Tag Archives: Political Marketing

Political marketing is more than political advertising and negative campaigning. It’s about trying to make the best use of the consumer focused approach of marketing whilst still adhering to basic ideological tenets, beliefs and policy.

Disengagement in the New Media

Foyer of the w:en:Australian Parliament

Image via Wikipedia

I spent the morning at a seminar on politics and technology where noticable by the absence was the technology, and present by the ministerial load was the politics.

Three observations of the session

1. Senator Joe Hockey plays a character in Parliament.  Given he registered his own namespace domain name in 1996, he’s got geek blood.  He showed his colours for a few seconds, remembered that journalists and political types were present, and reverted to his party endorsed yobbo bloke persona.

2. Senator Kate Lundy is awesome.  She had five minutes and said more useful stuff in that time than most people did for half hour speeches.  Still, if you have someone who has to leave 20 minutes after the start of the session – give them the first question, not the second one.  Poor form moderator, poor form.

3. The event was so horribly managed it was frustrating. I walked out of the last session frustrated at the inept management – if you’re going to do a panel of Web2.0 and political campaigns, and open the floor to discussion, you might want to let the audience engage in the debate.  Moreover, if this was a showcase event of politics and technology, bring the wireless networks and have the technology.

This panel concept was an old media dinosaur town hall smashed into 55 minute windows with brief intermissions for commercials.  Two five person panels sitting around talking about politics and technology should have been a full day session.  Hell, the first guest could have used 90 minutes easily.

All up, I’m probably not going to attend future sessions of this nature if I have deadlines, due dates or a better offer from a SPSS analysis output (unless Senator Lundy is speaking for longer on technology. Then I’m there)

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Political Marketing, Kevin07 and the media

ANU Sign

A short time ago, in an electorate quite nearby, there was an election. A small matter, and one which Andrew Hughes and I spent a good deal of time watching, analysing and trying to write up to meet a series of deadlines around the same time as the vote was on. The end results of the first paper we wrote (Howard’s leading) rewrote (Howard’s losing) rewrote again (Howard’s lost) and finally rewrote (Kevin07 FTW) once the dust had settled, and the analysis was finally possible.

The paper came out in the Monash Business Review at the end of April (academic version is under embargo until October). We put out a press releases to discuss the finds, and let’s just say, it’s was a good day to be an academic. Andrew was fielding the media calls whilst I stood around in class, and I think he clocked up half a dozen radio interviews across the country.

For posterity (and bragging rights) The Hughes and Dann political marketing machine media coverage on the Lessons of Kevin O7:

It’s good to be doing work on local issues, topical content and ideas that suit the Australian Political Marketing spectrum rather than just focusing on writing for the esoteric internationally focused Tier 1 journals. It’s even better when the media picks up the story and runs with it.

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2008 Federal Budget Speech

Second analysis of the budget using tag clouds, after key phrases have been coded so that “1.8 per cent per year per child per family” style phrases didn’t make ‘per’ the most common word.

created at TagCrowd.com

The main story out of round 2 of the analysis is simply that government talks about itself a lot, and for a proclaimed long term focused budget, there’s a whole array of four to five year statements in the mix of policy and promise implementation. It’s amusing to see a Labor Party budget say “Five year” quite so frequently – Marxian or Freudian slip?

US Election 2008: Nader will not defeat the Democratic Party. Only the Republicans can pull off that trick.

Source: ShutterstockAs the US election draws nearer, the Democratic Party of the US is preparing for defeat, and laying the groundwork to sweep itself out of power, out of office and off the radar for another few years with the pre-emptive tagging of Ralph “The Grinch” Nader as the reason for their loss.

It’s baffling to someone familiar with multi-party contests. The presumption that Nader voters would automatically attend the polls and vote Democratic in the absence of Nader is would work in a compulsory voting scenario with only two candidates. Pity America runs voluntary voting, so it doesn’t really hold water. A vote for Nader isn’t a misplaced vote for someone else, it’s a conscious choice to show up to the voting booth and vote for the Independent. No Independent, no reason to get out and vote.

Ralph “One Man Band” Nader’s run for president will not be the reason for a Democratic candidate to lose in 2008, unless and until you’re caling Ralph Nader “Mr President”. In which case, fair point, Democrats were schooled by Nader (along with the Republicans).

If McCain wins in 2008, it’s McCain who caused Obama or Clinton to lose. Not Nader. If more people voted McCain than voted Democratic Party, then the Democratic Party should blame the Republicans for the loss. They mobilised more people, voted faster, better and more frequently (and with better technology).

If you want to beat the Republican, get more votes than the Republican guy. Do that by mobilising more Democratic voters who vote Democratic, and not by presuming that you have a moral entitlement to the votes for any of the third party candidates – . That’s the equation. Stick to it.

Footnote 1: In Florida, in 2000, 138067 voters chose to vote for people who were neither Bush nor Gore. Nader’s 97,421 was the lion’s share, but that’s only 71% of the third party votes. Given Gore lost Florida by a fraction of the 40646 votes that went to non-Nader independent votes, Nader’s not the deciding issue. More people voting Republican than Democratic was the deciding issue.

Footnote 2: If Gore had taken his home town, Florida was never an issue. Failing to capture a home town win cost Gore the election. If he’d taken his home state, he’d have taken the country, even with the Florida loss. When the VP running for President can’t win their own home game (or the outgoing President’s home state either), they’ve made bad tactical blunders somewhere. Gore should never have needed Florida if the Democratic Party had done the job back in Tennessee.

  • Bush 271 to Gore 266 (Final Score 2000)
  • Bush 260 to Gore 277 (Tennessee 11 point difference)

Footnote 3: Stolen or not, the election should not have hinged on Florida. If it was stolen, the election should not have been graciously conceded, it should have been a bloody and bitter battle until the last ballot. Either way, the losses came from being monstered at the ballot box, and/or being monstered in the post-election recounts.

Footnote 4: If the US elections used a real electoral system, it wouldn’t matter if there was more than two choices at the ballot box.

This post brought to you by reading Wolfrum’s post over at Shakesville, and more than a few posts around the blogosphere bemoaning a democratic election for President of the USA being contested by more than two candidates. The solution is preferential voting people. It’s the only way.

Rock, Paper, Scissors and Political Marketing

Political marketing can often be a case of playing the rock-paper-scissors game whereby a single political marketing strategy can beat, and be beaten, by one other move in the political market set.  The political product offering is represented by the rock, electoral engagement is represented by the scissors and personal political solution is represented by paper.Papers in the intray

A viable political product (rock) offering can beat an established political candidate with strong electoral connections (scissors) but is vulnerable to the broader question of which party will best serve the interests of the individual voter (paper).  Strong local members (scissors) can fall victim to viable alternate candidates (rock), and yet, as 2007 demonstrated, can resist broader political swings or shifts in government (paper). Finally, personal interest driven voting (paper) can defeat political product offerings by the party (rock) but remains vulnerable to individual candidates (scissors). 


There is no single strategy or magic bullet approach to using political marketing for electoral success – instead, the political marketer needs to balance the various aspects of the campaign to be able to meet the opponent’s challenge, and respond accordingly.