Friday, July 25, 2008

E-political marketing

This combines the old technique of lobbying of MPs by citizens with a practice more commonly used in the US, which is mobilising the public using the Internet. Canvas Your MP is a Liberal Democrat led campaign, the challenge for them now is making an impact. In the US lobbying strategists have developed complex equations for both moving the votes of senators and gathering participants and supporters. For them it is about click-thrus, they will pay to embed a link on popular sites, recognise that no more than 10% click, that of that 10% only 1% sign up and so from that work out how many banners are needed on which sites to get the right amount of visitors clicking. Not sure what the distribution method for this campaign will be, currently it is viral and passed from friend to friend via FriendFeed, Facebook and over email, but is this sufficient to get to enough MPs across the country, and get anywhere near a significant number of constituents contacting their MPs? Is the informal recommendation via the online community the best strategy, or does the strategy need ratcheting up a notch.

1 comment:

David Phillips said...

Yuk.... I see the dead hand of 20th century marketing.

Marketing is dead.

Students majoring in marketing will have to unlearn it when their boss dies (of despair in about two years time).

So the push element of all of this is doomed. Nor is it a numbers game. Even in the USA its not just the numbers game of 10% this and 1% that.

Its easy to be seduced by these old tactics. 'Ten insertions over three weeks will optimise ad responses' is just so 20th century.

If you want some numbers try some comparisons from today:
Blog posts: Obama 900,000 McCain 570,000
Ning pages: Obama 10,000 McCain 4800
Tweets: Obama 1350 McCain 618
Flickr pix: Obama 38,000 McCain 5,000
One can go on to indexed web pages:
Obama 62 million McCain 38 million.

Madison Avenue did not get a peek in. It can bluster but 62 million web page impressions is quite beyond its competence (or desire).

Not much of this is paid for content. Not much has come from buying hyperlinks. Not much has come from marketing.

The marketers are the servants of Online PR ... 'be a good fellow and do put up a couple of dozen pop-ups - just to keep the Madison Avenue lobby onside'.

The grunt of the campaign is in tapping into the network of relationships, offering values that these networks want to relate to and then sharing the enthusiasm.

Its proper PR.

'Go and canvass your MP' is a command. It comes from mid 20th century polemics.

There are enough folk born before 1960 who will 'jolly well do as they are told' and a bunch of people for whom the issue is of such importance that they will ignore the sheer arrogance of it all to do something. But this has not the making of a mass movement.