Traditionally, marketing was a reserve for businesses seeking to improve commercial success. However, government entities such as cities and municipalities have dived into the world of marketing. In the past, city and municipality marketing merely involved presenting a city as an attractive destination for visitors and tourists.

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Over the years, the field has evolved to embrace a broader scope on marketing. In an era that stresses on government accountability and responsiveness to the needs of the public, marketing is helping cities and municipalities achieve this. Cities and municipalities are spending enormous funds on marketing to promote accountability, transparency, efficiency, and cost recovery. Below are five incredible trends to anticipate in the city and municipality marketing sector in 2019.

1. City Branding

In the last couple of years, municipalities and cities have been presenting themselves as brands, a trend that will continue in 2019. When cities present themselves as brands, they raise awareness of their existence and elicit participation in the city’s initiatives, services, and events. City branding is a strategic marketing tool that differentiates a city from others as competition intensifies. Miami Beach is a prime example of a city that has embraced branding to promote itself among local and international customers. In 2019, more cities are expected to portray themselves as brands and market themselves aggressively.

2. Changing Role of City Marketing

Previously, numerous things would measure the success of the city and municipality marketing. Among them include the number of events planned, brochures and newsletters printed, new websites launched, and growth in Facebook and YouTube fans. However, in the last few years, there has been a trend towards impact as opposed to output. The success of marketing efforts depends on tangible outcomes such as engagement on Facebook and the number of businesses established or moved to the city. The changing role of marketing in municipality marketing will continue in 2019 and beyond.

3. Marketing Partnerships

In 2019, cities and municipalities will engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to promote themselves. The last decade has seen cities team up with companies to market themselves and register immense success. This trend is gradually gaining momentum and projected to continue to 2019.  Recently, different cities have collaborated with prominent brands such as Toyota and Coca Cola in their marketing initiatives. For example, Miami Beach entered into a ten-year contract with Coca Cola valued at $7 million. Coca Cola would be the city’s beverage partner, and all city events would feature the drink. Partnerships have various benefits for city marketing like increased visibility and financial gains.

4. Digital Marketing

Forget the numerous brochures and TV ads that city marketers use generously. In 2019, there will be a trend towards digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing. The manner in which people communicate with each other has changed in the last decade. Thus, city marketing has to respond to this change. It has to adopt digital, individualized, and segmented marketing that is predominant today. 2019 will see more cities and municipalities embrace digital marketing and take conversations online. Cities will use social media extensively to reach out to the masses and promote engagement.

5. Emphasis on Citizen Participation

In 2019, there will be a trend towards greater involvement of citizens in the city and municipality marketing. Citizens will play a significant role in city marketing initiatives in 2019 and beyond. They will be brand ambassadors and have a say in the marketing of the city to the outside world.

Although marketing has its roots in business, it’s crawling to government entities like cities and municipalities. Cities and municipalities are using marketing initiatives to reach out to their customers— residents, visitors, property owners, investors, and other recipients of public services. Mindshape has the passion, expertise, and experience to create brand-marketing programs to sell your city locally and globally to earn it a competitive edge. Contact Mindshape for all your city and municipality marketing needs.