I am proud to start my new blog on Marketingmag.com.au. I do so from the antipodes to Marketing magazine in Melbourne, from a distance of 16,843,40 kilometres (or 10,466.03 miles). More concretely I write from Barcelona, the fourth best European city for business.

Not long ago, around here a ranking of the best European cities to establish a company appeared: the European Cities Monitor (ECM) conducted by TNS/BRMB for Cushman & Wakefield.

The ranking conveys the opinion of 500 senior executives from leading European companies. Since its creation twenty years ago, London, Paris and Frankfurt always topped the index. In the 2008 edition, Brussels was fourth. But this year Barcelona superseded the Belgian capital… and it should be careful of Madrid, which edges from seventh to sixth in 2009.

Moving up in the ECM follows the improvement in a number of elements such as easy access to markets, customers and clients, availability of qualified staff, quality of telecommunications, transport links with other cities and internationally… but it also has a lot to do with the communication efforts put in motion by each city.

City branding. Competition at a global stage to attract business is increasingly an issue between cities. Among the strategies used for such purposes, city marketing has an enormous influence. The results of the ECM show that the city doing the most to promote itself is Barcelona. Isn’t your perception one of sexy Barcelona, a Barcelona that gives you not only quality of life, but also leading design, taste for innovation and top management? Not surprising. The city walks the global stage with a well-profiled brand attached to well-defined values. Needless to say that the brand stands for an excellent product that I invite you all to visit.

Cities have begun applying the marketing strategy that marketers apply to any other product. They do so because, in the midst of international dynamics such as European integration and globalisation, getting a clear-cut and attractive profile is the only way to catch attention and awake the buyer’s, or rather the investor’s, confidence. The importance of this strategy has been proved as ever by the ECM 2009.

I’d like to begin a conversation with you on marketing, city marketing and many other things.

Speak soon.