Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is the solution: marketing the people or the technology and infrastructure in a territorial marketing strategy? Lverpool Vs Catalonia

Today I would like to focus on two, very distinct types of advertising videos found in the field of territorial marketing. For this I have chosen one video promoting the town of Liverpool (England) and an other promoting the region of Catalonia (Spain).
Some may say that these two cannot be compared as one is a city and the other a region: they may have different funding, different goals, or even different perspectives in selling themselves. But, if you watch the videos I am sure you will see just why these two videos stand apart and how, city or region, could use ether one of these in a territorial marketing strategy.

I think that, once again, the main thing to do first if we want to analyse these ads properly is, as in most advertising campaigns, to identify what is being sold and the type of client it is being sold to. This will help us identify the main differences in these two videos and gather some information about the strategy used by the town or region.

Liverpool focusses on its people. Throughout the brand, the details given on the website and the video, the main words here are "people", "history" and "culture". It isn't hard to see what they are selling: a happy town, rich in culture and history, filled with successful and fulfilled people. Liverpool, from what we see in the video, is a town where people go to start their companies and accomplish their dreams in a good, friendly environment. The video sells a cultural experience and environment in which to develop on a professional scale.

Catalonia focusses on its industry, its research and development. The main aspect put forward here is on the many technological hubs and their expertise, as well as on its numerous connexions to other regions and countries and its accessibility. It cleverly puts forward the notion that it is as region of technology and learning as well as a place sought-out by tourists and people with a more social inclination.

Now in some ways these two ads can seem very similar: both portray the land as being a place for development and a good place to work in. But the idea behind the two is fundamental different. On the one hand we have a town selling the people who enable this work and progress whilst, on the other hand we have a region selling the infrastructure that does exactly the same thing.

These are, for me the two main key aspects that regions can offer: infrastructure and people. Infrastructure is a very concrete notion that can be measured, counted and easily explained. People though is a much vaster concept: you can'(t put a price on human knowledge and know-how. So even if the basic offer (a good place to work in) remains the same, the key selling points are completely different.

Now the interesting thing here is that the target of these ads can very well be the same for both. We can easily paint the picture of a young man or women, looking for a good environment in which to start a business or a career, maybe looking to start a family... What differs will be how he sees this new life and what he needs to make it come true: is it the infrastructure and the financing, backing and technological support that is needed or is it the human, social aspect, full of history, knowledge and curious people to guide and help him that is needed?

So the question I will leave you with is this: In your region or town, do you think it would be best to advertise the people or the infrastructure and technology? Why? Could we combine both or would that be too much information in an ad this length?

By James Berry
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