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Marketing communications for seaports: a matter of survival and growth


Cahoon, SC, Marketing communications for seaports: a matter of survival and growth, Maritime policy and management, 34, (2) pp. 151-168. ISSN 0308-8839 (2007) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/03088830701240342


Perhaps the most critical issue facing seaports is their survival and growth in today's highly competitive environment. Seaports are facing challenging times as the once monopolistic position of having captive markets diminishes. This situation is being replaced by growing sections of the hinterland now being considered by competing seaports as being contestable. In effect, for many business opportunities, captive and contestable hinterland regions are blurring resulting in attracting and retaining trade throughput becoming a major key to seaport survival and growth. One strategic tool that seaport management can utilize to both attract new customers and retain current customers is the use of marketing communications. An examination of the literature on marketing communication efforts by seaports tends to focus mainly on advertising and activities more suited to promoting physical products. Instead, this paper argues the need for a much broader approach to marketing communications that takes into account the challenges of seaports that are service-based businesses. That is, there tends to be a greater need for marketing communication efforts to be able to tangibilise the intangible service offered by seaports to reduce perceptions of increased risk and uncertainty on using another seaport. The purpose of this paper is to examine the benefits to seaports of managing marketing communications strategically and holistically for effective outcomes. More specifically, this paper explains the role of public relations, publicity, personnel selling, sales promotions, word-of-mouth communications, electronic communications, and the management of the seaport's servicescape and the sources of physical evidence provided by seaports in developing a broader and services-based approach to marketing communications. This includes thinking wider than attracting and retaining customers as being the purpose of marketing communications but to also include informing and educating other stakeholders such as employees and the local community about the benefits provided by the seaport. Also discussed is the necessity of a consistent message being provided by all marketing communication activities to customers and stakeholders that results in the development of a desired image of the seaport and appropriate positioning of the seaport in relation to competitors. To facilitate discussion, results from a recent empirical study of the Australian seaport sector are used.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marketing communications, seaports, communiction strategies
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Transportation, logistics and supply chains
Research Field:Transportation, logistics and supply chains not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:Water safety
UTAS Author:Cahoon, SC (Professor Stephen Cahoon)
ID Code:52163
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:NC Ports and Shipping
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2013-03-15
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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