5 Strong and Stable Marketing Pointers from the UK General Election Campaigns

June 05, 2017

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1. Influencer marketing can be a game changer

In a day and age when people are wise to mass marketing and fairly skeptical of things written on the side of a bus, how do you get your brand’s voice to resonate? You’ve got to keep it real. For Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, this involved pulling up a pew in a cosy coffee shop with London ‘grime’ rapper, JME (nee. Jamie Adujuna). No big deal, some might say. But, this very action went viral. The unlikely heart-to-heart of JME discussing with J-Corbz why lots of young men in London aren’t voting sent Twitter into a #Grime4Corbyn frenzy, and prompted a rise of voter registrations amongst a demographic who are self-admittedly renowned for not voting.

Since then, countless rap stars across London have been taking to SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram to share their support for the politician. Politics has never been cooler.

 

 

2. Make it an omnichannel experience

It’s no coincidence that we’ve seen more Facebook advertising than ever this election, or that politicians have been throwing real-time shade at one another’s TV appearances – or lack thereof – in cleverly crafted tweets. It seems that rather than banking all their campaign budget on political broadcasts and door drops alone, most of the key parties are mixing things up and branching out onto social channels to connect with more people.

Perhaps they’ve been inspired by Trump’s notorious Twitter feed or Obama’s game-changing use of social in his famous 2008 campaign. But with the average person spending nearly two hours a day on social media, omnichannel’s a wise move and an opportunity for brands and politicians to reach wider audiences and keep up relevant, contextual one-to-one interactions in the moment.

3. Trust is everything

The era of fake news, false promises and reliance on third party reviews has made trustworthiness a critical notion for brand relationships and politicians alike. Today, what you stand for and what you believe in is just as important as what you say – as people increasingly opt for brands whose values and ethics align with their own. The takeaway? Building trust should be just as key a focus as selling stuff. People want to be able to rely on products and services. In a similar vein to politics, they want to know brands have integrity and won’t let them down.

Pitching promises that can’t be upheld is a risky business when unhappy customers can share their voice freely and easily with millions of people, in a matter of seconds.

4. Be brave

Satirical social animations, live streaming, Snapchat promos, an attempted crowd surf from a politician? I think it's fair to say that the UK's never seen a bolder, braver toolbox of election campaign marketing tactics. And hats off – because if you keep doing the same old thing, chances are you’ll keep getting the same old results. With the 18-25 year olds bracket renowned as the lowest voting demographic, it makes good marketing sense to try new creative ways to interact with them. And if the all-time high voting registration figures amongst young people are anything to go by, you could say these new methods are working.

Thinking outside the ballot box and having a bit of courage and some metaphorical fire in your belly goes a long way in today’s ever-evolving marketing landscape – things move too swiftly to spend too long wondering ‘what if’.  And if you never try, you'll never know, right? 

5. Keep it human

Authenticity is powerful. Beneath the slogans and soundbites, people want to hear politicians talking, interacting, debating, listening. They want to see the whites of their eyes, their body language, their facial expressions when they’re asked tricky questions. Lots of the video content being shared in the lead-up to the election reiterates this. And it’s an important learning for us as marketers, too. Today, more than ever, people don’t just crave relevance and connection – they expect it and it’s our job to deliver it.

Just as any smart politician should, it’s important to understand what matters to your audience, what they care about, what interests them, what frustrates them. Building this context allows you to engage on a deeper level than ever before, in ways that resonate with people’s hearts and their minds, rather than make them want to hit the ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘hide’ button.

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