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Careers About
Services Projects 27 Insights 38 Podcasts 17 Careers About
Place Marketing Network Development in South East England
Strategy & Consulting
South East Local Enterprise Partnership / Visit Kent
Place marketing
place branding
stakeholder consultations
action planning
gap analysis
New transport infrastructure and housing, shifts in working patterns, competition for skilled workers and a greater interest in local identity and community solidarity are among the drivers that are pushing government and business in the South East of England to move beyond tourism destination marketing and adopt place-based approaches to attracting businesses, investors, new residents, students and visitors. The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has called on TOPOSOPHY to guide places across the region as they start out on this journey.
The Challenge

TOPOSOPHY has been working with three DMOs in the SELEP region (Visit Essex, Visit Kent, and Sussex Modern) to map organisations outside the tourism sector that promote their respective regions nationally and internationally. By carrying out in-depth workshops and evaluating place-based campaigns, we’re establishing priorities and resources that will help set up a new, integrated approach to place-based marketing in each area.

Objective 01

Map businesses and organisations outside the tourism sector with a strong interest in place marketing (e.g. universities, housing developers, transport operators, food producers and economic development agencies), and understand their priorities.

Objective 02

Identify place marketing needs (in terms of messages, assets, collateral), and connect organisations that can support each other to market their places more effectively.

Objective 03

Give recommendations on how place marketing can be performed in a more integrated way between DMOs, local authorities, county councils and other public bodies.

Objective 04

Evaluate the performance of place-based marketing campaigns during 2022 to identify ‘non-tourism’ messages that resonate well with audiences outside the region.

Objective 05

Guide each region on setting up coalitions of organisations looking to collaborate on place marketing in the future.


The counties of Essex, Kent and East Sussex have been working together for some time to support entrepreneurship, encourage investment and boost economic competitiveness across the South East of England. More recently, during the pandemic efforts have centred around supporting businesses through difficult times.

With new infrastructure such as Crossrail and Thamesport coming online, the effect of the pandemic on keeping millions of ex-commuters working from home, and ‘staycations’ encouraging people to think differently about their local area, it was clearly high time to think about broader, more integrated ways of telling the region’s stories. With this in mind, in late 2021, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership asked TOPOSOPHY to start the journey of developing integrated place marketing networks.

Through a series of online workshops, we asked organisations as diverse as housing developers, healthcare trusts, vineyards, universities and train operators to explain their place marketing priorities, and identify how they could be helped to market their respective region more effectively. The findings from these workshops have guided the design of place marketing campaigns, which will be evaluated with the aim of setting up a long-term place marketing approach in Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

Key element 01

Mapping of all local stakeholders with a strategic and operational interest in place marketing

Key element 02

10 place marketing workshops across Essex, Kent and East Sussex to identify future place marketing goals and needs

Key element 03

Evaluation of place marketing campaigns to assess relevance and resonance with local stakeholders

Key element 04

Survey and interviews among strategic partners to assess common place marketing goals

Key element 05

Project report with recommendations on place marketing goals and delivery structures


The project is currently underway, with results to be shared as soon as the project has been completed.

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