This PhD thesis deals with city marketing: cities making use of marketing ideas, concepts and tools. Marketing has proved its value in the business environment, but what about applying marketing in the context of cities? How can cities make effective use of the potential of marketing? The first contribution of this study is the development of a clear concept of city marketing that is based on a customer-oriented perspective, acknowledges the important of perceptions of places in the decision making process of the city’s customers and that delineates urban products. The analysis results in a framework for city marketing management that distinguishes between city marketing activities that need more oversight and central coordination and those activities that are best dealt with close to groupings of specific customers. It is argued that the effective use of city marketing requires a more integrated approach to city marketing. This integrated approach rests upon two dimensions. The first is the embeddedness of city marketing in urban governance - the fit of city marketing in the city’s wider policy framework. The second concerns structural conditions for city marketing management. Next, the study has identified four factors that stimulate and contribute to the embeddedness in urban governance and another four that are supportive factors for city marketing management. The empirical part of the thesis contains a comparative analysis of the city marketing experiences in Basel, Birmingham, Göteborg and Rotterdam. The comparative study has explored these eight factors. Our empirical analysis supports that these eight factors are indeed contributing to the embeddedness in urban government and are supportive for city marketing management. An integrated approach to city marketing is a necessary condition for the effective use of city marketing. The study is relevant for academics but it also provides cities a concept for city marketing and eight critical factors for its effectuation.

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Keywords city marketing, economic geography, image management, place branding, place marketing, public management, regional economics, urban development, urban economics, urban governance, urban management
JEL Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), New Firms; Startups (jel M13), Marketing (jel M31), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
Promotor L. van den Berg (Leo)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ISBN 978-90-5892-180-2
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Braun, E. (2008, October 30). City Marketing: Towards an Integrated Approach (No. EPS-2008-142-ORG). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from