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Working paper

Segmentation of Inhabitants in Place Marketing: The Case of Karelian Towns

Inhabitants become the important target group of place marketing along with other place consumers. The problem of defining criteria for the attractiveness of places for different inhabitants and classification of factors is one of the most important for the marketing policies aimed at development of local communities. The paper shows that the combination of three criteria of place attractiveness (retention and attraction, conditions for external growth and settling) may be considered as the main characteristic of a place market segment that determines its distinctive attributes. Based on these criteria, the heuristic monothetic 3-dimensional typology of market segments and the hypothetic classification of distinctive characteristics of the Russian place market segments were developed. Combination of three demographic indicators (emigration, birth rate, difference of general birth rates and emigration of natives - in accordance with the criteria of place attractiveness) were selected to estimate the place consumers’ behavior in the segments. The results of the empirical study (survey of inhabitants of five Karelian towns) allows us to conclude that both tangible and “intangible” attributes of places can have an impact on the behavior of inhabitants as place consumers. This paper also shows that both those, and others, in turn, depend on market segments, which towns occupy. Study results are important for marketing analysis and marketing policy of Russian towns.