The electoral and governing game needs to be played with pragmatic principle and this article outlines what rules politicians and their advisors need to follow to achieve long-term success, drawn from in-depth academic research analysed interviews with practitioners including advisors to world leaders Stephen Harper, Tony Blair, John Key, Helen Clark, Kevin Rudd and George Bush. This offers clear, accessible rules on market analysis methods, micro-targeting, opposition research, consultants and clients, strategy building, branding, managing volunteers, strategic communication, communicating product change or re-positioning, receiver-responsive communication and delivery management. Practitioners can gain an invaluable insight into perspectives from those with experience carrying out political marketing. The final lesson also teaches that principle is as important as pragmatism in winning the electoral and governing game and thus widens introduces the idea into academic discussion that  marketing might also be used in politics for principled aims.

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