Political Marketing was heralded by at least one authority as a potential solution to disengagement, instead it seems that it is a source of deepening disengagement and dissatisfaction. This, I contend, is not because the idea is flawed; but that the way marketing is used by political parties is actually not marketing but a form of marketised communication strategy.
A study of the UK parties use of marketing at the 2005 General Election noted that rhetorically Labour was most market-oriented but that on the whole the focus when creating policies was internal, it was the process of communication design that was external. This misreads marketing.
If the parties were interested in reconnecting they would not be limiting choice to the electorate, nor would voters be seeking the least worst option or looking more to the quality of local candidate than who should be Prime Minister. Parties approach corporate strategy and communication like magpies; if it looks shiny they will steal it, but anything too complex is left to the high street brands. Hence consumers have relationships with their favourite stores, yet the parties' loyal voters are becoming a feature of history.