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Political Marketing - Essay Example

>However, in the course of time, important differences have emerged teen 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 (Clinical, Fallows, and Newman 2008; Electromagnets 2003; Camels 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 Enlarger Phillip B.

Enlarger (1988) proposed a concept f 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 As-?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 allele AN ADVANCED THEORY OF POLITICAL MARKETING

Figure 2. 1 The Political Marketing Process 31 MARKETING MIX ; Campaign platform ; Past records ; Image VOTER SEGMENTS CANDIDATE/PARTY Product ENVIRONMENT ; Advertising ; Debates ; Campaign events ; Economic costs ; Psychological costs ; National image effects ; Meetings ; Volunteer program Price Place MARKETING RESEARCH Source: Adapted from Infringer (1988). Meets 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 Jostler’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 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 efferent 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 As 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. Infringer described his concept using the example of the election committee in U. S. Residential campaigns. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower staff 32 CHAPTER 2 first conducted marketing research in the form of preventing polls whose goal was to position the candidate. The purpose of the research was to define Eisenhower position relative to the position of his main rival, Dalai Stevenson. The research procedure was quite simple. First, the voters were presented with thirty-second political spots. Then, an interview was conducted to determine which problem presentation made the greatest impression on the voters. The interviewers could then predict the voters’ behavior by controlling the problems presented in the spot.

Preventing marketing polls very quickly began to be commonly used to position presidential campaign of 1968. They first tried to determine the voters’ ideas of the ideal U. S. President, and then the next step was to position, in such a context, the images of Nixon and his main opponents, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace. Defining the differences between the image of an ideal president and his own, Nixon was able to determine which characteristics should be improved and presented in TV spots in such a way as to approach as closely as possible the voters’ expectations.

Onion’s main goal was to reach undecided, floating (or swing) voters. The assumption was that those voters were most open to the persuasion message of the campaign; therefore, the whole effort was focused on convincing them, even at the expense of brand-loyal voters, to whom less attention was paid (see Chapter 3). Ronald Reagan used a slightly different approach in poll marketing research in 1984. Using preventing polls, his political consultants tried to define the characteristics of the image of an ideal candidate, major social and economic problems of the country, and ways residential candidates might solve them.

Entering the data into their Political Information System (PINS), which was set up for the purpose of the campaign, the consultants could track the dynamics of the changes of voters’ attitudes toward particular candidates. In his model, Infringer distinguishes four fundamental marketing stimuli by using the same names that the classical commercial marketing mix uses: product, promotion, price, and place. According to Infringer, the product offered by the candidate is a complex blend of the many benefits voters believe will exult if the candidate is elected. The major voting promises are spelled out in the candidate’s party platform.

Then they are publicized through political advertising, press releases, and the candidate’s public appearances. Whether the offer is recognized as reliable and acceptable to their expectations mainly depends on voters’ knowledge about the candidate and his achievements, his personal profile formed by his staff, and the evaluation of the state’s economic condition connected with the previous ruling team. For instance, in his presidential campaign in 1984, Ronald Reagan very cleverly used the arguments of his Democratic opponent, Walter Mondale, for increasing taxes.

Reagan showed what the consequences of such a policy might be by referring to the economic crisis during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. This tactic led to a decrease in the support for Mondale. Whereas creating the product in political marketing is the purpose of the candidate and his staff, the “packaging” part is almost solely the task of political consultants. An example showing how various packaging is created for various situations is the changing of strategy by Reggae’s consultants during his presidential campaign in 1980.

They were quick to spot that in his speeches, the Republican candidate was perceived as a political warmonger and as dangerous and uncaring. Instead of using the phrase the “defensive position,” the candidate began to talk about the “peace position. ” The “armaments race” was replaced by the phrase closer to the image of an ideal president. He was perceived as a politician who would strengthen peace. The price of the product offered by the candidate refers to the total costs that voters would bear if the candidate were elected.

It includes economic costs, such as tax increases or budget cuts. Other costs listed by Infringer include national image effects: whether the voters will perceive the new leader as a strong one, someone who will increase people’s national pride, or someone who will be a disgrace to his compatriots on the international stage. There are also psychological costs: will voters feel comfortable with the candidate’s religious and ethnic background? The general marketing strategy for the price consists in minimizing the candidate’s own costs and maximizing the opposition’s.

In his presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy recognized a potential cost in being the first Catholic president, a respect that made some non-Catholics feel uneasy. But he was able to successfully minimize this cost with TV spots in which he was shown meeting Protestant audiences. During the presidential campaign in Poland in 1995, Alexander Swankiest similarly stressed that he would be the president of all Poles-? irrespective of their religion and views. The concept of the candidate’s price is thus similar to the price of a product in mainstream marketing.

Selecting a candidate on the political market or buying a product or service on the economic market, one must incur some costs. The major difference is the fact that on the political market, these costs are to a large extent intangible or psychological, whereas in the economic market they are tangible and represented by the money or products for which the money is exchanged. Place (distribution) is the marketing stimulus that refers to the candidate’s ability to get his message across to voters in a personal way.

The marketing strategy for the distribution of the campaign’s message combines the personal appearance program with the work of volunteers who are used as a personalized extension of the candidate into local markets. This includes the work of activists (“door to door”) who by canvassing, distributing the candidate’s badges, registering voters, and soliciting funds familiarize the voters with the candidate’s program and his image during direct contact with the electorate. The places and forms of a candidate’s meeting with voters can vary-?from rallies in city centers to club meetings and meetings at workplaces.

Since the goal of the politician on the campaign trail is to meet as many voters as possible, he tries to be in as many places as possible in the shortest possible time. Gary Hart, a candidate for the Democratic residential nomination in 1984, used a plane to move quickly from one town to another. His press conferences were staged in every airport he flew into, and listening to the evening news gave voters the feeling that Hart was in many towns at the same time. More recently, satellite technology makes it easy for candidates to stage interviews with Journalists who are in a remote place.

Promotion consists, to a candidate, his program, and the campaign. Infringer distinguishes four fundamental promotion strategies: 1 . Concentration strategy-?concentrating a disproportionate amount of money and promotion efforts on particular voter segments (for instance on regions or provinces); 2. Timing strategy-?spending the heaviest promotion money and the highest promotion activity where it does the candidate the most good, thus forcing the opposition to increase their activity and thus deplete their resources; 3. Treated of misdirection-?avoiding a frontal assault against a stronger opponent and trying to catch the opponent off balance to make her commit a mistake (this may be a particularly successful strategy for underdogs); and 4. Strategy of negative campaign-?staging a direct or indirect comparative assault against the position of the opponent and/or her personal characteristics. Recognizing the reasons for his poor showings in political debates in 1980, during the next election Ronald Reagan decided to change the strategy he had been using and focus in his political spots on evoking positive emotions in his voters.

His spots featured sunrises, colorful parades, landscapes, and friendly faces. They contrasted with Walter Mandate’s spots, which gave rise to negative emotions by presenting the visions of atomic holocaust, starve- 35 Zion, and poverty. A detailed analysis of advertising strategies used in political managing will be presented in Chapter 6. Specific marketing programs based on the four As are prepared separately for different voting market segments.

A particularly important role in this division is played by the segment of undecided voters, irrespective of the demographic and cryptographic criteria of segmentation. It is these voters at whom the marketing mix should be directed. Richard Onion’s staff, for instance, used marketing research to look for ways of reaching undecided voters. This segment is considered most susceptible to marketing influence; hence it is this segment at which the greatest efforts of a political campaign should be directed. Less attention can be given to decided and loyal voters whose preferences are hard to change.

Onion’s approach to the strategy of voting market segmentation was congruent with the position of Jay Blubber and Denis McLain (1968), who stated that the image of political reality could be formed only among undecided voters, whereas voters with a clearly defined political stance are very resistant to marketing efforts. In the presidential campaign in 1980, when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan competed against each other, the segment of undecided voters (amounting to nearly 20 percent of the electorate) decided the results of the election.

Maintaining a strong position among current supporters is also important. During the 1984 presidential campaign, the PINS showed that Reagan needed to improve his image among blue-collar workers, Catholics, and Latino. The support of these groups for the current leaders was decreasing, which turned this segment into undecided voters. These undecided voters were an easy segment for the challenger to take over. A detailed marketing presented in Chapter 3.

The implications of the political marketing model proposed by Infringer suggest that a candidate’s staff should create and update advanced marketing information systems, including collecting and analyzing data from political market research, segmentation, and channels of distributing the promotion message to target groups. In addition, it is important to introduce regional variants to the general strategy of the campaign and use misrepresentation, as well as take into account the specificity of local voting markets. Candidates should also consider focusing the marketing effort on some “showroom” target areas.

A spectacular success in a given area may have a positive influence on the campaign in other areas. Infringer suggests that negative advertising be used only as a last resort because it might produce a backlash. Political campaign workers should also use the specific qualities and limitations of television to gain competitive advantage (e. G. , organize rallies or meetings that can make headlines). Despite the fact that it attempts to show the efficiency of using marketing strategies for political campaigns, Infighter’s concept of political marketing is in fact a copy of the concepts used in commercial marketing.

It seems, then, that it does not distinguish to a sufficient extent between consumer and political choices. Marketing the Political Product According to Reid David Reed’s concept (1988) is also an attempt to apply some concepts from mainstream marketing to political marketing. It focuses on this element of the voting process that refers to voting understood as a buying process. Reid stresses that by looking at the problem from a consumer perspective, a broader marketing approach could make a useful contribution toward a better theoretical knowledge of the “voting decision process. The core of the buying recess involves the following stages: 1. Problem recognition. This stage refers to motivation, which triggers the recognition that there is a problem to be considered. In its essence, the process boils down to asking the voter the following question: “Whom will I vote for? ” Recognition of the problem is determined by the voter’s needs, which, to a different extent, refer to the candidate’s voting problems. For instance, if the voter has problems finding employment, he will be sensitive to a program in which the politician stresses lower unemployment as one of her major goals. 2. Search.

At this level, the voter seeks various sources of information (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines), which highlight the recognition of a problem. Naturally, each source may have a different influence on the voter’s opinions. 3. Alternative evaluation. The voter must weigh the accumulated information against a set of evaluative criteria. These criteria are linked with the voter’s motivation, which refers to the first stage of the decision-making process: problem recognition. If the voters’ evaluative criteria match their motivation very well, then it is very difficult to cause any change in their voting behavior.

For instance, a businessman will be interested in lower taxes because the current level inhibits the development of his company. The of the decision-making process is also related to the segmentation of the voting market. Candidates and political parties have to identify various evaluative criteria among the voters and use marketing strategies that will reach segments of voters with similar Figure 2. 2 Buyer Decision Processes 37 Problem recognition Information search Evaluation of alternatives Purchase decision Post-purchase behavior Steps between evaluation of alternatives and a purchase decision

Attitudes of others Evaluation of alternatives Purchase decision Unexpected situational factors preferences. This stage is connected with the candidate’s creating a political platform that will promote issues important for these voters and might attract voters from other politicians’ electorates. 4. Choice. Choice is a particularly important element of the decommissioning process. Seemingly, it should be logically connected to alternative evaluation. However, the voter may change it in the very last moment due to last- minute influences such as an article read, a news broadcast viewed, or a debate with friend.

Such unexpected situational factors are particularly related to last-minute voters, belonging to the segment of undecided, floating voters (see Chapter 3). 5. Outcomes. This element corresponds exactly to postprocessor behavior in consumer behavior. A politician needs to maximize the satisfaction of voters, including those who did not vote for her. Ongoing public relations activities and political patronage of influential groups can achieve this goal. The multistage approach to the voter’s decision-making process proposed by Reid is the direct transfer of the classical nonuser decision-making process introduced by Kettle and Armstrong (1990).

It is presented by Figure 2. 2. Reed’s approach to political marketing corresponds very well to the marketing concept, which is the last stage of the evolution process in which presidential candidates have gone from campaign organizations run by party bosses a pretty accurate reflection of the concepts developed in mainstream marketing and used for political behavior. However, this approach excludes a number of specific characteristics both of the political market and of different strategies of running lattice campaigns.

Kettle and Jostler’s Model of a Candidate’s Marketing Map Philip Kettle and Neil Kettle (1999) present a six-stage process of marketing activities related to political campaigns. The analysis of these activities creates a candidate marketing map, presented in Figure 2. 3. A professionally planned political campaign consists of (1) environmental research, (2) internal and external assessment, (3) strategic marketing, (4) setting the goals and strategy of the campaign, (5) planning communication, distribution, and organization, and (6) defining key markets for the campaign.

Environmental Research Environmental research, the first step in preparing a candidate marketing map, consists of a thorough analysis of the social environment in which the political campaign is to be conducted. This research focuses on the opportunities the campaign may explore and threats it may encounter. The environment also includes the current economic condition of the candidate’s constituency as well as the economic situation in the whole country, the electorate’s feelings, and those social, economic, and political issues that provoke most emotions and disputes among the electorate.

The environment also includes what political analysts and consultants call the electorate’s psychological profile. It includes such elements as the voters’ activity and involvement (what percentage of the voters participates in the elections), their ideological orientation (e. G. , left, center, or right), and their attitude toward the incumbent and the challenger. This stage also includes checking the degree to which a particular party organization dominates in a particular voting district.

Social environment is also defined by such demographic variables of the electorate as age, income, and education, as well as cryptographic rabbles including lifestyles, values, and attitudes toward many current issues that result from them. These variables become the basis of demographic and cryptographic segmentation, which is one of many marketing strategies employed for the purpose of political campaigns. At this stage of developing a marketing map, the candidate should invest most resources in research.

Internal and External Assessment In any marketing effort, including political marketing, the seller needs to assess her own strengths (internal assessment) as well as the strengths of her rival candidates (external assessment). Internal assessment is about assessing the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and weak- 39 Environmental Research Internal and External Assessment Analysis Strategic Marketing Goal Setting and Campaign Strategy Communication, Distribution, and Organization Plan Key Markets and Outcomes Source: Adapted from Kettle and Kettle (1999). Sexes of her campaign. Such an assessment is strictly related to the context in which the candidate functions in relation to her competition. She may be the incumbent, trying to get reelected, or may be the challenger, running for the first or another time. Like internal assessment, external assessment looks at the competition’s strengths and weaknesses. Both internal and external assessment can help to position the candidate. Strategic Marketing The primary goal of marketing is to describe the society not as homogeneous but as consisting of a number of voter segments.

At this stage of a candidate marketing map, the organizers of the campaign focus on analyzing the electorate in various districts. Some characteristics of the voters remain stable for a long time; however, other characteristics change from campaign to campaign. For instance, an attractive and active candidate planning new reforms may develop a new segment of voters and reconfigure the value they ascribe to the issues she aims to promote in her voting program. Organizers of political campaigns first define all the segments of the voters in a particular district, highlighting those who are intending to vote and those who are not.

Then the organizers try to divide the potential voters into particular segments for which they prepare a particular marketing strategy. For instance, the incumbent may seek to work with older, affluent, and conservative voters who supported her in the previous elections. A new candidate who is thinking about conducting fundamental reforms may develop a coalition with young and liberal voters who are open to changes, which requires strong identification with the issues included in his voting program as well as developing a new personality and identity on the political scene.

The third stage of developing a candidate marketing map is a segmentation of the voting market (see Chapter 3) and defining the Strategy This stage of preparing a candidate marketing map is based on earlier research results influencing the way in which the candidate’s image is going to be instructed and the way socioeconomic issues are going to be presented.

This, in turn, influences the ways of transmitting voting information in order to efficiently promote the politician. At the same time, a monitoring program is prepared, allowing the introduction of any corrective measures if the campaign does not go according to plan and the candidate encounters some negative influences. Communication, Distribution, and Organization Plan At this stage particular marketing tools are developed.

Kettle and Kettle suggest that the strategies of the standard marketing ix be followed here, which, in relation to competing in the political market, they define as the campaign mix. Here, the candidate’s actions are quite similar to mainstream marketing. She defines her best organizational resource mix, including a detailed task division for members of her staff (collecting funds, contacts with interest groups, engaging volunteers) to create a so-called retail campaign. 1 A Candidate’s Key Markets-?voters, Donors, and Media The final stage of preparing a candidate marketing map is developing ways of reaching the fundamental market segments (see Figure 1. 3. ) and ways of building a media image. In the simplest form, the importance of the media in the voting campaign is defined by the amount of candidate coverage in mass media (including TV, newspapers, and magazines), the support the candidate gains, and the amount of money spent on advertising.

At this level the candidate uses the results of earlier conducted market research and usually knows how a message should be constructed, where it should be placed, and how often it should be repeated to mobile voters. She also knows what number of voters needs to be embroiled in different voting districts in order to be successful. It should e stressed that the candidate marketing map proposed by Kettle and Kettle is compatible with the process of planning and organizing political campaigns described by Gary Amuser (1983).

According to him, this process includes three stages: (1) the preparation process during which the candidate assesses his and his competition’s strengths, (2) the process of developing a strategy of influencing voters, and (3) the process of implementing the strategy. Lees-Martinet’s Theory of Comprehensive Political Marketing The comprehensive political marketing (CPM) described by Jennifer Electromagnets (2001 a, 2001 b, 2003; see also Women and Lees- Marshiest 2005) is also consistent with the development of the concept of product in economic marketing.