Political Marketing

Topics: Marketing, Political campaign, Elections Pages: 25 (7871 words) Published: June 21, 2013
An Advanced Theory of Political Marketing
What Is Missing?

It is hardly possible to understand modern political marketing without following its evolution. Analyzing the concept of political marketing from different perspectives will furnish a uniform picture, which will be the basis of the new, advanced theory of political marketing proposed here. A Model of Political Marketing Earlier theories of political marketing originated, to a large degree, from theories of marketing developed for the consumer goods market (Kotler 1975; Reid 1988; Shama 1975; Wring 1997). However, in the course of time, important differences have emerged between the practice and efficiency of marketing theories used for political and economic purposes. Political marketing, to a larger and larger extent, drew from disciplines such as sociology, political science, and psychology (Cwalina, Falkowski, and Newman 2008; LeesMarshment 2003; Scammell 1999). That led to defining political marketing as a separate branch of science, with its own subject matter and methodology of research (Lock and Harris 1996; Newman 1994). Process of Political Marketing According to Niffenegger Phillip B. Niffenegger (1988) proposed a concept of political marketing showing the use of the classic marketing mix tools for political campaigns. He stresses that political marketing includes efforts aimed at integration within the marketing mix, known as the four Ps—traditionally product, promotion, price, and place—to control the voters’ behaviors efficiently. Advertising is not set apart here as an independent research discipline; rather it is closely connected to the process of marketing research, in which the segmentation of the voting market plays an important role. The framework integrating ele30

Figure 2.1 The Political Marketing Process


Figure 2.1 The Political Marketing Process

MARKETING MIX • Campaign platform • Past records • Image






• Advertising • Debates • Campaign events • Economic costs • Psychological costs • National image effects • Meetings • Volunteer program




Source: Adapted from Niffenegger (1988).

ments of political marketing emphasizes the importance of market research, as shown in Figure 2.1. It is evident that the political marketing concept is based on Kotler’s approach to marketing research for nonprofit organizations. According to this approach, a political party participating in parliamentary elections or a candidate running for president must identify the needs, interests, and values of voters and present himself in such a way so as to best fit these requirements. Even if the candidate is able to identify the country’s key social, economic, or political problems, without systematic research he is not able to determine how various voter groups perceive these problems. It can be assumed that the problems hold different weight for particular groups. Therefore, the candidate should try to fit his voting strategy to different voter segments—that is, to find the best position for himself in each of them. Such a procedure requires marketing research, which is illustrated by the arrow in Figure 2.1, connecting the four Ps marketing program with voter segments. This link is mediated by marketing research whose results, given to the candidate, show him what marketing mix he should use to be most successful. In political marketing, being successful mainly means expanding one’s electorate. Niffenegger described his concept using the example of the election committee in U.S. presidential campaigns. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower’s staff



first conducted marketing research in the form of prevoting polls whose goal was to position the candidate. The purpose of the research was to define Eisenhower’s position relative to the position of his main rival, Adlai...
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