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Marketing Research for Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Field

Author

Listed:
  • Mara Cerquetti

    () (Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Bertelli 1, 62100 Macerata, Italy)

  • Concetta Ferrara

    () (Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Bertelli 1, 62100 Macerata, Italy)

Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of marketing research to cultural heritage conservation and sustainability, based on the assumption that the comprehension of the meaning of cultural heritage by new and extended audiences is a prerequisite for the future survival of tangible and intangible heritage. After discussing steps and achievements in the scientific debate on museum marketing, current gaps and possible further developments are considered. Since the early 1980s, marketing research has investigated visitors’ profiles, motivations, and behaviors, and has progressively focused on improving the experience of cultural heritage, especially through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in museums and heritage sites. A literature review suggests that scant attention has been paid to qualitative research that is aimed at investigating the knowledge and skills of visitors and non-visitors and their understanding of the value of cultural heritage. Moving from these results, and taking into account recent data about the attitudes and opinions of people in Europe on cultural heritage, the field research focuses on the perception and communication of local cultural heritage among young generations. The results of six focus groups conducted in 2016 with undergraduate and postgraduate students (University of Macerata, Italy) are analyzed. The research findings reveal a number of difficulties and limitations with regard to communicating and understanding the value of heritage. In order to better investigate these gaps, the outcomes of this preliminary study could be tested and put to cross-analysis using different methods. However, they do provide useful evidence for understanding the link between audience development and cultural heritage sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Mara Cerquetti & Concetta Ferrara, 2018. "Marketing Research for Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Field," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:774-:d:135837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tanja Komarac, 2014. "A New World for Museum Marketing? Facing the Old Dilemmas while Challenging New Market Opportunities," Tržište/Market, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, vol. 26(2), pages 199-214.
    2. Glenn C. Sutter & Tobias Sperlich & Douglas Worts & René Rivard & Lynne Teather, 2016. "Fostering Cultures of Sustainability through Community-Engaged Museums: The History and Re-Emergence of Ecomuseums in Canada and the USA," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-9, December.
    3. Kyu-Chul Lee & Yong-Hoon Son, 2017. "Exploring Landscape Perceptions of Bukhansan National Park According to the Degree of Visitors’ Experience," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-27, July.
    4. Laura Di Pietro & Roberta Guglielmetti Mugion & Maria Francesca Renzi & Martina Toni, 2014. "An Audience-Centric Approach for Museums Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(9), pages 1-18, August.
    5. Zhen-Hui Liu & Yung-Jaan Lee, 2015. "A Method for Development of Ecomuseums in Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-21, September.
    6. Sheng, Chieh-Wen & Chen, Ming-Chia, 2012. "A study of experience expectations of museum visitors," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 53-60.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hwasung Song & Hyun Kim, 2018. "Value-Based Profiles of Visitors to a World Heritage Site: The Case of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (in South Korea)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(1), pages 1-19, December.
    2. Zhenzhen Qin & Yao Song & Yao Tian, 2019. "The Impact of Product Design with Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) on Consumer Behavior Through Cultural Perceptions: Evidence from the Young Chinese Generation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-17, January.
    3. Giovanni Peira & Riccardo Beltramo & Maria Beatrice Pairotti & Alessandro Bonadonna, 2018. "Foodservice in a UNESCO Site: The Restaurateurs’ Perception on Communication and Promotion Tools," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-17, August.
    4. Izabela Luiza Pop & Anca Borza & Anuța Buiga & Diana Ighian & Rita Toader, 2019. "Achieving Cultural Sustainability in Museums: A Step Toward Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-22, February.
    5. Zoë Turner & James Kennell, 2018. "The Role of Sustainable Events in the Management of Historic Buildings," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-12, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    museum marketing; audience development; sustainability; focus group; cultural heritage; museums;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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