Placemaking trends in 2024 and beyond

4 minutes

On the 20th of June 2024, property marketing recruiter, Charlotte Titmuss, hosted our second...

On the 20th of June 2024, property marketing recruiter, Charlotte Titmuss, hosted our second event exploring The Future of Placemaking. This article reveals the key takeaways from the conversation with three leading Marketing Directors.

Attendees heard from:

Together they discussed the trends, challenges and future of placemaking, including:

  • Current challenges facing placemakers
  • The power of partnerships
  • The future of placemaking

Challenges in placemaking

The landscape of placemaking has changed significantly over recent years. We're still seeing the sector recovering from the pandemic and the economic impact of the cost-of-living crisis. Our panellists broke down some of the most prevalent challenges they're facing.

Change in consumer behaviour

One of the most pressing challenges is the change in how consumers are choosing to spend their time and money. Communities engage with spaces differently to how they did pre-pandemic. Your target audiences have evolved - has your marketing plan evolved with them?

Karen Baines highlighted the shift in customer behaviour, "The landscape has changed massively since the pandemic. People are much more fast-paced and there are higher expectations around what they want. People want more." 

With the likes of hybrid working becoming the norm, the dynamics of placemaking has evolved. Spaces must offer more than just functionality to encourage customers to experience your destination. Plus, with people being increasingly time and cash poor, they are more selective about where they go and what they do. As a result, placemakers must create compelling marketing campaigns that cater to these new expectations.

Increased competition

The change in consumer behaviour hasn't gone unnoticed. Each of our speakers agreed that the competition has changed dramatically in recent years. 

"Consumers and businesses have become choiceful," said Rose Wangen-Jones. This has made cutting through the noise even more difficult for placemakers. Destination marketing strategies must encompass more than your unique selling points.


Achelle Hill shared that the sheer amount of travel marketing material is often overwhelming for tourists. This can be damage the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Ironically, to stand out from the crowd, Achelle highlighted that you must "Collaborate to compete."

The power of partnerships

In placemaking, collaboration can take many forms. Businesses might work with local governments, neighbouring companies or even influencers. The right option for your marketing campaign largely depends on the outputs you're looking for. 

Partnerships are crucial to the success of placemaking initiatives. They can solve a number of challenges, from budget restrictions through to increased brand awareness. We should consider partnerships an integral part of placemaking planning processes, not just a "trend".

Here are just five benefits of partnerships in placemaking:

  1. Resource pooling: With restricted marketing budgets, partnerships are key. They allow marketers to combine resources, leading to more substantial and impactful placemaking projects.
  2. Enhanced appeal: Consumers aren't aware of who "owns" a region of London. Working collaboratively with your neighbours allows you to draw more visitors.
  3. Increase brand awareness: Working collaboratively with businesses or pursuing influencer marketing amplifies the reach and impact of placemaking initiatives. 
  4. Adaptability: Collaborations ensure that spaces can adapt to evolving consumer preferences and market conditions. Plus, it's an effective solution for tapping into new audiences.
  5. Increase visibility and credibility: Strategic partnerships with well-known brands can increase the visibility and credibility of a destination, attracting more interest and investment.

The future of placemaking

Looking ahead to the future of placemaking initiatives, our speakers shared some of the areas marketing teams should focus on.

Emotional connections

Each of our speakers agreed that the emotional connection is key to the success of placemaking. Rose highlighted that "Places are where things happen.", which presents two opportunities for placemakers:

  1. Create advertising campaigns that evoke the emotions of a place
  2. Encourage visitors to create memories within your destination

Placemaking should always make people feel something, so emotion should be at the centre of your campaigns. 


The integration of wellbeing into placemaking is becoming increasingly important for tourists and residents alike. Placemakers should consider how they can prioritise the design and promotion of spaces that boost physical and mental health. Our speakers shared that we shouldn't forget the balance of urban and green spaces that makes London and the UK so unique.

Cultural enrichment

Leveraging cultural assets can enrich placemaking efforts and significantly increase the attractiveness of a space. Incorporating local art, heritage, and cultural activities into the design and placemaking of a space not only enhances the experience, but also helps preserve and celebrate the local identity. Achelle highlighted, "There's so many different ways that you can take the community on the journey, but in the end, it is their place."

Data-driven decisions

Data and insights should continue to inform decisions around placemaking initiatives. Karen shared that "The moment you work a brand you are biased. You will see what you want to see, but it's the data and the insights that you need to be leaning on."

By leveraging data, placemakers can create environments that are aligned with the needs and expectations of their users. Data also allows you to clearly measure and track the success and/or failures of a campaign. 

Thank you to the placemaking community

Thank you to our speakers, Rose, Achelle and Karen, for sharing your insights with our property marketing network. If you'd like to join us at our next event, register your interest below!

Looking to grow your placemaking team?

If you're looking to future-proof your placemaking team, get in touch with 3Search! We're the leading digital and marketing recruitment agency in the property sector.

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