Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The personal touch

I revisited some of the research I did around the last General Election (see article or book), one clear finding related to recall of leaflets received and why. No direct marketing strategist will be surprised by this but voters in marginal constituencies remember leaflets that talk about local issues that are of direct relevance to the receiver and appear to have the personal touch (from candidate to voter). The remembered receiving the party focused stuff but did not remember the content at all unless they thought that was a key priority for the next government. In Dorset MRSA and immigration seemed to have little or no resonance whatsoever.
So what? Well perhaps this is the problem with most political communication, it is produced for the mass media, lacks the human touch and is perceived to have no relevance to the receiver, often because they assume if it is from a politician it will be irrelevant. The problem here is that no parties or governments can afford the personalised literature that most marketers use, so the great solution appears as far away as ever!


David Phillips said...

In the era of Naked Conversations and Cluetrain Manifesto, I am amazed that anyone should bother thier heads with this out dated form of communication. The idea that convergent values are the key to conversation and relationships is culturally old. Digitally it has a 20 year history and marketers highjacking the web to blast thier idea of conversation at scream advertsing volume is just about dead - so the visitor stats say.
Personal conversations will win elections every time... as every hard core convaser knows, a 100% canvas is worth a 3% swing.

Darren Lilleker said...

So old its pre-modern, the problem is that the party strategists forgot about the personal conversation and decided to try and hold it via mass media, funnilyenough it didnt work and so the target seats see an intense ground level campaign.