Political Marketing

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Political Marketing
BUS: 207 Marketing Principles
April 3, 2012

Introduction
Like it or not, US Presidential election time is nearing. Candidates hoping to move into the White House (or remain there) are busy creating and selling their image. Just like sneakers, beer, or dish-washing liquid, the candidates themselves are the products for sale and each one has a team of handlers, public relations experts, and marketers carefully creating their image to sell to the voters. Being able to read between the lines as the candidates’ debate each other or try to win us over can be entertaining as well as enlightening. Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, Implementation and Evaluation A consumer market is not a mass of potential customers all with the same values, desires, aspirations and ability to be a customer for any given organization, and similarly the electoral market place is not a mass of potential voters all with the same values, desires, aspirations and ability to be a voter for any given political party (Bannon, 2004). However, similarly to customers, voters’ attitudes can be grouped into sub-groups or segments of the whole market or electorate (Lees-Marshment, 2001). Political marketing segmentation can thus be viewed as the sub-dividing of the electoral market into groups with similar attributes (Bannon, 2004). A market segment will be valid if a political party decides it is capable of delivering the specific requirements that match the success criteria for marketing to that segment and that the segment is sufficiently large enough to be attractive (Lees-Marshment, 2001). The major stages of the process are:

* Marketing Segmentation – identify bases for segmenting the market; develop profiles of resulting segments * Market Targeting – develop measures of segment attractiveness; select the market segments * Market Positioning – develop positioning for each target segment; develop marketing plans for each segment * Implementation –...
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