Marketing the downtown through geographically enhanced consumer segmentation
Journal of Place Management and Development
Purpose -The purpose of this paper is to identify, using a case study, whether consumers in a metropolitan area can be meaningfully segmented geographically such that it can understand the way they perceive and interact with the downtown district and to delineate the implications of the findings for business improvement area marketing initiatives from a management perspective. Design/methodology/approach -A total of 650 visitors to downtown Toronto are interviewed using a pretested
... tested questionnaire. Their responses are related to their location within the metropolitan area. Correspondence analysis (CA) is applied to the data to visually identify possible market segments. Findings -The analysis identified four distinct place-based visitor segments. Each of these segments exhibited behaviour patterns that are distinct and intrinsically meaningful. The analysis further shows that perceptions and current interactions with the district are likely to change depending on where in the metropolis its consumers live. Practical implications -Since visitor perceptions are place dependent, it is difficult to implement a single place marketing campaign that is relevant to each segment. The results suggest that it needs to develop communication strategies that are specific to each segment, incorporating an understanding of why they visit downtown, what they think of the area, what media they consume, how they get around and what their needs are in terms of lifestage. Originality/value -By going beyond the traditional analysis of geographic variables and incorporating consumer response variables in the analysis, this paper provides a stronger basis for market segmentation and management action with regard to place marketing. The application of CA provides a visual way to understand the segments.