference papers about intangible management, management education, and applied creativity and IT. She is management professor at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She is one of the researchers of the ELIS group: E-government for Local Integration with Sustainability (Hull University). She is an active member of the Management Education and Development Division (Academy of Management) and the Information Resources Management Association (IRMA).
Editorial Review Board

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Mario Arias-Oliva, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Juan G. Cegarra-Navarro, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain
  • A. Andrea Licari, St. John’s University, USA
  • Jeffrey Roy, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • Miguel Yañez, Primero Estrategia, Spain

    List of Reviewers

  • Adekunle Okunoye, Xavier University, USA
  • Alemayehu Molla, RMIT University, Australia
  • Ana Laura Rivoir, Universidad de la Republica de Uruguay, Uruguay
  • Anne-Marie Oostveen, Oxford Internet Institute, UK
  • Araceli Rodríguez Merayo, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Arantxa Vidal Blasco, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Bantu Morolong, University of Bostwana, Bostwana
  • Barbara Fillip, Knowledge for Development, USA
  • Carlos E. Jimenez, Information Systems Service, Department of Justice, Generalitat de Catalunya Estratic, Spain
  • Gashaw Kebede, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Irena Ogranjensek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Isabel Huerta, Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, Mexico
  • James Piecowye, Zayed University, UAE
  • Jean-Baptiste Harguindeguy, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux, France
  • Luis Felipe Luna Reyes, Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, Mexico
  • Manuel Acevedo, Independent consultant, Argentina
  • Marianna Sigala, University of Aegean, Greece
  • Mohinder Satija, G N D University, India
  • Paula M. D'Orsi, UrbanArqCity, Argentina
  • Penelope Markellou, University of Patras, Greece
  • Ranjini Raghavendra, Lancaster University, UK
  • Raul Zambrano, UNDP, USA
  • Rebecca Lekoko, University of Bostwana, Bostwana
  • Susheel Chhabra, Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, India
  • Udo Averwege, Thekwini Municipality, South Africa
  • Xiudian Dai, University of Hull, UK
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    “In a place at La Mancha, which name I do not want to remember, not very long ago lived a country hidalgo, one of those gentlemen or hidalgos who keep a lance in the lance-rack, an ancient shield, a skinny old horse, and a fast greyhound”.

    In a place at La Mancha El Quijote decided to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. In one of his escapades El Quijote met Master Pedro and his divining past-things ape. Master Pedro was a famous puppet-showman, exhibiting a show of the release of Melisendra and thus, for the very first time in our history, he linked marketing and technology. The Master Pedro’s show was mainly used to dazzle the audience so later he could get a generous amount of cash with the aid of the divining ape. This is a funny story about the use of “technology in marketing” which remembers us an important and old lesson: Technology is only a part of a solution.

    The Master’s Pedro show is a story that can be seen from both a technological and a human perspective. The first one allows unlimited options, but the human view is responsible for providing the values and principles that can make technology a tool to be used in benefit of everybody. And this is something that cities have to bear in mind when entering in the fascinating world of city marketing through information and communication technology (ICT).

    City marketing is defined as the designing of a city to satisfy the needs of its target markets. It succeeds when citizens and businesses are pleased with their community and the expectations of visitors and investors are met. Indeed, city marketing as such is not a new phenomenon. However, as a result of the global transformations that are deeply impacting organizations at the local level, cities have been compelled to actively compete with each other. Now more than ever, cities need to attract tourists, factories, companies, and talented people, as well as find markets for their exports. This requires that cities adopt strategic marketing management tools and conscious city branding. As a result, several city marketing methods, approaches, and instruments have been designed to attract the attention of city stakeholders. Nevertheless, despite the important investments of the last few years, there is still an important tool, brought about by the new era, which remains unexplored: the new ICT and, particularly, the Internet.

    As Martinotti states (1999), the boosting of city images, for both political and commercial reasons, can be traced to ancient cities, perhaps to the very origin of the city; the urban dweller has always felt his or her superiority over the rest of the world. However, the unabashed commodification of cities as sales objects has become a matter of course only in very recent years and can be easily dated to nearly the 1990s as the result of the convergence of three macro processes that have been taking place all over the world: the growing urbanization, the technological revolution, and the economy and communications globalization.

    These phenomena have made evident the need to rethink the role played by cities since contrary to what many observers asserted, cities have not become obsolete. What’s more, besides the decline of several once-great industrial centers in the highly developed countries, a significant number of cities have also seen their concentration of economic power rise (Sassen, 2001). These changes in a city competitive profile have encouraged cities competition, understood as the efforts that cities carry out in order to become competitive and dominate other cities. According to Metaxas (2002), these include common action and different measures for local economic development, as well as strategic thought to implement a development policy concerning the role that the potential city will play in the future. In short, cities compete in order to attract, among other, investments, population, tourists, public funding, students, or international events that can improve their territorial competitive advantage (Budd, 2001).

    Most of the research about cities competition has focused on two issues: 1) what influences and facilitates places competitiveness and 2) which competitiveness and cooperation strategies among cities exist. In particular, the latter has to do with the question “how do cities compete” and, therefore, deals with the tools city managers have. Thus, this is the context where the term “city/place marketing” emerges.

    According to Kotler, Asplund, Rein and Haider (1999), place marketing refers to a place planning procedure concerning the satisfaction of the needs of target – markets. It could be successful when it satisfies two main parameters: a) the enterprises’ and the residents’ satisfaction from the purchase of goods and services that the place provides, b) the satisfaction of the expectations of potential target - markets (enterprises and visitors), as long as the goods and the services that the place provides to them are those that they wish to get.

    In this respect, a marketing city plan adapts the traditional model of the four marketing “Ps”. Metaxas (2002) explicitly states that city marketing includes:

      1) The product, which has to do with the production system (that is, the city), the productive good (or the city’s image), the good’s ingredients (such as the city’s character, economic activities, natural environment, services, recreation and leisure, culture, or tourism), and the city’s distinctive characteristics (that is, those characteristics that could create city’s competitive advantages).

      2) The price, which concerns the value of land’s use for residence or the value of land’s use for setting up new business activities.

      3) The place/distribution channels that relate to the network of relationships with channel partners (both internal and external) that the city develops in order to apply its image to the potential target markets or to penetrate into new market areas.

      4)The promotion, which includes advertising, public relations, campaign, or slogans strategies.

      5)The people, a term which is used in order to satisfy the human resources management process for visitors’ attraction and the citizens’ contribution to the city’s development.

    The 21st Century brings about new ways of doing things and also new means to market cities. Although the above five “Ps” remain valid, new tools are available to city managers in order to promote their cities. In particular, ICTs (and specifically, the Internet) are giving rise to the implementation of new strategies and techniques in the city marketing field that are going to change the way cities are managed for, as Deighton (1996) said, “the profession of marketing, its theories, its practices, and even the basic sciences that it draws on are determined by the tools at its disposal at any moment. When the tools change, the discipline adjusts, sometimes quite profoundly and usually quite belatedly. The introduction of television advertising 50 years ago was just such a disruptive event, and marketing theory and practice are still responding, evolving their understanding of how the tool works and how its effects should be measured” (p. 151). If this is so, and the editors believe it is, this book is intended to be one important resource for both researches and practitioners about the potential of the ICT, and particularly of the Internet, in the city marketing field in terms of strategy design and implementation practices.

    Cities inevitably, as the economic world does, evolve and change. The socio-economic growth of a city takes time and effort. In their journey to higher development, cities are responsible for the well-being of their targeted groups. At the same time, cities are increasingly competing against each other for attracting sources of wealth. They need to find ways of differentiating themselves thereby making themselves more attractive to gain advantage over their competitors. With no doubt, cities need to work harder. In this hyper-competitive context, fresh ideas are needed for place marketing to give cities a new set of tools. As Rainisto (2003) explains, contemporary place marketing practices have not yet answered the challenges of our information and knowledge society, and there is still plenty of room for improvements.

    ICT are one of those tools whose benefits remain still unexplored for both city marketing academicians and city managers. Although the adoption of technology by (local) governments is not new, specific applications in the city marketing field are hard to find except for the use of Web sites and city portals aimed at promoting the city among potential visitors and therefore focusing on tourism strategies.

    The Internet is utilized as a system of electronic intercommunication and a way of processing and presenting digital information. With help from people’s imagination, it brings together unlimited opportunities for city marketing strategies around the world. The use of Internet for promoting and building a city brand image is very common. But it is not the only thing that can be done. The latest revolution was presented with the Web 2.0 era that encouraged active participation, collectivism and knowledge sharing. The blogging concept is now utilized by private companies as part of their communication and building community strategy. Setting up virtual offices, advertising and promotion for new products, or providing information and news are reasons stated by companies to enter the virtual world of Second Live®. How can cities benefit from the never-ending Internet revolution?

    The delectable discussion about how ICT and city marketing have large potential for opening up new areas of opportunities, both in social and business uses has just begun. Now it is time for cities to ask themselves:

    • Which ICT features and practices bring value to their activities?
    • How to use ICT to better attract the cities’ target groups for local development.
    • How to identify ICT best practices and trends for their city marketing strategy.
    • Which type and amount of investments are needed.
    • Which is the cost-benefit for cities to be involved in electronic city marketing?
    • Why ICT are now a must in their place marketing activities?
    Cities need a general background for understanding the opportunities that ICT can bring to them. Reading this book could be a first step in this adventure, as reading knight-errant books was the first step in the adventures of El Quijote.

    Information Communication Technologies and City marketing: Digital Opportunities for Cities around the World is a book aimed at enlightening the above concepts and therefore at providing understanding as to how ICT can contribute to the development of city marketing strategies and, therefore, enhance local socio-economic development. In particular, its overall objectives are:

      1) To describe the concept of city marketing and to analyze its contribution to both a city’s competitiveness and a city economic development.

      2) To identify the potential applications of ICT in city marketing, to provide insightful analysis about those factors that contribute to a successful use of ICT by city marketers.

      3) To propose strategies to move forward and to address future challenges that involves the whole array of city stakeholders.

      4) To identify and describe international successful experiences that explains the previous issues.

    The book presents insights gained by leading professionals from the practice, research, academic, and consulting side in the field. This is why it should be useful to a variety of constituencies, who are interested in the interrelationships between information and communication technologies and city marketing strategies and, in particular, to:

      1) Politicians and public sector officials (civil servants) who need a convenient source of information on what ICTs can do for city marketing and on what other local governments are doing in this field.

      2) Private company executives, leaders, and consultants who frequently liaise with government agencies to design and implement city marketing strategies

      3) Academicians, researches and students interested in the field of city marketing and/or the field of the use of ICTs by local governments.

    The book is presented in three sections. The first one, “Discovering connections: Linking city marketing and ICT”, is a wide-ranging section which contains six chapters focused on the use of information and communication technologies in city marketing strategies from more of a conceptual point of view.

    In particular, Muñiz (chapter I) analyzes economic development from a phase of industrial production towards a new era that complements management of technology and information with intelligent awareness and creativity. The author concludes by investigating the role of new Internet technology in communicating and promoting the identity of cities with consideration of the cases of a number of cities around the world.

    Fernández-Cavia and Huerta (chapter II) describe the results of two combined studies (qualitative and quantitative) that analyze a sample of official city Web sites. The results show that official Web sites of cities pay a lot of attention to ease of navigation, but interactivity is much less implemented, especially between users. Furthermore, some lack of attention to the communication aspects of city brands can also be found.

    Chapter III, by Mishra and Rolland, proposes a broad approach called strategic stakeholder relationship management (SSRM) that is enabled by information and communication technologies including the Internet in order to help the decision makers succeed in designing the twenty first century city marketing initiatives.

    McReady, in chapter IV, also focuses on strategy and refers to the technology driven aspects of globalization as “techno-globalization”. He describes the role of strategic technology planning in the marketing of cities as well as for information and communication technologies and its intersection with marketing planning.

    Chapter V, authored by Chudalla and Pousttchi, provides basic knowledge on mobile services, the presentation of restrictions and opportunities of mobile devices, applications and communication techniques. Three case studies are presented to help the reader understand applications from a practical perspective.

    Finally, in chapter VI, Matherly and Jouett present a causal model where ICT is used to not only deliver services to internal stakeholders but also to market a city to external stakeholders. Case study applications are discussed as well as the questions to address in future research.

    Section II, “Unlocking the power of city marketing to city development”, presents new interrelationships and illustrates them with case studies. Thus, it goes beyond the connection between ICT and city marketing and approaches the possibilities of that link for city development strategies.

    Therefore, chapter VII, by Huerta-Carvajal and Luna-Reyes, discusses the strategic scaffolding for ICT as a key component of a city’s marketing strategy. Although city marketing efforts and ICT use are still at its initial stages in the city, lessons from current efforts in Puebla (Mexico) are related to the key role of stakeholder networks, ICT interoperability, Geographic Information Systems and government program continuity.

    Díaz-Luque, in chapter VIII, analyzes the possibilities that official Web sites offer from a marketing perspective. It also studies the opportunities to use cities’ Web sites to develop a complete marketing mix strategy.

    Next, Prats-Planagumà and Camprubí present a case study in order to analyze network configuration through promotional Web sites and determine if the tourist product of a destination is integrated and promoted globally or, on the contrary, each tourist agent acts independently. Conclusions are based on the theoretical model presented.

    Chapter X, by McGill and Ensign, discusses the importance of making strategic investments in information communication technologies in order to benefit from globalization and the opportunities created by export-oriented business clusters. Examples of investments made by local governments in India, Jamaica and Hong Kong are presented.

    Sigala, in chapter XI, aims to inform city tourism organizations responsible for the development of city portals about the use of the major Web 2.0 tools and their impact on the tourism demand and supply. It also presents the ways and practices for integrating the use of Web 2.0 into their E-Business model and E-Marketing practices.

    In the last chapter of this second section, Córdoba, Jullien, and Tremembert define three different patterns –idealist, strategic and power-based to understand how city marketing initiatives are designed and implemented, and how information and communication technologies can support their implementation. Experience of using these patterns to understand the situation of Hull and Brest are also presented by the authors.

    At last, section III, “Stories from the battlefield: Finding out the power of city marketing”, reviews several initiatives that have taken place all over the world and that illustrate the use of ICT to enhance city marketing strategies.

    In chapter XIII, after introducing the concept of city branding, and a model of how Web site elements communicate brand values and messages, Dobers and Hallin analyze a recent attempt of city managers to promote the brand of Stockholm. This case study illustrates the challenges that city managers face today.

    Hallin (chapter XIV) looks deeply into the Stockholm case by semiotically analyzing a marketing leaflet for the Stockholm-based ICT-project mCity, and two ads for Nokia phones that appeared in Europe at about the same time. Her chapter challenges the traditional cybernetic sender-receiver model of communication.

    In chapter XV, Moffett, McGinnity, Callaghan, Harkin, Woods, and Paris, outline the journey that the city of Londonderry undertook when transforming a traditional walled city to a technology enhanced wireless city. The chapter presents an overview of the three project strands, namely wireless city (civic aspect), wireless walls (tourism aspect), and wireless campus (educational aspect). A detailed case study of the educational element is presented.

    To conclude, Morolong looks, in the last chapter of the book, at how information communication technologies can be used to market cities such as Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. Literature and experiences from other parts of the world are used to underscore city growth as a serious development issue.

    More could be said about the relationships between ICTs and city marketing since the possibilities of the former are unknown. This book is only a first approach to this new field. It presents several issues that have to do with the new tools city managers have. It also introduces some interesting aspects about the academic state of the art of the discipline. Both perspectives make the text valuable for researchers and practitioners. But Information Communication Technologies and City marketing: Digital Opportunities for Cities around the World is only a first stone and the authors hope that the authors’ contributions encourage the reader to keep strengthening the way technology can help cities all over the world.