The evolution of clusters in modern ports, and the interrelated wave of port devolution in the 1990s, led to a redefinition of the role of each actor involved, including that of port authorities (PAs). The latter have been transformed to hybrid organisations, mostly disassociated from operational activities and port services provision, yet maintaining a key role as the managing bodies advancing the prospects of the port they manage and these of the respective clusters. Marketing is among the functions working towards this end.
PortEconomics members Francesco Parola and Thanos Pallis along with Marcello Risitano & Marco Ferretti (University of Naples “Parthenope”), advance an innovative conceptualization of the marketing strategies developed by Port Authorities (PAs). The scholars frame a relevant case of hybrid organisation into a business marketing perspective: their latest port study takes advantage of the business marketing perspective and its applications in hybrid organisations to introduce a novel conceptualization of PA marketing.
In this being, their study builds a multi-dimensional framework on PA strategic positioning that combines (a) PA’s marketing objectives in various strategic business areas (SBAs), (b) the multi-faceted “geography” of the targeted salient stakeholders, and (c) the induced portfolio of marketing actions, whose ramifications unveil virtuous cross-fertilization effects (CFEs) fuelling the success of PA marketing strategies. Finally, this original model enables to identify five different patterns of market coverage across diverse strategic business areas (SBAs).