A brief by Elise Baudelet, junior expert in territorial marketing at CAAC
Influence marketing relies on notorious personalities to broadcast a message to promotional or informative in character. Therefore managers should identify individuals who generate conversations and match the place image to have an effect on its brand, to then offer them the possibility of collaborating. Ideally, they become ambassadors who share comments and contents for the place. Through the New Technologies of Information and Communication (NTIC) having ambassadors with online visibility may be an advantage. It also allows having worldwide partnership as well as improving awareness by widening target segments. In addition, this collaboration should boost natural referencing for the city on the internet search engine results.
For instance, the famous just-married couple Kanye West-Kim Kardashian offered a widespread communication for Ireland by going on honeymoon there. Ireland tourism has taken advantage of this “personal” event to boost its visibility on the social media and around the world, people following the famous lifestyles though about this country of the Atlantic Arc as a great destination.
However, ambassadors do not have to be limited to famous personalities. It could be a local person of influence as territorial marketing approaches operate in co-construction. Indeed, the development of a territory should integrate the actors located in a territory as they are part of its evolution, and share a vision of the city image to build. Considering co-building it is relevant to have these actors representing the place.
Ambassadors could also help to define the place identity as it is an often an abstract element that needs to become more tangible to be efficiently communicated. The ambassadors are concrete evidence representing through their own identity and images those of the territory. They are the face of the city. Therefore, clearly define the role of the ambassador and its strategy is crucial. In addition, it is essential to have a well-defined territorial marketing strategy so the ambassadors can communicate it properly. Ambassadors should feel close to the strategy and know accurately the values of the territory to communicate efficiently to the public. Ambassadors and city messages should be the same to create consistence and credibility.
A drawback could be the lack of consistence in the network of ambassadors as it brings together people with different paths, different expectations or different motivations and not having exactly the same values about the territory, implying different communications on their part. Even if this is unavoidable as ambassadors are humans and then have differences and feelings, the territorial marketing strategy should lead the network to allow all ambassadors to communicate shared values, those of the identity of the territory, thus making it more qualitative network and their communication.
For more info on ambassadors and place marketing strategy, we would like to recommend you to read this blog (only available in French).