Luca Martinazzoli is Milano&Partners’ General Manager.
He leads the marketing efforts of the city of Milano with the objective raise city’s reputation as a destination for tourists, large events, talents, and foreign direct investments.
After spending 7 years at Nike as a brand marketer, he joined the City of Milano under Mayor Sala’s leadership, as the first ever CMO.
He contributed to design and to develop the first promotional agency of the city – Milano&Partners – bringing together the Municipality, the Chamber of Commerce and private partners.
City of Milan was, as so many other cities, hard hit by the pandemic. Attracting visitors to events and busy landmarks was a closed door. Enter the neighbourhoods of Milan, each one having its own unique character, identity and attractions.
This case focuses on the design and strategy behind the city brand of Milan – Yes Milano – and the transformation that took place after the pandemic, combining international marketing with a place-based destination development strategy.
It will start by presenting the city brand, how it has been developed, the marketing and communication strategies that have been carried out, its positioning and objectives for the future.
Luca Martinazzoli will also explore more in detail how the Covid pandemic impacted the city and tourism, – and, more specifically, how the brand strategy has been adapted to overcome the crisis situation.
During the pandemic, digital transformation has been at the forefront to keep the city attractive as a destination and a business center, to innovate the main offerings of the city and make them accessible to people.
Moreover, Covid deeply changed the events industry, which has always been a strong differentiator for Milan, requiring a deep review of the positioning of the city and of what it could offer to be attractive and unique.
An innovative strategy and approach have then been implemented to reimagine the city brand and its offerings, which didn’t consist of digitalisation of the events. Quite the opposite.
The focus of the city went back to the physical spaces: the neighborhoods.
Where Milan as a whole is the basis of the international city brand, its districts represent the products of the city. Each neighborhood then is treated as an independent product, with its own positioning, its points of strengths, its buildings, its attraction, its people.
Where events require specific and short-term strategies, the new focus on the physical space of the city allows a long term vision.
In this way, Milan managed to build its destination by developing the specific character of each city district.
The strategy also draws on the very topical ideas of the 15-minute city.
From this case, NPBC participants will learn how to reimagine a city brand during a crisis situation and how to put into practice a transformative strategy that manages to keep the city attractive, while making it sustainable and place-based, combining marketing and a more political vision.