To what extent Japanese mayors are marketing-oriented

Date of publication: June 15, 1995

Author: Kazuo Kobayashi


Japanese municipalities still lack a full understanding of marketing: to them marketing means developing and promoting regional specialties or going into business with private sector capital and for-profit corporations. In these circumstances, the Japan Marketing Association conducted a mail survey of a total of 733 persons - the governors of all 47 prefectures of Japan, mayors of cities and the headmen of Tokyo’s 23 wards - to determine headmen's marketing orientation. Findings based on the 478 valid questionnaires returned (65% response rate) are summarized below. 1) Municipality heads overwhelmingly agreed with statements not opposed to the ideal state of municipalities, that is, the importance of communication with citizens and of reflecting citizens views in policies adopted. 2) However, regarding matters difficult to put into effect or those far removed from traditional bureaucratic thinking, respondents "can't say either way" answers surpassed the number of answers in agreement with the statements, indicating a negative attitude toward, in other words, performance evaluation measured by objective standards, the use of outside specialists or organizations, orientation toward an open administration, and the introduction of the principle of competition. 3) Results of factor analysis showed that the most important factors, in terms of forming headmen's orientation to marketing, were a) planning based on analysis: the approach of planning policies through environment or SWOT analysis; and b) communication with citizens: the approach of improving communication with citizens and reflecting their views in policies. In addition to the six factors extracted, a total of eight factors were used to create indicators of the marketing orientation of each municipality’s headman. These were shown on radar CHARTS and fed back to the municipalities which answered the questionnaire.

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