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Political+Marketing Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Political marketing
    • Empirical phenomenon
          • Social change
          • Electoral change
          • Increasing importance of campaigns
          • Professionalization of campaigns
    • Research paradigm
          • Market models of politics
          • Expansion of marketing to non-commercial applications
          • Marketing model of party behaviour
    • Political marketing – bureaucratic form of sophistry
          • Parallels between professions of sophists and marketers
          • Structure of markets and need for marketing
          • Consumerism
          • Ideological nature of marketing
  • 2. Social and electoral change
    • Social change
        • Decreasing identifiability and relevance of social class
        • Increasing social mobility
        • Increased education
        • Decreasing relevance of ideology
        • Emergence of new issues/cleavages (Inglehart)
    • Electoral change
        • Dealignment
        • Increasing electoral volatility
        • Decreasing explanatory power of variables like age, gender, class
        • Decreasing importance of “projection”/issue alignment
        • Issue voting; pocketbook voting; retrospective voting
  • 3. Increasing importance of campaigns
    • Campaigns are no longer predominantly about mobilizing support
    • With decreasing base support, voters need to be attracted through campaigning
    • Campaign context impacts on economic, issue, leadership evaluations
    • More floating voters to compete over
    • Increasing importance of mass media (new findings challenging the “minimal effects model” providing campaigners with reasons to trust in effectiveness of electioneering)
  • 4. Professionalization of campaigns
    • Exponential increases in campaign spending
    • Use of consultants, pollsters, commercial advertisers
    • Increasing influence of campaign consultants on policy content of manifestos
    • Policy convergence -> need for distinguishing from competitors
    • Market research (focus groups, private polling, direct-marketing, database-marketing)
    • Changing media focus, from coverage of issues, coverage of leadership, image and the race, to coverage of strategy, party-media interaction, and the role of spin
  • 5. Market models of politics
    • Schumpeter, Joseph
        • Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1947)
          • “ Elitist” model of democracy
          • Function of voting: to restrain elites, not to manifest “common will”
    • Downs, Anthony
        • An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957)
          • Rational choice model of voting
          • Assuming material self-interest as primary motivation of elites and voters
          • Median voter theorem: party platforms will converge, to accommodate voter preferences
    • Wellhofer: “Contradictions in Market Models of Politics: the Case of Party Strategies and Voter Linkages'”, European Journal of Political Research 1990
          • Vote production
          • vs.
          • Vote maximization
  • 6. Expansion of the marketing concept
    • Concept first introduced by Stanley Keller
          • (Professional Public Relations and Political Power, 1956): understood marketing to mean persuasion and used it interchangeably with ‘propaganda’
    • Expanding application of marketing disciplines beyond business world
          • Philip Kotler (1981) Marketing for Non-profit Organizations
          • Emphasis on strategy, marketing-mix, understanding of politics as a market where voters and candidates/parties, like sellers and buyers, exchange ‘something of value’
    • Broadening of marketing definition by American Marketing Association
          • “ Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational objectives” (1985)
  • 7. Marketing and political science
    • Use of marketing expertise by campaigning parties/candidates
          • The observable practice of marketing in political competition prompted the entry of the concept of marketing into political science
          • Early political marketing literature
            • Descriptive and anecdotical
    • Marketing as a scientific approach to campaigning
          • Mauser (Political Marketing, 1983) defines political marketing as the
            • ‘ science of influencing mass behaviour in competitive situations’
  • 8. Marketing model of party behaviour
    • Three-stage development of modern business practice applied to evolution of organizational behaviour of political parties
        • “ Parties may simply stand for what they believe in, or focus on persuading voters to agree with them, or change their behaviour to follow voters’ opinions” (Jennifer Lees-Marshment, 2001: p. 701)
    • Product-oriented party
    • Sales-oriented party
    • Market-oriented party
  • 9.
    • Product-oriented party
          • Ideological
          • Representing/leading social movement
          • Unresponsive to social change
          • Electoral success not an objective in itself
          • Electoral goal: vote production/supporter mobilization
    • Sales-oriented party
          • Ideological
          • Intra-organizational choice of policies, leadership
          • Using market research, advertising, communication techniques to sell itself, its policies
          • Electoral goal: persuasion
    • Market-oriented party
          • Using market intelligence to identify voter demands
          • Assessing deliverability of demanded policies
          • Assessing intra-party acceptability of policy changes
          • Designing product (party manifesto, leadership selection, etc) accordingly
          • Electoral goal: adapting to the market
  • 10. Assumptions of marketing model
    • Downsian, rational voters
    • Exogeneity and measurability of preferences, needs, demands
    • Transferability of product/market/marketing metaphor to the political sphere
  • 11. Prescriptive/normative claims
    • Customer (citizen) orientation
    • Superiority of market-orientation over product- and sales-orientation
        • Prediction that market-oriented parties will prevail over sales- or product-oriented parties
        • Recommendation for parties to embrace market-orientation
    • Evolutionary model
    • Increasing responsiveness of political parties
    • Improving democracy
  • 12. Political marketers in ancient Greece – the Sophists
    • Rhetoric teachers in ancient Greece (Protagoras, Thrasymachus, etc.)
    • Criticized by Plato for providing their services/rhetorical skills for whatever purpose and position
          • Eristic: arguments aimed at victory rather than at truth
          • Anti-logic: the assignment to any argument of a counterargument that negates it (basis of Hegelian dialectic)
    • Never accepted as philosophers
          • For their suspicion towards metaphysics
          • For their pragmatism
  • 13. Sophism, truth and morality
    • Relativist definition of truth, morality
      • There is no absolute truth
      • Truth, or the right course of action, is what one can convince the audience of being true or right
      • Purpose of debating is not (what would be the Platonic understanding) to jointly discover truth, but to succeed
      • Morality is a cultural, hence conditional, value
  • 14. Similar accusations
    • Style over substance
          • “ Sophistic is to legislation what beautification is to gymnastics and appearance to reality” (Plato)
          • “ Man is the measure of all things” (Protagoras)
    • Technicians of enticement
    • Mercenaries
          • “ The purpose of government is to be efficient and to succeed. This is the criterion by which it should be judged” (Thrasymachus)
    • Profane
          • “ The uncultured whose desire is not for wisdom but for scoring off an opponent” (Plato)
  • 15. Techniques, goals and justifications
    • Similar techniques and goals
        • Empiricism
        • Rhetoric
        • Pragmatism
    • Similar justifications
        • Relativism
          • Popularity replaces legitimacy
          • Efficiency replaces values
          • Management replaces politics
        • Nothing is unjust but a justice that does not succeed (Thrasymachus)
        • Morality and law are not absolute, collective values, but principles defined by those in power
  • 16. Reconciling reputation with theory
    • Reputation
          • Political marketing considered to be manipulative (spin doctors), dishonest, close to propaganda, placing style over substance
    • Effect
          • Political marketing practice appears to turn people off (decreasing turnout in US since 1970s, collapse of turnout under New Labour since 1997)
          • Public demand for politicians of conviction (but consider the paradox of Margaret Thatcher – the pioneer of political marketing in UK, nonetheless understood as principled and ideological)
    • Theory
          • Positivistic, presenting political marketing as potentially regenerative force for democracies (by basing policy on public preferences)
  • 17. Theoretical shortcoming of political marketing model
    • Neglecting departure from classic economic theory
          • Markets are not perfect and do not self-regulate
          • Production and pricing are not naturally regulated by supply/demand function
          • Political markets are oligopolistic (concentrated, with few competitors)
          • Products become secondary to the image/reputation of the firm
          • From trader to salesman, intervening in markets
          • Marketing is active intervention in markets
          • Oligopolistic markets tend to produce socially uneconomical outcomes
    • Strategic behaviour
          • Pricing
          • Production
          • Labour relations
          • Accounting
  • 18. Consumerism
    • Market intelligence
          • Not just what, where and in what quantities consumers want
          • But also why they want it
    • From homo economicus to buyer motivations, consumer psychology
        • Not just discovering demand
        • But stimulating it
          • Potentialities of demand
          • Dormand/latent needs
    • Consumers are “irrational at least as often as rational, motivated in large degree by emotions, habits and prejudices; differing widely in personality structure, in aspirations, ideals and buying behaviours.” (Martineau, It’s Time to Research the Consumer, 1955)
  • 19. The ideological nature of marketing
    • Reinforcing free market ideal becomes in itself a marketing exercise, irrespective of factual oligopoly in most commercial and all political markets
    • Downsian theory of democracy
        • Ideological in its use of the false analogy of competitive political markets, with invisible hand mechanism that produces socially desirable outcomes notwithstanding asocial nature of actors
    • The essential features of political marketing
        • Opinion (replacing values as more malleable building blocks of collective choice)
        • Appearance (not whether you are a good leader, or your policy a good one, but whether you can make it appear thus, counts)
        • Pragmatism (downgrading elected government to a management function)