Political marketing and communication

We have moved from an age in which government leaders sought to do what was best for the people to one in which the political leadership is convinced it knows what is best for the people, whether they like it or not.

We are proud that our creative approach to communications has inspired many politicians in Europe to succeed and to get closer to their voters, be better understood, and get a big edge over their rivals.

It’s an easy idea. We have shown that if a politician uses the same language and codes, then everyone will understand their messages just like they understand ads for personal products.

As we’ve seen, marketing is a way of dealing with and managing the issues that come up between a customer and a product. It is closely connected to the operations of private businesses.

However, marketing is more than just selling goods and services, just like politics is more than just running to «take the chair”.

“Market orientation” is the new marketing philosophy. This means that the market, or buyers, should guide companies’ decisions so that their products fully meet the wants of the market.
This means that if a political party wants to use marketing theory, it needs to try to meet the needs and wants of voters to make them happy. This will help the party win elections and reach its goals.

So, a MOP (Market-Oriented Party) doesn’t want to change people’s minds; they want to follow them. He doesn’t spend a lot of time or money on ideological arguments or communication to persuade voters that his party is the best. Instead, he takes a “middle” stance that focuses on voters’ needs and wants and the best way (proposals) to meet those needs.

But political advertising doesn’t really shape how a party feels; people, or more specifically what they want, do that. If we look at modern democracies in the West, we can see that voters want more ways to be involved in the choices of their parties. In response, parties are changing how they are organised. In line with the “market-orientation” idea, this is also true.

A party that wants to structure itself according to the marketing theory is made up of 4 levels:
1. How to use market research
2. Changing how people act
3. Setting up the internal organisation

Choosing A Vision And Themes For The Campaign
Once the campaign’s axis is known (electoral campaign or fame campaign for candidates with little chance of winning), once the “state” of the campaign’s recipients has been analysed to show what worries them, and once the competition has been analysed to show where possible opponents stand, we need to set the goal.

There are two steps that can be seen:
First, it’s important to work on making, changing, or confirming the politician’s image even before knowing the exact goals of the campaign.

The second step is to decide on the election platform, especially the campaign themes that will fit with the politician’s image that was already set.

Making someone think of a leader positively is not simple; it takes time, thought, and a lot of work. The marketing strategy is to strongly emphasise something that makes the leader stand out, like his youth, his age or experience, his knowledge of economic issues, etc. We need to be sure that the factor being used is unique to the leader and that the people being talked to will see it as a good thing.

It’s important to remember that how people see a leader is a big deal. What makes the way people see the picture subjective is something that is hard to explain and hard to keep track of as it changes.
The next part of the communication plan is the politician’s platform, especially the points he will stress the most during the campaign. These are called “campaign themes.”

It is up to the politician and his advisors to choose the campaign topics. But from a technical point of view, there are two very helpful rules that political marketers follow when picking campaign themes:
1. Making things easier by reducing the number of campaign themes.
2. Making the whole campaign sound good by picking a tone.

No matter what the politician decides in the end about his stated goals, he will have to follow the same golden rule that guides the building of his image: keep the campaign themes as narrow as possible so that the people who hear them don’t get confused. In fact, complicated messages are hard for today’s mass media to handle. A message that is easy to understand has a better chance of getting across. The picture of the politician will also want to be as simple as possible for the same reason.