The role of local perceptions in the marketing of rural areas

Emma L. Giles, Gary Bosworth, Joanie Willett

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    In this paper we explore the ways that two rural counties are marketed, both as locations for enterprise and for tourist appeal. Secondary data sources and expert interviews provide the basis for a comparison of approaches in each case. To analyse marketing communication from the Cornish and Northumbrian tourism and regional development agencies, the Interaction Model of Communication and principles underpinning Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) are used.
    This research enables us to evaluate the fit of the marketing rhetoric against the perceptions and lived experiences of samples of business owners drawn from each county. A particular focus is apportioned to in-migrant business owners as
    they have had perceptions of their destination both before and after moving. We discover that social factors are highly significant, meaning that place marketers must engage with local communities as well as their external target audiences.
    This deeper understanding of the ways in which perceptions of place identity and reputation influence decision-making provides valuable insights for local marketers, particularly in rural areas. Beyond marketing, the findings demonstrate the inter-relationships between social and economic influences for rural businesses and also contribute to our appreciation of the role of mobility in the rural economy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-13
    JournalJournal of Destination Marketing and Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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