Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Durham's Image Remains Strong

As Durham's official marketing agency, DCVB is responsible for marketing Durham as a destination.  It's an enjoyable task, in large part because Durham is doing so well as a travel destination.  Despite a tough economy, Durham's visitation grew to 7 million people last year.

Click image to enlarge.
In marketing, image is crucial; and that image is typically based on both perception and reality.  Without personal experience or knowledge, consumers often rely on word of mouth to shape their opinions.  But marketers can't rely on word of mouth to measure their community's image.  That must be done through scientific public opinion polls, generalizable to the whole population.

Seventeen years ago it was documented that visitors to Durham were getting negative information from the people with whom they interacted.  Public opinion polls showed that at that time, most of the negativity came from residents of nearby communities who worked in Durham.   This information was critical to unwrapping Durham’s image problem because uniquely, 2 out of every 3 jobs held in Durham is filled by a commuter…someone who lives outside Durham and drives in to work each day.

Fast forward to 2012.  In a recently conducted survey of Wake and Orange County residents, Durham's image climbed to its highest level in the nearly 20 years since measurement commenced.

As this chart shows, more than 76% of Wake County residents and just under 90% of Orange County residents have a positive image of Durham.  Compared to the 12% and 17% positive ratings from 1993, this is quite a change.

Even more astounding is the way Durham's negative image has plummeted.  In 1993, 65% of Wake County residents had a negative image of Durham with 63% of Orange County residents feeling the same.

Results from the survey are continuing to be analyzed, so stay tuned for more information coming out in the coming weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment