Political Marketing And Inbound Marketing: Two Complementary Practices Serving Citizens

political marketing and inbound marketing

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You can read in the many blogs of our colleagues dedicated to Inbound Marketing an anthology of articles on many BtoB topics like the digital strategy of industries, startups, acquisition of leads for companies, etc.

In BtoC, issues related to the customer journey, e-commerce and the interest of inbound marketing for consumer products bring us a lot of information, also interesting.

But what about the link between political marketing and inbound marketing, at a time when generations born a computer in hand, called the “Millenials” or Generation Y, are old enough to vote at the Presidential April 2017?

Politics: a public and media practice

Politicians have always adapted to the means of communication available to them, in order to reach their readership as finely and as efficiently as possible … or at least, to create an emotion between citizens and the public person who expresses himself or herself through a media tool: radio, television, and the Internet.

Radio: the first mass media vector

Historical fact: Some may remember General de Gaulle and his famous Call to the Resistance on June 18, 1940. The radio was his communication tool to reach people suffering from the disasters and horrors of war. This tool, in addition to conveying a message of hope and rebellion to totalitarianism, supported his election as President of the Republic from 1958 to 1969.

Pierre Mendès France: establishing a local climate through weekly radio broadcasts

Did you know that Pierre Mendès France, President of the Council (the equivalent of Prime Minister in our Fifth Republic), was the first politician to establish a close relationship with the French people, via the radio channel? In fact, in 1954, at the rate of once a week, he speaks openly to the French. These are the “broadcast chats” in which he discusses macroeconomic themes without using demagogic arguments.

Once again, the periodicity of the publication of content increases the audience: the recurring chats raise the popularity of Pierre Mendès France: 62% of approval against 7% of dissatisfaction, figures to pale our current president.

Political Marketing on TV: When Advertising Meets Politics

Television political marketing emerged in the United States during the 1952 presidential campaign, in which the Republican party appealed to the BBDO communications agency.

Inspired by these American communication techniques, Jean Lecanuet, then unknown to the general public, uses with his communication consultant Michel Bongrand, great means to seduce the French electorate. It is based on an image of “Kennedy French”, poses on posters with a big smile (which earned him the nickname “White Teeth” in reference to the mark Colgate). What a contrast to the solemn attitude of General de Gaulle eight years ago! Although he was not elected, this election saw the arrival of professionalized political marketing in France.

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Internet: a new political space

A paradigm shift

Then, the Internet reversed relations between politicians and citizens. The latter can get information via other networks, check the information broadcast by the so-called traditional media. Politicians then adopt an attitude of transparency.

Social networks are overturning codes for brands, the same goes for politicians. In order to professionalize their digital presence, teams of community managers gather around a political personality to manage their e-reputation, administer comments as well as the spontaneous reactions of the electorate.

And Inbound Marketing in all of this?

Given the lack of documentation of the political Inbound Marketing in France, in addition to a brief summary of the 2012 election, it seems obvious that the explosion of Inbound Marketing over the past five years brings benefits to the political communication.

Donald Trump: a politician speaking the language of his audiences

Inbound Political Marketing is adapting to new communication channels since politicians become their own media by broadcasting their own content via social networks.

political e-reputation

Take the American example of Donald Trump. Maybe we are (legitimately) shocked by his words? However, it fits perfectly to its target, its buyer-personas previously analyzed: the American middle class.

Inbound Marketing at the service of participatory democracy and the political re-engagement of youth

Faced with the political disengagement of Generation Y, Inbound Marketing appears as the marketing technique that can meet their needs. According to a  survey conducted by Audirep for the Observatory of Solidarity Youth of Afev (student volunteers) and the BNP Paribas Foundation, “half of young people aged 15-30 consider politics as important and prefer forms of commitment such as signing petitionsmanifesting or relaying campaigns via social networks, rather than joining a party or union “.

Inbound Political Marketing, relying on a digital strategy, allows young people to regain their taste for politics by adopting their language. Why not imagine a landing page adapted to the behavior of Internet users and offering an infographic, or a white paper presenting the key points of the political program? Through previously established KPIs, it would then be quite possible to evaluate the political performance of politicians.

Also published on Medium.