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BJP Winning Celebrations

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This is not yet another Congress Vs BJP Vs AAP article! However in between, this article uses examples from the winning political party, BJP. BJP is a nationalist, right to centre political party of India, which has made history by becoming the first non-congress party ever to achieve majority in the Indian parliament in 2014. It is also the first time in 30 years when a non-coalition government is formed in the centre, eliminating few prominent political groups from the parliament. This article analyses the surprising performance by the BJP from the marketing perspective.

2014 Indian General Elections Map Results

Image Uploaded by Wiki User: Furfur

The recently concluded democratic elections in India featured some principles of marketing used prior and during the elections by political parties. However, this term was used in a negative sense highlighting corporatizing of democratic institutions and crony capitalism. While crony capitalism is something our democracy should fight, marketing itself is not bad for democracy.

Marketing – in a political perspective – is the process of communicating the value of a product or service (policies, agenda and leader) to customers (entire population, both voters and non-voters), for selling that product or service (getting votes and trust). It is about getting the sense of society’s requirements and coming up with solutions for them. This is something, which all the sincere political parties try to do at the grassroots level.

In the 21st century, corporates have adopted a holistic marketing approach, which says, “Everything matters in marketing”. Such a marketing approach aids converge various segments of society with social responsibility. “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” (One India, Great India) – slogan widely used by BJP reflects this approach, discouraging the political marketing activities of “divide and conquer”.  Holistic marketing comprises of four components, namely:

  1. Relationship Marketing: Extending communication with customers (voters) and working on their direct feedback, maintaining long-term relations (retaining voters). With the worst ever performance by the Indian National Congress in these elections, party leadership later accepted that there was a ‘disconnection’ with the people and they failed to recognize the mood of the nation.
  2. Internal Marketing: Considering employees as internal customers. Motivating party workers, and maintaining healthy two-way communication between upper leadership and lower leadership, party workers and cadres who have first-hand experience and understanding of public mood and problems.
  3. Integrated Marketing: Keeping every segment in mind and customizing your strategy to target each segment. Whether it is about a problem of a region, rights of minorities, safety for women or jobs for youth, a fair and balanced policy needs to be fabricated in the manifesto addressing everyone’s needs and bringing everything under one umbrella, thus increasing votes. The slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas” (Inclusive Development) widely used by BJP could be considered an example of integrated marketing which clearly had results – BJP winning an overwhelming majority in the parliament.
  4. Socially Responsible Marketing: For corporates, socially responsible marketing can be just a part of their marketing strategy or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However for political parties, this should be the main component of their strategy with a focus on benefits to the society.
Narendra Modi 3D

3D projection of Narendra Modi rallying at hundreds of location at the same time. Source: indiatimes.com

In a parliamentary democracy, the demands of people and their needs are the driving force of all policy making and its approval. Such democracy should function for the people and by the elected representatives of the people. Any political party, which is serious about delivering and working for the people, must incorporate the four Ps of marketing. They are Product, Promotion, Price and Placement. When talking about customer focused marketing (public focus), the four Ps can be better presented as SIVA that is Solution, Information, Value and Access.

4 Ps of marketing Siva marketing in politics

Customer oriented marketing or, in this case, public focussed politics or “good governance” – a terminology widely used by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate (now Prime Minister of India) is all about putting the citizens first. A political party must understand and recognize the problems in society and come up with a problem-solving product. This product or solution is the mix of leadership, ideology, party policy, action plan, agenda and manifesto.

The next important part of public focussed politics is promoting or informing people about their solution. This includes electronic and print advertisement, public rallies, meeting with people and running social media campaigns, all of which played a huge role in the recently concluded Indian elections.

However, the most important part is if the solution is actually reaching the people. Delivering on election promises can be done only after winning the elections, but it must be already ensured that the solution is applicable to all regions and sections of society. Parties must field a strong candidate in each constituency whom voters can vote for. It must be noted that NDA (BJP+) contested in 542 seats out of total 543, whereas UPA (Congress+) had contested only in 537 seats.

To sell the solution to the people, one needs votes! Every citizen can vote once in five years, thus every vote carries enormous value for him/her as well as for the party. Is your solution worth a voter’s vote? The solution and delivery of promises should be such that a voter feels safe and satisfied voting for that party.

In the latest elections in India, the winning party was accused of using the principles of marketing. Both the major parties, Congress and the BJP had hired PR firms to manage their campaigns. No matter how much funds and efforts you put in marketing, if your product/solution is not convincing to the people, you will not be able to maintain your dominance in the market of democracy for long.

Looking at BJP’s elections strategy, there is not doubt that the party was well aware of marketing fundamentals and made use of it wisely. Nevertheless, delivery of promises and implementation of the solutions is a part of marketing too (selling product/service and value addition). If the party is serious about maintaining its place in the parliament for long time, it should keep in mind all the promises it has to fulfil.

References for further study

  1. Kotler, Philip & Keller, L. Kevin (2012). Marketing Management 14e. Pearson Education Limited 2012
  2. Dev, Chekitan S.; Don E. Schultz (January–February 2005). “In the Mix: A Customer-Focused Approach Can Bring the Current Marketing Mix into the 21st Century”. Marketing Management 14 (1). 

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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How to Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

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Due to the current financial climate, it is more critical than ever before for companies to stand out against their competition. The damage caused to the economy by COVID-19 has led to job losses and business closures. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 5.0% in Q1 2020 and then dropped to 31.7% in Q2 2020. While you may not be able to control the events that caused the economic downturn, you can take steps to ensure that your business has the best chance of success and survival in these challenging times. One crucial way to protect your business for the longterm is to find ways to give your company a competitive edge. 

A competitive edge enables your business to become a major competitor in your industry and differentiates your company from the many similar businesses operating in your sector. You need your business to be the one that consumers think of first, when they have a need for the products and services that you offer, and you want them to keep coming back time and again. The question is, how do you develop a competitive edge? Read on to find out:

Differentiate Your Company From the Competition

The phrase USP or unique selling proposition is one that you would hear bandied around a lot in marketing departments in the past. Nowadays, the term USP is so well worn that it is practically overlooked. However, the importance of finding a way of differentiating your business from your competitors is a lot more than mere marketing jargon; it is an essential tool to ensure that your business stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Ask yourself, ‘what makes my business different from the many others out there?’ Then use this to your advantage by communicating it to your customers.

Spot Opportunities

Being the first in your industry to capitalize on an innovative new trend or idea is an excellent way to edge your way ahead of the competition. To spot these opportunities, you need to be on the lookout for ideas and inspiration. A perfect way to spot opportunities that your competitors may have missed it to keep up with news from around the world by reading the international press, for example, israelnationalnews.com. Keeping up with international news will enable you to spot potential markets for your products and services and to capitalize on these opportunities.

Offer Exceptional Service

While there are many ways that you develop a competitive edge for your business, it is vital that you don’t neglect the basics. Offering exceptional customer service is crucial for keeping a step ahead of your competitors. Many consumers become frustrated when a business attempts to attract new customers while neglecting existing customers. Ensuring that both returning and new customers are offered the same level of outstanding customer service is sure to give you a significant edge over the competition.

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3 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Company Culture

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upgrade company culture

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost everyone’s lives in some way. That includes businesses across the world. Unfortunately, many of them have had to shutter completely. Others, however, are trying to figure out how to reopen and restructure safely and effectively. 

As of August, the United States had only regained 22% of the millions of jobs lost due to the virus. UK job losses hit a record high

If your company has been fortunate enough to remain standing through this pandemic, and you’re wondering what to do next, now is the perfect time to consider your overall workplace culture. 

Whether you want to attract new employees or you realize it’s time for a change, upgrading your company culture can make a big difference in the success of your business as you move forward into a “new normal”. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways you can upgrade the culture of your company from within, in order to make positive changes that employees and customers/clients alike can appreciate. 

1. Upgrade the Look of Your Business

It might not seem extremely important, but giving your company an external makeover can make a big difference in the environment you’re trying to create. First, start by decluttering your office space. Creating an environment that encourages working together in open spaces can make everyone feel more welcome and invited. 

Next, let in more natural light. If you have large windows in your building, put them to good use instead of covering them. Invest in a Glass Polishing company to make them sparkle for you. Natural light can boost energy and productivity. 

Even the colors you choose for your office can make a big difference. Color psychology is a real thing, so do your research on the best colors that will promote creativity and encourage productivity. 

2. Arrange Weekly Meetings – With Everyone

We’re living in uncertain times. Just because employees are heading back to work doesn’t mean those uncertainties simply go away. It’s important to keep employees in the know as much as possible. So, why not just make it a rule within your company? 

One of the best ways to do that is by holding weekly meetings with everyone. You can choose different ways to do that. You might benefit from having everyone in one room to talk about the state of your business and where you want to go. Or, you could branch off into different groups and meet with a different section of your business each day. 

Whatever the case, make communication and transparency a priority in your workplace environment. It will help everyone to feel more comfortable, more equal, and more valued. It will also boost your employees’ spirits by giving them a voice and making them aware that their ideas and opinions truly matter within your business. 

3. Encourage Positivity

Remember, no matter what the state of your business may be, you’re in charge. As a result, the things you say and do will set the tone for your company. So, it’s important to be as positive as possible, as often as possible. 

Even if things aren’t going well, or you’re worried about the state of your company, keeping a positive attitude will carry over to your employees and help them to feel better about the work they are doing. 

That doesn’t mean you need to hide things from them. If the business is struggling, it’s okay to talk about it. But, put a realistically positive spin on it. Most of the time, things can be fixed. You can recover. Use that mindset and attitude to motivate your employees and encourage fresh, new ideas. No one wants to work in an environment that is constantly negative or induces stress. You can change the entire culture of how people feel about coming to work by showcasing positivity every single day. 

Not only can it help to boost the work your employees are able to produce, but it will improve everyone’s attitudes toward each other. Now, more than ever, kindness and patience are important. A positive environment can foster more of those things, and create a more welcoming workplace for everyone. 

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be difficult to upgrade your company culture. Whether you want to make adjustments to some of your business practices or actually change the look and feel of your company, now is the time to pull the trigger on changing your workplace culture. Not only will your business benefit but your employees will feel more empowered than ever.

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Covid-19 Causes Online Deliveries to Rocket

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The high street is being forced to change. Whereas in yesteryear, high street chains held the fort and commanded attention from the shopping masses, it has now all changed. Today, the high street is struggling. Unfortunately, due to concerns over Covid-19 and the number of customers allowed inside at any given time, sales have been less than a stirring success.

People are worried about going out to even pick up the items that they’ve purchased. This has led to a surge in online orders and deliveries to the consumer’s door.

Has Shopping Changed Forever?

Will customers return the shops or stick to online shopping? While the worries surrounding the virus have kept many off the high street, since non-essentials shops have reopened, some people have bravely ventured out.

Nonetheless, for the most part, people are taking to the internet in droves, pushing online e-commerce sales rocketing up. Amazon.com, for instance, has seen a significant increase YoY while eBay has also confirmed their sales were up over a third in 2020 compared to the previous year.

The Shift to Deliveries to the Door

Deliveries to the door have become extremely popular. People can drop an item off safely and keep a distance away from the homeowner or renter when they complete the delivery. People feel comfortable with that approach and prefer the convenience versus venturing into a shop, where many people queue up at the entrance or mill about in the interior.

The trouble with deliveries is that many companies aren’t properly equipped for it. They cannot cover the cities and towns that they’d like to. There isn’t a team of delivery drivers available for them either. Even if they try to create something internally or use a commercial delivery system, the results are less than ideal.

Flexible Time Slots Are Needed by Consumers

One limitation with delivery bookings is a complete inflexibility about the available date and the time of the booking. Quite often, the date is many days or several weeks ahead due to limited delivery capacity and a recent surge in online orders due to Covid-19. Given the lack of flexibility, people are often stuck with a single date availability to book even if it’s inconvenient to them. Or, it has no time specified, so they need to stay in all day which is a real bummer.

Fortunately, consumers can now use Shift.Online. This is an independent delivery service that provides reasonably dated bookings that don’t start in October when your order was in August… They also have one-hour timeslots to pinpoint when the vetted delivery driver will arrive. This makes it far more agreeable to the shopper who cannot wait around all day for a package.

“A Man with a Van”

Shift also has a “Man with a Van” service to transport goods from one location to another. This is useful when moving personal items out, transporting goods into a storage location, or for other purposes. So, they do more than just assist shoppers.

At a time when deliveries to the last mile are the key component that’s often either missing or poorly done in the UK, it’s good to know that new operators are filling the gap. It will help smaller online shops, traditional retailers and consumers to solve this sticking point together.

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