We strongly adhere to the Ghandi and Mandela quote that says: “Whatever is done for me, without me, is done against me”
Territorial management today imposes a new perspective on the influence and involvement of citizens. Researchers, practitioners and experts grasp the relevance, even the requirement, of analyzing and gauging the place that citizens should occupy in the process of territorial attractiveness.
The importance of citizen participation in the establishment and development of an appropriate, sustainable and efficient territorial marketing approach is no longer in dispute, action-oriented scientific research in territorial marketing affirms that the most relevant territorial brands are those that involved the citizen throughout the process of territorial attractiveness and hospitality from the diagnostic phase to the design of the offer. Prioritizing dialogue with stakeholders and especially with citizens during the design, deployment and operationalization of the territorial marketing approach is therefore the sine qua non condition for the success of the attractiveness approach “The territorial marketing approach , and therefore the attractiveness project, should first be communicated to the inhabitants, or even co-produced and made by and for the residents, otherwise they will most likely be against it…”, explains Alaoui Yasmine. The involvement of all the living forces of the territory at their head, the citizen, is justified by the fact that the latter could play at least four roles in relation to his territory: “He is first of all a direct target, in addition to being an argument promoting the territory, as well as a partner in the construction of the process of attractiveness, and ultimately an ambassador and a passionate lawyer who can easily influence the decision of the other targets of territorial marketing, namely the tourist and the investor “, she adds.
Finally, it should be noted that this reflection would only be relevant if the territories undertake an endogenous mode of governance in the sense that they will involve the inhabitants, deepen the relationship with them, encourage them to contribute to the development of their own hospitality. and involve them in the territorial marketing approach, alternating between the bottom-up approach and the top-down approach of territorial attractiveness.
This state of mind would allow the territories to keep on site the resources already acquired by the territory (territorial hospitality) and then to develop its capacity to radiate and attract the desired targets on the spot (attractiveness).
Our wish as researchers and practitioners specializing in territorial marketing would be to trigger a public debate and find the way in which we could involve the citizen by questioning the way in which he would aspire to be solicited and engaged. We therefore propose the establishment of a think thank which will bring together researchers, professionals (marketers, territorial managers, lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, etc.) whose objective would be to analyze, imagine and develop new devices adapted to African territories to involve the citizen throughout the territorial marketing process from the diagnosis to the design of the territorial offer. In the same vein, and within the framework of her collaboration as a scientific expert with Casablanca Events and Animation, the choice of the theme of the annual Africa Place Marketing (APM) meeting planned this year for 29 and 30 November is part of this reflection; “Citizen participation for sustainable and inclusive territorial marketing”.
The objective of this exchange platform would be to develop a reflexivity to build and develop what would eventually be a territorial marketing approach applied to African territories whose Holy Grail is citizen participation. Various African and international experts will discuss studies, recent scientific research and practices in certain territories that are ahead of the curve on these subjects…
PhD in economics and management
Consultant in marketing and territorial attractiveness