Political marketing refers to marketing of candidates, parties who are competing in elections; so as to not only create awareness amongst public about their parties but also to shape their perceptions ,persuade them and ultimately build up their vote banks ; as this is the main aim of all political warfare. This is not classic marketing following 4P’S rather it emphasizes on its 4C’s – CAUSE, CONSTITUENCY, COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING AND CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
4C’S of political marketing..
• CAUSE : Cause is the focal point as everything starts from this very ‘C’ .What does the party stand for ? Why does the party exist ? What competencies does P.M. candidate possess? There are many causes on offer : SECULAR,DEVELOPMENT,SAFETY,JOBS,PRICES,PRIDE,HONESTY AND GOVERNANACE .The election have multiple voter segments and the party chooses on which they want to focus upon the most so as to get majority votes : Let us first look at various segments :-
1. YOUNGISTAAAN : First time voter bank is young , idealistic and seeks a motivating argument to come and vote. The best argument to this group is Economic- promise of jobs and a brighter future ; as this is what will persuade them the most .
2. URBANITES: Urban voter’s who are impacted the most by inflation ,safety of jobs, CAUSE is good .CLEAN GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABLE POLICIES also are some major factors they look forward from prospective candidates.
3. RURAL CHUNK :For rural people which comprises of majority of India’s population ; best cause which revolves around them is GARIBI HATAO ,for them SOCIAL ABILITY OF GOVT. to support them via subsidized food , etc. is the major key product
Just like product/service marketing the political marketing too uses the labeled consumer promotions as mentioned above
• CONSTITUENCY: It refers to local markets of politics i.e. like for the product there is local market similarly for politics it is constituency. Party should manage candidates in a way that they are able to cover at least fifth of the constituencies .THINK NATIONAL , BUT CHOOSE LOCAL ; is the best strategy as to hoist their flag at national level they need to conquer ( LOCAL) constituencies first .
• COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING : It is the cornerstone of political marketing ,whereby the opponent is to be portrayed as negative without making obvious that they are attacking them and this they do so by FUD: FEAR, UNCERTAINITY AND DOUBT . Comparative advertising is like BRAHAMAASTRA as voters are able to get information about the opponent ( negative image) which enables them to make a better decision .
• CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS : It referred to celeb quotient and glamour initially but with the advent of time and technology ,we see celeb commentators, like editors, TV anchors, former diplomats and govt. officials all offering their endorsements for benefit of the voters. Such endorsements are likely to multiply in these elections .
KEEPING 4C’S IN MIND U.P.A MARKETED ITSELF WITH BRAND BHARAT , BUT THE QUESTION IS WHEATHER BHARAT NIRMAN ADVERTISEMENT WILL TURNAROUND UPA’S IMAGE ?????
10 Year’s rule of U.P.A. is coming under dawn of heavy criticisms from all fronts . Adding to ,all corruption scandals, scoops ,etc. price rise, slow growth , policy paralyses, economic and political instability and weakening of rupees of all are like cherry on their misery cake. To negate the negativity armoring UPA they resorted to spend a humongous amount of rupee 500 crore on advertisement. (I FEEL, EVEN IF HALF OF SUCH AMOUNT WOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON PUBLIC WELFARE ,THEY WOULD NOT HAVE FELT THE URGE OF SPENDING SUCH HUGE SUM ON PROMOTING WHAT WORK THEY HAVE DONE ,AS IT WOULD BE EASILY BONA FIDE BY THEIR ACTIONS )
As a prelude to entire plan of advertisement activities, they have kick started it with campaign titled BHARAT NIRMAN showcasing all developmental works carried out by them hoping to begin with transition ( I WONDER HOW A SMALL AD. WOULD LEAD TO TRANSITION WHEN 10 YEARS LONG PERIOD WAS NOT SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO MAKE A MARK.)
It reminds me of INDIA SHINING campaign floated by NDA govt. which also failed to create any magic when they had a bad reputation at stake.
India shining was marketing campaign referring to overall feeling of economic optimism in India in 2004.
It was popularized by then ruling BJP party for 2004 elections. Govt. spent $ 20 million USD of govt. funds on TV ad’s and other promotion schemes ; but it was all in vain.
Sneaking in past (2004) and present (2014) million $ question is with all given constraints and prior knowledge will BHARAT NIRMAN AD campaign be game changer for UPA? Can it help UPA build its lost image ? In a very dynamic scenario only 2014 elections will answer all these question .Like marketing of product ; political marketing is good to create awareness amongst people about the party their objectives ,candidates ,etc. But bottomline here too remains same as in products i.e. if party is not good in terms of its work records, reputation then just like degraded ,substandard quality products /service no advertisement campaign will turnaround its image.
Thus, I feel as per present scenario political marketing which has twisted towards transition and exaggeration to unbelievable levels it is not politically correct as this marketing is not to create awareness but to create an impression which is not genuine and it results not only in wastage of resources on one hand but creates a negative image serving as a mocking stock for all , on the other.
Thus, quality less or content less marketing is a big NO,NO….