In many cases, the public does not distinguish between political and social marketing. Political marketing is a set of communication strategies aimed at improving the reputation of a political party or representative.
In contrast, social marketing is the application of evaluation methods to social programs intended to influence social values and behavior.
Political And Social Marketing: What Is Political Marketing?
Political marketing is a set of strategies, methods, or techniques designed to strengthen the connection between voters and political groups.
Its goal is to create flexible communication between candidates and voters that builds trust through a credible image. Political marketing must be used responsibly and those responsible must understand the needs of the public. In this sense, we note the first coincidence between political and social marketing: the understanding of the target audience.
The goals of the strategies used are to educate voters about the political environment, promote participation, and inform them about changes that occur during their term.
Political Marketing Strategy
Political marketing builds communication skills with the aim of creating a strong brand image in front of the target audience. Next, we will show you some of the main political marketing strategies:
- Voter analysis
To achieve positive results, it is important to get to know people before implementing a political marketing strategy by asking the following questions:
What difficulties did they face? What values do they have? Surveys are a very common research method to communicate with your target audience, through which you can learn about their wants and needs.
- Political brand
A political brand is an identity that must inspire its target group and be able to distinguish itself from other political groups. As with public profile research, political marketers should focus on the candidate’s image.
- Investment in content
Content marketing also plays a role in political campaigns. Producing quality materials educates the public. For example, content campaigns on social networks to spread the image of the candidates. High-quality content gets shared, enjoyed, and attracts more engagement, which means it reaches more people who may soon become more voters.
- Social media presence
As we mentioned in the previous section, social networks currently play a very important role in politics. With them, the party can understand the opinions and efforts of the target group, which is interested in listening and paying attention to mutual ties.
Also, it is a possibility for them to keep the public informed about the daily work of the politician in question. For example, they can disclose what social measures they are going to take to improve an important issue.
Political And Social Marketing: What Is Social Marketing?
Social “marketing” can simply be defined as the use of marketing techniques to spread ideas that benefit society. Its purpose is to get people to adopt positive thoughts or behaviors and/or avoid harmful attitudes.
Philip Kotler, considered the father of modern “marketing,” defined social “marketing” as “the development, implementation, and control of a program designed to increase acceptance of a social idea or cause among specific target groups.”
To achieve this, social “marketing” uses the same tools as traditional marketing, such as advertising or market research, but its objectives go beyond selling a product or service.
Social marketing analyzes, proposes and executes programs aimed at influencing the voluntary behavior of the audience. Here we find another coincidence between political and social marketing: both try to influence an audience.
Its main objective is to improve individual and social well-being by changing attitudes, thoughts, and deeds.
Key features of social marketing:
- Define the objectives to be achieved through social change.
- Analyze the attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors of your target audience.
- Create procedures, methods, and strategies to achieve predetermined objectives.
Types Of Social Marketing
Over the past 50 years, social marketing has developed a number of strategies and techniques that can be divided into three categories:
- Internal social marketing
Internal social marketing is developed and promoted within the group itself, that is, organizations, companies, political parties, social agents, all kinds of professionals, etc. It has tangible characteristics, the participants share the same values and behaviors that they later want to spread.
- External social marketing
On the other hand, external social marketing is a socio-cultural activity or campaign used to promote social attitudes or behaviors. Its purpose is to promote values and change the flow of public opinion.
- Interactive social marketing
Finally, interactive social marketing is a communication process between the initiator of the social campaign and the target audience. The audience can give their opinion and complement the actions. Here we also find a point in common between political and social marketing: the target audience executes actions in response to the messages.
- Political and social marketing
As we have seen, political and social marketing have the same objective, both want to persuade the target audience to adopt certain values. But there is an important difference: social marketing seeks to use beliefs and attitudes in the context of social betterment. In itself, political marketing simply seeks to improve the image of a party or politician and increase voter turnout in the upcoming elections.
Where They Both Meet
The main objective of social marketing is to solve or alleviate various social problems. They can be issues related to public health, work, education, housing, transportation, the environment, that is, any activity that benefits society as a whole. Social marketing is widely used by third-party companies and government agencies that run campaigns to get donations or raise awareness for a particular issue.
We live in a time where most brands care about the products they sell, try to satisfy their customers, and try to provide them with the best possible service. But it takes more than that to win over consumers, and that’s where social marketing comes in. Society is increasingly aware of the importance of the common good, social purpose, and sustainable action. Therefore, social marketing is key for these new consumers. Social marketing can bring enormous benefits not only to brands and consumers, but also to society as a whole. Today social responsibility is a differentiator and, in a few years, it will be a requirement to stay in the market.
When these campaigns are included within a political platform that is being promoted, we could be said that political and social marketing are merging.
These campaigns aim to engage people and they work, precisely, because they have no commercial interest, so the public is aware of it.
A distinct social thought, adopted by a group of people who form the basis for a political action plan, and then form a political party where its main objective is to implant this ideal in society, is when we enter the field of action of political marketing.
Political And Social Marketing: The Social Function of Politics
Normally, a political party is somewhat more complex and is based on a series of social ideals that constitute the political program that they would implement if they succeed.
For a candidate to maintain his social and political power, he must build a community. In the past, the only way to create a community was through activism, and with the expansion of social networks, groups or parties were formed. Thanks to social media, instant messaging platforms, now members of the same community can talk and exchange opinions on the same topic.
We can distinguish two types of political marketing:
- The marketing of candidates whose objective is the promotion of the person who will represent the party.
- Electoral or program marketing that seeks to disseminate, know, and accept the political program of the party.
In this new model, the two-way nature of delivering a message is one of the key aspects to its success. Politicians can use these tools to reach the public without media filters. Thus, they try to convince the public that their advice is the best, using a more casual tone and suitable for a public that usually consumes and learns about current affairs through social media. And once again we find a fusion of actions that are related to political and social marketing.
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