December 6, 2008

Nothing new by way of marketing in state elections

Delhi, J&k, Rajasthan and MP have recently gone through the process of electing state assemblies. Although the later part of electioneering had been clouded by the dastardly violence in Mumbai, but its impact on the voting behavior remains a point of discussion. The results would be out on December 08, 2008.

I had the opportunity to advice an unique gentlemen in an unique constituency in the state of Rajasthan. Besides i kept a close watch on the use of marketing by politicians and parties to conduct their campaigns. Unfortunately once again it were the same old story. Political marketing is still confined to seeking to influence & persuade the voters through by applying marketing tools and concepts.

The parties stubbornly stuck to believing that marketing can go no further. Most parties still depend upon their core members, government agencies and mass media to judge the 'mood' of the electorate. Moreover in most places they refuse to accept that voters can break the caste, and culture barrier,even if the parties put up trustworthy leaders and present credible governance.

Political parties fail to adopt a 'market orientation' by democratising the agenda setting by the electorate. It would be proper if parties could use some grassroot marketing search to understand the mood of the public. When the parties themselves decide the agenda for the electorate,this leads to confusion in the mind of the people who are forced to choose a caste, religion or culture issue for selecting a party to vote for. Politicians must find out what people want and then set out to fulfill their promises if they wish to remain in power for long. Just use some real marketing research.

Just concluded elections were wit out much marketing innovations. If there were any like use of camel for transport it were restricted to introduce novelty without the ability to satisfy the desires of the voters from elections.

Another point worth noting is that politicians and parties firmly believe that Indian electorate can not break the barriers of caste religion. It is not true Mr politician. Go out and make a win-win proposition to your segment of voters, success would come running to you!

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