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Journal of Political Marketing


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Political Marketing
Jennifer Lees-Marshment
a b a b

University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Department of Management Studies, University of Aberdeen Available online: 08 Oct 2008

To cite this article: Jennifer Lees-Marshment (2003): Political Marketing, Journal of Political Marketing, 2:1, 1-32 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J199v02n01_01

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ARTICLES
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Political Marketing: How to Reach That Pot of Gold


Jennifer Lees-Marshment
University of Aberdeen, Scotland

ABSTRACT. Political marketing is an exciting new area. Research produced over the last decade has been pioneering in showing the appliDr. Jennifer Lees-Marshment is Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies at the University of Aberdeen where she researches and teaches political marketing. She is author of the book Political Marketing and British Political Parties: The Partys Just Begun (published 2001, Manchester University Press) and is currently writing The Political Marketing Revolution: Transforming the Government of the UK. She has published articles in both management and political science journals, including The Product, Sales and Market-Oriented Party and How Labour Learnt to Market the Product, Not Just the Presentation, European Journal of Marketing, 35(9/10): 1074-1084 (2001); The Marriage of Politics and Marketing, Political Studies, 49(4): 692-713, (2001); Marketing the British Conservatives 1997-2001, Journal of Marketing Management, 17, pp. 929-41 (2001); and with Stuart Quayle, Empowering the Members or Marketing the Party? The Conservative Reforms of 1998, Political Quarterly, 72(2): 204-212 (April-June) (2001). Dr. Lees-Marshment holds a BA Honours from Keele University, MA (Econ.) from Manchester University, and a PhD from Keele University. She is founder and Chair of Political Studies Association Political Marketing Group and Organiser of the Political Marketing Conference in Aberdeen, September 2002. Address correspondence to: Dr. Lees-Marshment, Department of Management Studies, University of Aberdeen, Edward Wright Building, Dunbar Street, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3QY United Kingdom (E-mail: j.s.lees-marshment@abdn.ac.uk). Journal of Political Marketing, Vol. 2(1) 2003 http://www.haworthpress.com/store/product.asp?sku=J199 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 10.1300/J199v02n01_01

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cability of marketing to politics. However, this article argues that the field now needs to move in a different direction if we are to reach political marketings full potential. Political marketing needs a comprehensive approach: it can be applied not just to party-electoral behaviour but also legislatures, local government, the media, and public services, with both concepts and techniques from marketing, and an understanding from political science literature as well as management studies. The article, therefore, maps out the route to be taken to reach the end of the rainbow and the pot of gold that the political marketing field potentially offers. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery

Service: 1-800-HAWORTH. E-mail address: <docdelivery@haworthpress.com> Website: <http://www.HaworthPress.com> 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.]

KEYWORDS. Political marketing, comprehensive political marketing, party marketing, marketing charities, marketing parliaments

Political marketing is an exciting new area to study. Almost everyone thinks it has something to say, but no one seems exactly sure what that is. Its scholars argue it will go farbut we are not agreed in which direction. It has much potential and attracts interest not just from academics but politicians, journalists and the public. Unlike some academic scholarship, it is timely and potentially relevant to every day lives at a time when the public in many advanced countries appear increasingly discontented with politics and politicians alike. Questions such as how parties win elections, how they deliver their promises and whether public institutions from the legislature to the local state or government office are responsive to the people they deem to serve are long-standing. Political marketing has something new to say about all of them. Marketing is permeating the entire political arenanot just parties but charitable interest groups, parliaments, education and health services, local government are utilising political marketing. Furthermore, the rise of political marketing mayalthough it is not yet provenencourage more responsive government that is more in tune with the people, with political products and services designed to meet citizen demands rather than elite political rhetoric. However, it also leads to ethical, normative and philosophical questions: What does it mean for political leadership? Should politicians follow the people? Is not political marketing manipulative and only concerned with manufacturing images? How can business concepts be applicable to an area traditionally seen as concerned with ideology and

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value? Political marketing stimulates a plethora of questions and there are a multitude of research gaps to be filled. It is like a newly discovered gold mine just waiting to be exploited. A spurt of pioneering research by scholars at the end of the 20th century helped to place it on the map; however, we have yet to figure out the best route to get to the end destination. There is still a long way to go before political marketing reaches its full potential to be of use, not just in university teaching and scholarly study, but of practical use, to party politicians, stage government officials, health and education professionals. To help reach that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this article sets out from our current destination, outlines a vision for where we might go, and maps out how to get there. OUR CURRENT DESTINATION: THE STATE OF POLITICAL MARKETING RESEARCH Political marketing is one of the most exciting areas of study today. It grabs attention from politicians, academics, journalists and the public. There is a common consensus that political marketing has notable importance in politics: we feel its use in party politics, elections, policy-making but also suspect it may be in operation in wider fields: public services, local government, interest groups. It represents for marketing the triumph of an approach first originated in business; for politics, it suggests a significant transformation of the way the political world operates. Political marketing subjects politicsthe arena of people power, philosophy and ideologyto the more consumer-like forces of business management and the market. Politics could become more responsive to citizen needs and demands, but it might also become consumer-led, which would override professional judgement, lack ideology and threaten the very essence of politics itself. The ramifications of this phenomenon may indeed be phenomenal: marketing could transform, or may already have transformed, the nature of politics as we know it. It is extremely important, therefore, that we study it. There are, however, several obstacles to the development of the political marketing subdiscipline. Political marketing is an extremely difficult topic to study; it is unclear, unpredictable, thought-provoking and challenging. Nonpolitical marketers hardly ever really understand it but everyone thinks they do. It is not unheard of, but more often than not, it is misunderstood. Political marketing scholars, drawn from management studies, political science and media studies, have to be prepared to tackle something new, differentbut very

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much unestablished. Following a more traditional area that has been studied for decades, such as the Constitution, Parliament, and the civil service or basic business management according to long-accepted theoretical and methodological tenets, is a far easier path to tread. Political marketing is by definition cross-disciplinary. This requires utilisation of two disciplines, asking of its researchers a mastery of more literature than for work located in a single discipline. It asks management studies scholars to transpose marketing tenets to a different and complex arena and political science researchers to take on a new set of tools and language, requiring considerable conceptual agility from both. On a practical level, academics also need to do twice as much work: there are conferences, journals and institutions in both disciplines and political marketers arguably need to investigate all of these avenues. It is obviously much easier to avoid this and locate oneself within the smaller literature of the home discipline, and to accept traditional theoretical frameworks than create new ones. Overall, there are many forces that work against truly developing the field and creating more comprehensive and effective research. Nevertheless, political marketing has achieved significant progress to date. The number of conference papers, articles, special editions of marketing journals, edited collections, even monographs on political marketing, has increased tremendously in the last 30 years. Scholars starting out in the field now have a number of books and special issues of journals to look at, including the Handbook of Political Marketing,1 European Journal of Marketing (1996 and 2001), and Journal of Marketing Management (2001). The political marketing conference based in the UK/Ireland has also become a regular annual event. Political marketing will always owe something to the pioneering political marketing scholars of the 1980s and 1990s. There remains, however, much more that can be done to establish political marketing as a solid subdiscipline in order to reach its potential. Perhaps it is the youth of the current position I am in which encourages a kind of teenage rebelliousness to cry we can do better and yearns to take a more challenging journey rather than continue to tread the path already known. Or perhaps it is because increasingly work and teaching leads me to meet political practitionerspeople actually doing political marketingwho urge academics to study it and completely accept its utility and also its comprehensive nature. Most people associate political marketing with election campaigns. They are not wrong as suchpolitical marketing does concern election campaigns, but it canand doesgo much further than this. There is natural frustration amongst the newest political marketing scholars, some of whom have never gone anywhere near studying political campaigns, to continue to encounter the usual response to I am studying political

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Jennifer Lees-Marshment

marketing for my PhD: The kindly-meant established academic launch into a monologue on what they think about spin doctors and sound bites and political advertisements. This may be part of political marketing, but it is not and cannot be the main focus. There is so much further we can go. There is also dissatisfaction with the difficulty of getting papers and publications accepted and receiving general esteem amongst our academic colleagues. Political marketing lacks mainstream acceptance in both disciplines of political science or management studies, particularly political science, in which there has never been a special issue of a journal on political marketing. Yet this is the very discipline that focuses in its entirety on studying politics, the arena we are seeking to use marketing to explain. There is also some regret that political marketing scholars have not yet stimulated substantial media and public debate on the use of political marketing. There is disappointment that we do not yet make significant comments on the use of political marketing not just in political parties but also in our public services, local and state government, the Scottish Parliament, the US Congress, even the monarchy. The ethical implications of this are immense: citizens as consumers; professional decisions replaced by focus groups; political leaders following people, rather than advancing ideals to be debated. The empirical reality is that political marketing is transforming political systems across the world and there is a golden opportunity for us to comment on it. One reason political marketing does not reach this potential is that we do not pursueor explainthe full potential that political marketing has. Too often we confuse it with general political communication and produce work that anyone who is not a political marketing scholar might be able to do without any knowledge or use of marketing. Although political marketing research has grown and developed, it still has some way to go before avoiding this problem. To explain this, we can separate existing research into three stages: the Founding Fathers, the Innovators, and the Developers. In doing so, however, the aim is not to present a typical literature review full of negative criticism of its weaknesses. Reviews have already been published elsewhere2 and such writing had laudable goals and made invaluable contributions to the establishment of the field. Anyone could pull it apart for what it did not do, but this would not be a fruitful exercise and would be unfair. Such work did what it did and met its own goals and played a crucial part in getting us to our current destination. Instead, such research is described and reviewed only to show the previous paths political marketing research has taken, to then suggest where we might go in the future.

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The Founding Fathers: Management Studies and Political Science


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The first stage was the original development of the two parental disciplines. Management science, and within it, marketing, discusses the goals of firms, their organisation, their approach (product, sales or market-oriented) and techniques (portrayed at most basic as the 4Ps: product, price, place and promotion). Political science discusses the different political organisations: parties, interest groups, the media, public sector, local government and other aspects such as election campaigns, voting behaviour and political communication. It also offers models of behaviour. The literature within both is immense and provides the solid foundation from which basic theoretical constructs can be drawn to create political marketing. The Innovators: Non-Profit Marketing The next stage was initiated by management scholars who took marketing for business and applied it to non-profit areas, including charities, hospitals and the public sector, as well as political candidates and parties. In 1969, an article by Kotler and Levy argued that the domain of marketing should be expanded to include nonbusiness organisations, persons and ideas.3 This aroused tremendous controversy within management science with criticisms, including those from Tucker, Luck, Carman and OLeary and Iredale.4 Arndt objected on academic discipline grounds, that such a combined semantic and territorial expansion may threaten the conceptual integrity of marketing, add to the confusion in terminology, and widen the gulf between marketing theory and practice.5 Nonetheless, theoretical and empirical research followed on the use of marketing in areas such as university recruitment, fund-raising, transportation, public services and churches. The Journal of Marketing in July 1971 contained several articles on non-profit marketing. Kotler authored and coauthored a number of other pieces of research, such as an article on how to introduce marketing into a non-profit organisation, with full appreciation of marketing theory for businesses, but also a consideration of the differences between business and non-profit organisations.6 The book by Kotler and Andreasen was focused entirely on the subject of marketing for non-profit organisations. There are many other examples.7 Within management science today there is significant research and teaching on non-profit marketing and new journals in the nonbusiness field such as the International Journal of Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. However, the value of this work remains limited to some degree for understanding politics because management studies scholars are not bound or even likely to incorporate and utilise literature from political science and, consequently, this

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body of work can be limited by not being truly cross-disciplinary: it somewhat inevitably neglects incorporating traditional literature in political science. Scholars from political science look at the detailed, extensive marketing models and wonder that anyone could imagine applying them to politics because we know instinctively from years of training and studying politics that they will not fit. Whilst literature that attempts to apply marketing models to political organisations deserves praise for its aims, political scientists know before they do so that all such research will find is that politics does not fit the standard marketing theory. Just one example is Laing and McKees study of health service marketing in the UK.8 This research found that front-line staff did not understand, let alone implement, the marketing concept. Whilst of clear value, political scientists could have predicted this because they know from policy studies that health professionals not only do not understand marketing they have professional objections to it. Political marketing needs to create its own new, integrated, cautious models to investigate the topicnot simply apply existing theories. Similarly, an external examiner in a management studies department recently criticised a students work that studied the marketing of the Scottish Parliament for not applying the standard services marketing/7Ps model. The standard services marketing model would never fit a newly-founded parliamentary institution and research simply confirming this would do little to help understand the behaviour and difficulties facing this new institution. Politics is different, and research that simply applies existing models to fit it will never progress beyond discovering thissomething anyone studying politics should be basically aware of. The non-profit marketing literature is useful but by itself can never provide adequate structures with which to investigate this new phenomenon. The Developers: Political Marketing Communication The next stage in the development of the field was conducted by scholars, mainly political scientists, who attempted to bring marketing and apply it to political communication.9 Such work did much to raise the profile of political marketing. Nevertheless, it was mainly focused on political communication: on how politicians sell themselves. As Butler and Collins (1996: 32) noted: The current interest in political marketing on the part of political scientists is clear. Several political science books and articles which have used the term marketing in the presentation of accounts of elections, both contemporary and historical, have been published in the UK alone recently. Similarly, this special issue of the European Journal of Mar-

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keting signals the interest and concern of marketing scholars. However, there are important differences between the conceptualisation and approaches of these two disciplines. Among political scientists, it seems to have been accepted that marketing is an activity which politicians may indulge in at their discretion and which is largely confined to that formal and stylised period called the campaign. There appears to be little appreciation of marketing theory, especially at the strategic level.10 Franklin, Kavanagh and Scammell, for example, provided valuable empirical observation of changes in political communication in Britain: how politicians sell their product. But they did not really analyse how they determine the nature of that product in the first place. Research in this category also neglected a comprehensive or in some cases even simple utilisation of marketing theory. Franklin discusses how politics is packaged or presented to the party, at the central and local level, and discusses the press and media in Britain. Kavanagh explores campaign communication; the Labour and Conservative party, polls, the press and media and election results. They thus take account of changes in communication technologies and how parties increasingly shape the way in which they communicate with the public to suit voters views and how polls have increasing influence on communication. Perhaps because communication is an area of politics that has attracted increasing attention in recent years, with the phrases sound-bites and spin-doctors becoming common parlance and indeed a source of contention, these books are often cited as major works on political marketing. Yet, the emphasis is on explaining how parties sell their behaviour rather than how they determine the nature of that product in the first place. Consequently, although political marketing is commonly criticised for being about advertising, slogans, sound bites and spin-doctors, its researchers have not yet fully demonstrated otherwise. We have become stuck in our current location: a small town location where life is perhaps comfortable and easy but does not attempt to reach out to the sunnier climates over the mountains in the distance. As already noted, political marketing is not an easy topic to research: any criticism here is made in the spirit of encouraging progress and development, rather than wishing to dismiss previous research or underestimate its contribution to the field. Its value is not questioned: it is merely argued that the next step is to widen the nature of study to be comprehensive and enable political marketing to go further. We must not let political marketing become focused on campaigns when it can be (and in real day politics is being) used much more widely than that. Furthermore, such work did not create appropriate theoretical frameworks with which to analyse the world empirically. Scammell, for example, has little

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discussion of what political marketing is, beyond a definition offered by the Academy of Marketing and a few sentences. It does not offer or use a theoretical framework and does not consider all the three marketing orientations (product, sales and market), choosing to take marketing as equating a market-orientation only. Even the significant body of literature which has explored the theoretical basis of marketing for businesses supports Butler and Collins suggestion that among political science, political marketing is seen as only about election campaigns. Bowler and Farrell (1992) define marketing as an exchange which occurs at election time when, to ensure maximum revenue, the sellers market themselves through an application of directed promotional activities (p. 5). The chapters within the edited volume focus on different countries but on particular campaigns. This limits marketing to being about promotion and taking place at election time.11 Harrop (1990), despite assertions that marketing is about strategy and promotion, focuses discussion on this aspect. Where marketing theory is used more broadly, it remains limited because it is used too rigidly. Wring applies all three orientationsalthough the focus is on communication: on party campaign organisation. However, Wring, like non-profit marketers within management studies, simply transplants the 4Ps of marketing and applies them to politics, rather than seeking to amend the theory or create new theoretical structures. Empirical research is undoubtedly important, but unless we devise appropriate theory before data collection we will not know what to collectand will not obtain a realistic, comprehensive picture of empirical reality. Politics cannot simply be fitted into a marketing framework that stems from analysis of the business worlda completely different framework. Marketing literature itself has acknowledged that non-profit-organisations are substantially different to businesses.12 Take political parties, for example: a partys goal is different and its performance is more difficult to measure. It may have several, possibly conflicting markets, which are generally undefined and unknown. It is not a profit-making enterprise and is conventionally seen as having normative roles or functions to play in society. A partys product is less tangible and is more complex to design, as well as envisage conceptually. Transferring marketing principles from business organisations to non-profit organisations is a complex process (see Rothschild, 1979, p. 11) and, as Scrivens (1990, p. 13) notes, marketing approaches must be adapted. That is why we need to use traditional political science literature to help us understand the nature, product, goals, market and behaviour of political organisations and actors, and why standard marketing models must be adapted. This is something that Scammell later acknowledged in her review of the field, noting that the 4Ps need considerable stretching to make much sense in politics.13 The

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research by OCass (1996: 45) conducted empirical research into the market-orientation of an Australian Party but the methodology is open to criticism, however, because it used questions clothed in marketing-language and terminology, which are bound to bias the responses from political practitioners. WHERE WE MIGHT GO: THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW There is a bright sunny rainbow over political marketing at the moment. It is a subject that attracts a lot of interest; has relevance for all areas of politics, to public sector workers, to nurses, doctors, teachers, politicians; yet few people work in the area and relatively little has been published compared to what could be done. There is a large pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and not many are on the road to reach it. Political marketing could become a course in every university run by either or both politics and management departments, with an undergraduate degree in political marketing run by both departments. Centres of political marketing could be established throughout the world along with consulting opportunities for consultancy for political marketing scholars in advising schools, hospitals, local councils, legislatures and political parties. This is in addition to many more publications, including a few journals in the area (of which the Journal of Political Marketing is an obvious example), of interest not just to several academic disciplines but with practical applicability: a field of study not far removed from the tax-payers who fund our work but responsive to the political interests and needs of the public. Political marketing could be applied to a number of areas in the political environment. Figure 1 presents a map of where political marketing research could now go. For example, when studying parliament, political marketing analysis can explore how it is managedwhether it is run with the public in mind or the politicians within the organisation. It will explore its ability to produce and pass legislation in relation to the promises and products created by political parties. Research should also take into account the nature of the market: newly founded parliaments in European countries and the US, for example, tend to have more effective participative structures and engagement with the public than the UK because the political culture and citizenship education is different. Political marketing can explore the institutions of deliverydevolved government, state/local government and the civil service/bureaucracy as a wholeto see how responsively they are run to meet voters demands and to what extent they use political marketing. Local governments in the UK, for example, often run consultative surveys of citizens to find out what services they most wanted and develop policies in response. The question can be asked whether this has

Jennifer Lees-Marshment FIGURE 1. Political Marketing: Map of Future Research

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Organisations Political marketing can be applied to and is used by: political parties, interest groups, Parliament/Legislatures, devolved and local government/councils, public services (education, health, etc.). Techniques Political marketing uses the techniques of: market intelligence (focus groups, surveys, polls, informal feedback, citizen consultation exercises) and marketing communications (direct mail, target marketing, direct dialogue). Concepts and Process Political marketing uses the product, sales and market-orientations to distinguish different types of behaviour and puts these together with the core parts of the process: market intelligence, product design, communication and delivery. Focused Issues Arising Political marketing then gives rise to more focused issues that need research: the accuracy of market intelligence; the use of professional staff; and how to implement political marketing within an organisationinternal organisational change issues. General Issues Arising Political marketing also then raises issues in classic political science areas: links between institutions/organisations, policy-making, policy delivery and governance, rational-choice against other approaches, populism, participation, representation, democracy. Political marketing can influence these standard areas by opening up new debates in them as a consequence of showing a change in behaviour in the organisations, as outlined above.

made it more responsive to local peoples demands and whether they deliver services more effectively. Political marketing can study whether the health service is market-oriented, or more sales- or product-oriented and analyse the effect of these orientations on performance/delivery and user satisfaction. It can ask whether the health service carries out market intelligence in an attempt to better understand the needs of its user; who its users are; what the role of health professionals is vis--vis patients; who should decide what the most important demands are; and what product should be offered. In 2000 the UK Labour Government carried out a public consultation market intelligence exercise: Was this effective or just a superficial stunt from which no further action will be taken? Furthermore, are other health systems in Australia, the US and Europe, which are designed and funded differently, more responsive to their market? There are also debates about how to measure the performance of education staff in universities as well as schools and issues of whether the power should be with parents or government/teachers. However, if we are to reach this pot of gold, we need

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to know how to get there. There may be many different roads we could take, and everyone will have different views about which is the best one. This article suggests a means of overcoming the difficulties of political marketing researchto climb those mountains and find the end of the rainbow. THE BEST APPROACH TO TAKE TO GET THERE: THE COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL MARKETING APPROACH If we are to reach the full potential of political marketing while covering all the areas of politics marketing and producing the best quality research, we need an approach that will get us over the rocky mountains to the valley below. We need some sort of compass or marks on the map to help us find our way. My own research in political marketing, which began in 1996, took a different approach to those who had already published in the field. Whilst conducting the typical literature reviews it became clear that my research would take a different road to those before me. It wasnt a complete departure: my study would naturally examine existing research for signposts to the next destination, but ultimately the road it would take had not been travelled much before. My research was on the marketing of British political parties but developed somewhat differently to that which had gone before because of understanding from political science and a basic empirical observation. In the run up to the 1997 UK general election, it was clearly visible that political marketing was not just about election campaigns. This was because of the way political parties were actually acting: New Labours most dramatic changes had occurred not in their selling or campaigning but their actual behaviour. It was the changes in policy and movement away from ideology in response to results from focus groups identifying voter demands that was both significant and sometimes disturbing. It was more comprehensive political marketing than existing literature suggested. Reading of basic marketing literature revealed the basic concept of a market-oriented business and the general consensus that marketing was about more than just selling. Political marketing is the use of this marketing in politics. Viewed broadly, it is concerned with the influence of marketing concepts (product, sales and market-orientation) on behaviour and can be applied to a wide range of political organisations. This is in addition to the use of techniques to identify voter demands and sell the political product on offer. Political marketing is about political organisations adapting techniques (such as market research) and concepts (such as the desire to satisfy voter demands) originally used in the business world to help them achieve their goals.14 It is not just about campaigning.

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This broader definition is created by studying political marketing more comprehensively. It is comprehensive because it studies the topic and politics more widely, and utilises literature in both political and management science. This is, therefore, termed CPM: Comprehensive Political Marketing, simply named to mark the difference from other studies in the topic. Comprehensive Political Marketing research gives us a compass set of principles which if followed will help us go on a much longer but more fruitful journey. Comprehensive Political Marketing Key Principles Comprehensive political marketing has key principles that enable political marketing to have a broader scope and greater utility to political practitioners. Building on Lees-Marshment (2001a), CPM has five main principles (see Figure 2). These broaden the potential scope of research and encourage greater cross-disciplinary research. For example, existing literature that will prove useful in this journey comes from both management studies/marketing and political science. Until we have reached our destination and built our own home with tested theory and agreed concepts, political marketing can travel using directions from a wide array of study (see Figure 3). However, enough of sketching the route: we need to actually go there, or show the way more visually. If you are trying to get people to take a journey they have not before, to go a different route, especially if it takes the highway rather than just smaller, friendlier back lanes they already know well, it is helpful to provide brochures which highlight why the end destination is worth the journey. In order to really understand why comprehensive political marketing research makes a difference, the article will now discuss report findings from research into marketing parties, interest groups and the Scottish and Westminster Parliament which uses CPM.
FIGURE 2. Comprehensive Political Marketing: Key Principles
1. CPM applies marketing to the whole behaviour of a political organisation, not just communication. 2. CPM uses marketing concepts, not just techniques: the product, sales and marketorientation as well as direct mail, target marketing and market intelligence. 3. CPM integrates political science literature into the analysis. 4. CPM adapts marketing theory to suit the differing nature of politics. 5. CPM applies marketing to all political organisational behaviour: interest groups, policy, the public sector, the media, parliament and local government as well as parties/ elections.

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JOURNAL OF POLITICAL MARKETING FIGURE 3. Political Marketing Literature Umbrella

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Comprehensive Political Marketing Political Science Management Science Basic study of different political areas Provides the understanding of their nature interest groups public policy/public sector management political parties voting behaviour legislative studies media Basic study of marketing theory concepts/techniques Provides theoretical foundations to then be applied to politics Independent area of nonbusiness study Services marketing: e.g., health and education is relevant to political marketing Independent area of nonbusiness study Non-profit marketing, including charity marketing but also public sector Other relevant areas can be brought in and also applied to politics: organisational studies organisational change internal marketing relationship marketing strategic marketing

Related area of study media studies and/or political communication Related areas of study can be brought in for ethical issues Political ideology, political philosophy

Comprehensive Political Marketing Research and Political Parties Comprehensive political marketing research was conducted into the behaviour of major political parties in Britain between 1979 and 1997.15 This produced integrated theoretical frameworks, but furthermore, when they were used to analyse empirical behaviour they produced interesting results. One of the principles of CPM is to take understanding from political science. It is commonly agreed in political science that despite holding many goals, the main ambition of major political parties is to compete in democratic elections in order to gain control of government. Political science also tells us that the market for a political party will not only consist of voters but non-voters needs that influence the electorate, and (at least in the British context) party members who provide a loyal and active base in the local community. The question nevertheless remains: How do they attract that support and win those elections? CPM research produces various suggestions. By taking a comprehensive approach, and integrating political science understanding, we realise that a partys product is its behaviour that encompasses many charac-

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teristics, is ongoing and offered at all times (not just elections), at all levels of the party. The product includes the leadership, MPs (and candidates), membership, staff, symbols, constitution, activities such as party conferences and policies. Parties using CPM can, therefore, alter their product to suit the nature and demands of their market. Taking another CPM principle that suggests we need to utilise marketing concepts not just techniques, we can see that parties can apply a product, sales or market-orientation to their behaviour when trying to achieve their goal. A Product-Oriented Party argues for what it stands for and believes in. It assumes that voters will realise that its ideas are the right ones and, therefore, vote for it. This type of party refuses to change its ideas or product even if it fails to gain electoral or membership support. A Sales-Oriented Party focuses on selling its argument to voters. It retains its predetermined product design, but recognises that desired supporters may not automatically want it. Using market intelligence to understand voters response to its behaviour, the party employs the latest advertising and communication techniques to persuade voters that it is right. A Market-Oriented Party designs its behaviour to provide voter satisfaction. It uses market intelligence to identify voter demands, then designs a product that will actually satisfy voters demands: that meets their needs and wants, is supported and implemented by the internal organisation, and is deliverable in government. The next issue is how parties follow these orientations. Using CPM, we use all of marketing theory and visualise how parties might use the standard 4Ps: product, pricing, promotion and place. Following CPM principles we should, however, adapt them to suit politics and can form them into a chronological process consisting of various stages a party will go through within one electoral cycle. To do so, the 4Ps need to be significantly altered to create more appropriate activities; stages that are not relevant can be discarded; and terminology can be changed where appropriate. This representation of the marketing process differs significantly from marketing itself and also from previous studies of political marketing, which do not always change marketing as extensively. One example is the pricing notion within the traditional marketing 4Ps. Wring includes this in studying campaigns, building on Niffenegger. But although it has some utility for campaigns (the cost of advertising, for example), it has less for party behaviour as a whole. This has, therefore, been altered considerably to product adjustment. Place is also discarded because although it is appropriate for the study of campaign organisation it makes less sense for party behaviour as a whole. The result of this is presented in Figures 4 and 5. Further detail on each activity in the process is to be found in Figure 5. When this theoretical framework was used for empirical analysis, several points were found:

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British major parties have adopted all three orientations at one time or
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Contrary to conventional political wisdom, even politicians who might Parties that are the most market-oriented win elections.
claim to have political conviction have been market-oriented.

another.

By looking not just for market-oriented behaviour but all three orientations, thereby following the CPM principle of utilising all marketing concepts, it was discovered that British major parties have adopted all three orientations over time. If we look at behaviour from an aggregate level, such as businesses,16 parties have gone through an historical transformation from product, through sales and finally market-orientation. Product-Oriented Parties succeeded in the type of society that existed in Britain and Europe in the early twentieth century. The franchise was fully extended and the party organisation played a significant role in enabling parties to communicate, contact and mobilise their voters. Parties had strong links with the community through members and organisation, which helped them to generate and maintain both external and internal support. These strong and stable bases of support meant that in marketing terms, parties could be product-oriented. When this support began to decline,
FIGURE 4. The Marketing Process for Product, Sales and Market-Oriented Parties
Product-Oriented Party Stage 1 Product Design Sales-Oriented Party Stage 1 Product Design Stage 2 Market Intelligence Market-Oriented Party Stage 1 Market Intelligence Stage 2 Product Design Stage 3 Product Adjustment Stage 4 Implementation Stage 2 Communication Stage 3 Campaign Stage 4 Election Stage 5 Delivery Stage 3 Communication Stage 4 Campaign Stage 5 Election Stage 6 Delivery Stage 5 Communication Stage 6 Campaign Stage 7 Election Stage 8 Delivery

Jennifer Lees-Marshment FIGURE 5. Political Marketing Activities for Parties

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Product Design product and sales-oriented parties design behaviour according to what they think best market-oriented parties determine behaviour in response to voter demands Market Intelligence (sales and market-oriented parties only) informally, parties keep an ear to the ground, talk to party activists, meet with the public formally they commission polls, focus groups, surveys, etc. Product Adjustment (market-oriented party only) it designs its product to suit the electorate at large and then needs to make sure it considers other factors: a) whether the product design is achievable: the party will not promise what it cannot deliver in government; b) internal reaction: the party may alter parts of the design to ensure it will obtain the support of enough MPs and members; c) competition: the party will promote opposition weaknesses and highlight their own corresponding strengths; d) support: the party will focus on winning the support of voters it does not have but needs to win power, thereby using target marketing. Implementation (market-oriented party only) findings from Stages 1-3 of the process for such a party must be implemented majority within the party need to broadly accept the new behaviour and comply with it Communication all parties communicate their behaviour whether or not they design it carefully is permanently ongoing not just the leader but all MPs send a message to voters sales- and market-oriented parties attempt to ensure that communication they have with the public helps them achieve electoral success and influence others in the communication process Campaign official election campaign period leading up to the election Election general election Delivery if the party wins, they deliver the product in government

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however, parties respond by becoming sales-oriented and trying to persuade voters that the party they had once identified with was still the one they should vote for. But more recently, since the 1970s, voters have become more educated, informed and critical of politics and parties, levels of party identification and membership have declined, and the market nature has become more heterogeneous. The demands made by voters have become less class-based and parties need to offer a product that will be supported by a diverse majority of the electorate. Parties have responded to this by becoming market-oriented.

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It can, therefore, be argued that political parties go through a developmental process: moving from product, to sales and then a market-orientation as the market nature changes. But the empirical pattern at the individual level is not so clear. For example, the Labour Party went through an evolution from product, to sales, to market-orientation. Between 1979 and 1983 it was a Product-Oriented Party. It created policies on defence, nationalisation and tax that were out of line with the majority of public opinion. After the 1983 election, under the leadership of Neil Kinnock, changes were made to the Partys organisation, symbols, and communication efforts so that by 1987 it was a highly efficient Sales-Oriented Party. Its focus was on selling; the only problem was it was selling a product that voters did not want. The nature of the product they were communicating remained insufficiently market-oriented. For example, it continued to hold the unpopular policies of high tax and public spending. Labour made more changes and by 1997 became an almost classic Market-Oriented Party. It conducted prolific market intelligence and changed its product in response. Tony Blair was a very popular leader. The Party took a more pro-business and free market attitude, became tougher on crime, discussed reforming rather than expanding the welfare state, and talked about aspiration and advancement. It also focused on voters major concerns of education, crime, and the health service. Using target marketing, it responded to the demands of middle England by committing itself to existing government spending plans and not raising income tax. The new product was communicated so effectively that by the time of the election campaign the Party had little to sell: voters already knew what they had to offer.17 This pattern is not always followed so neatly, however. After success in the 1992 election, the Tories under John Major slipped to a Product-Orientation Party. It failed to deliver on many promises in government, neglected market intelligence, and many aspects of their product such as the leadership and MPs were unpopular. The Party also failed to implement its design and was highly disunited. The Conservatives were perceived to be out of touch and unresponsive to voters demands. CPM analysis of the Tories under Margaret Thatcher also challenges conventional views about the leader as being a conviction politician. Although towards the end of her leadership she adopted a product-oriented attitude, at first, in 1979, the Conservative Party was broadly market-oriented. Policy, leadership style, organisation, communication and the campaign were designed to suit the Partys understanding of voters demands as derived from market intelligence and analysis of the partys existing and actual support. Changes in behaviour were also introduced carefully to ensure acceptance from within the Party and policy promises were designed to be achievable. Although the Party did not succeed in delivering everything in government, they

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were sufficiently successful in gaining voter support to win successive elections, especially in 1983 against an opposition that was more product than market-oriented. The overall trend in party behaviour, though, is now towards the Market-Oriented Party. Both the Tories and Labour attempted to follow this model after 1997, Labour in government focusing on delivery, the Tories initiating major organisational change in opposition,18 albeit with differing success. CPM, therefore, reveals that parties adopt all three orientations but also suggests a link between the orientation adopted and a partys support. Between 1992 and 1997 the Conservative Party not only saw a decline in the market-orientation of their behaviour but a loss of support, as measured by polls, focus groups, surveys, membership numbers and activity, culminating in the loss of the general election. Political marketing can enable us to observe how organisations may lose touch with their market, maybe even to advise them how not to do so. As Kotler and Levy argued in their seminal article on broadening the concept of marketing, Marketing is that function of the organisation that can keep in constant touch with the organisations consumers, read their needs, develop products that meet these needs, and build a programme of communications to express the organisations purposes.19 In the 1997 election, the huge majority gained by Labour reflects the Partys determined efforts to change its behaviour to suit voters demands. Overall, between 1979 and 2001 in the UK, the greater the market-orientation, the greater the success a party achieved in a general election. Clearly the nature of the opposition is important here: if no major party is market-oriented, a party that is sales-oriented may win over a Product-Oriented Party. Additionally, a party may win without being completely market-oriented because the competition is less market-oriented than they are. Comprehensive political marketing research into parties, therefore, produced three new classifications of party behaviour and suggested that one, the Market-Oriented Party, is the way to win elections. CPM enhances academic understanding of political behaviour and produces ideas about how parties win elections that could be used in advising political practitioners. This utility is derived from building on understanding from both political science and marketing. Furthermore, CPM research uncovered a trend towards market-oriented party behaviour that had not previously been fully articulated. It showed how British party behaviour has changed. Political parties no longer pursue grand ideologies, fervently arguing for what they believe in and trying to persuade the masses to follow them. They increasingly follow the people. Parties use modern technology and marketing techniques to understand what voters want; moreover, they adopt the market-oriented concept: they focus on satisfying voters demands. Rather than relying on traditional ideology passed down

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through the family to secure them votes, parties concentrate on proving effective in improving peoples lives through their action in government. They produce clearer pledges and, once in office, all attention is turned to delivery. When they go against this behaviour and focus on selling themselves (sales-oriented) or simply push their argument in the old-fashioned style of politics (product-oriented) they lose votes. They then try to become a Market-Oriented Party once again because this is the most likely way they will ever win a general election. Such different results from this analysis are not just likely for studying British politics. CPM analysis has also been applied to the US, comparing Clinton and the Democratic Party in 1992 to Tony Blair and the Labour Party in 1997.20 This found that the use of political marketing by Clinton extended way beyond the use of market techniques in political communication and campaigning than we might otherwise think. Although the Clinton campaign approach was more consistent with traditional definitions of political marketing as it placed more emphasis on the formal campaign and the techniques used to package and present their candidate, the Clinton team used marketing to do more than sell or communicate its product to the electorate. Clinton still went through the process of identifying and responding to voter demands. Although product changes made by the Clinton team were less obvious, aspects of his behaviour and policies were altered in line with voter attitudes, as were some elements of the Democrat partys behaviour, albeit on a smaller scale than what Blair did in the UK.21 Another way to illustrate the importance of using the CPM approach when analysing party behaviour is to look at work that did not use it and imagine the different if it had. Newmans work on US presidential politics showed how politicians in the United States are increasingly using marketing techniques (polls and focus-groups) to determine how they communicate with the electorate.22 Its content included discussion of the developments in information technology, the focus on images, the use of marketing techniques and brief but interesting empirical examples from recent US presidential elections. However, if one applies the CPM framework to the content, it becomes clear that it alludes to a development that goes way beyond the use of marketing techniques: the rise of market-oriented politics itself, rather than just communications. It touches on how marketing concepts are used to inform the nature rather than just the presentation of politicians behaviouri.e., a move towards market-oriented parties. As Newman (p. 7) notes, the distinctive aspect to Clintons campaigns was his ability to follow market-orientationwhich centers on a campaign built around voters concerns and desires rather than his own. Throughout the book, albeit somewhat mixed with empirical material on the nature of communication, Newman contemplates the normative impli-

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cations of this market-oriented behaviour. This aspect could have been more developed if the book separated discussion of Sales- and Market-Oriented Parties. Otherwise the book can read as no different to basic studies of the nature of campaigning that any student of American politics would already be familiar with. Simply clothing it in marketing language is not enough. The CPM approachthe theoretical framework applied almost as a methodologywould help political marketing scholars raise the value of their work. Brief analysis of European and Australian parties from this perspective also suggests how important the CPM approach is. Comparative CPM research can prevent cursory, misleading conclusions about political marketing. One case that is commonly cited as an example of political marketing is Silvio Berlusconis Forza Italia! that won the 1994 election in Italy. This case raises criticisms of the field and practice of political marketing, when in fact it is an example of poor political marketing. Firstly, Berlusconis behaviour was partly that of a Sales-Oriented Party and secondly, he made many promises which were not achievable. Once in office, he also took on a product-oriented attitude: he resisted criticism from the opposition and failed to deliver.23 New emerging research into Irish Party marketing presented at the 2002 political marketing conference has even found that the sales-oriented approach is being utilised by Sinn Fein, whilst Fianna Fail has moved through the product-sales-marketing-oriented party cycle.24 CPM and Interest Groups The difference CPM makes can also be seen in analysis of interest group behaviour with regard to membership recruitment. There are thousands of interest groups in the UK whose main aim is a charitable one: trying to help the environment, others or animals in need. They engage in significant campaigning to try to influence public affairs in the interests of their cause. Nevertheless, despite their extra-governmental status, such groups increasingly act like a business because they need to attract financial support to fund their campaign work. Although some have significant benefactors, most look to individual supporters (including members and donors) to provide this. New research which took the CPM approach discovered that groups applied marketing to the product, not just how they sell their organisation. Adapting the processes created for Market-Oriented Parties, a new four-stage process was created for charities. This process encompasses not simply how groups communicate or sell their organisation to potential supporters (Stage 3), but how they first conduct market intelligence to identify supporter demands (Stage 1), then design their product to reflect this (Stage 2), before going on to engage in communication and then delivery (Stage 4) (see Figure 6).25

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JOURNAL OF POLITICAL MARKETING FIGURE 6. Political Marketing Process for Interest Groups

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Stage 1 Market intelligence

Stage 2 Product design

Stage 3 Communication

Stage 4 Delivery and cyclical marketing

Using this theoretical framework, empirical research was conducted which discovered that groups did follow this process. They attempted to understand what their supporters want from the organisation and designed their participation product to reflect what supporters want. By analysing their supporter base, they could also offer a supporter-dictated membership package so that individual supporters could choose the option that best suits them, ranging from simple donation to active involvement. They used various techniques to contact potential supporters, communicating by marketing techniques such as direct mail and direct dialogue. They made sure they notified supporters of campaign progress and continually evaluated and discussed the response to all aspects of organisational behaviour, not just the recruitment packages sent out by direct mail. Overall they adopted the market-oriented concept and became a market-oriented group; they designed their behaviour to meet potential and existing supporters demands in order to obtain and maintain their support. Political marketing is used much more broadly by charitable and voluntary groups then we might otherwise expect. Previous research had identified that groups use political marketing techniques in their communication efforts, but this confined political marketing to the selling of a product, not its actual design. It was merely suggested that groups were using direct mail techniques. Because the understanding and application of marketing itself had somewhat narrow parameters it never allowed for the possibility that groups may in fact use marketing more comprehensively and to inform their behaviour more widely. A different picture emerged when the more comprehensive framework was applied and it was found that the use of political marketing was much broader. Although empirical data collection is immensely valuable, we also need sometimes to stop and develop an approach or theory so we know what to ask and look for. The CPM approach can result in very different empirical results. CPM Research and Legislatures: Westminster and Scottish Parliament One of the CPM principles is that marketing can be applied to all political organisations, including legislatures. New research is currently being conducted in the UK into the marketing of the Scottish Parliament and whether

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Westminster Parliament uses marketing. A market-oriented Parliament would design its product to suit what the public demands. It would conduct market intelligence to consider what the public most needs and wants, then design its product, including parliamentarians, power structure, committee system, staff, resources, rules and regulations, to suit the results from market intelligence and aim to offer an overall service which the public is broadly satisfied with. It might go through a process such as that represented in Figure 7. Research suggests, however, that the UK Westminster Parliament is far away from this model. Westminster not been particularly quick to adapt to the changing demands of the public. Indeed, it has shown a lack of interest in even acknowledging, let alone responding to, voter demands. As an institution, Parliament has historically been slow to adapt, and, therefore, does not possess the best culture which could facilitate change and more responsiveness.26 In contrast, the newly created Scottish Parliament is in a good position to be a market-oriented Parliament. Discussion with staff, analysis of the internal discussions and original aims surrounding the creation of this new organisation suggest a culture supportive of a market-orientation. The people involved in operating, and, therefore, de facto designing, the parliament, are continually trying to identify problems and respond to them, willing and open to necessary change to achieve the best Parliament for its people. There is a systemic, institutionalised culture and attitude that is market-oriented, concerned with meeting the needs and wants of the people the Parliament is intended to serve. The culture, staff, organisation, and leadership of the Scottish Parliament is in sharp contrast to that of the Westminster where a product-orientation hinders change. It will be much easier for the Scottish Parliament to remain in contact with its market and adapt to meet its changing needs and, therefore, maintain a market-orientation over time than Westminster, which has yet to even reach a market-orientation.27 The Need for Comprehensive Political Marketing Research Political marketing has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of the political world. As already noted, existing literature has done much to advance the field and create the foundations towards achieving its full potential. CPM itself builds upon foundationary theoretical work in both disciplines, innovative work within management science on non-profit marketing and those who developed literature within political science that helped established at least the name of political marketing. But CPM is distinct for being comprehensive, for taking a broad approach and making it clearer what difference the application of marketing to politics can make. Without this, the field suffers from over-focus on one discipline than the other and on communica-

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JOURNAL OF POLITICAL MARKETING FIGURE 7. Marketing Process for Market-Oriented Parliament

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Stage 1: Market Intelligence A market-oriented Parliament will conduct a wide range of market intelligence (debate, discussion, commissions, focus groups, polls, reports, from the public, related bodies, parliamentarians) about what Parliament is good at, not good at, and think about how it might be improved. It is concerned with what the public needs and wants from it, not just what they think of it as it is. It will, therefore, include debates about the nature and role of Parliament involving outside related bodies and parliamentarians as well as the views of the public. Stage 2: Product Design Parliament designs its product, including MPs, Lords, committee structure, and resources to suit the results from market intelligence. It, therefore, shows great heed to public opinion and the views of interested and related bodies. It changes its behaviour accordingly, being responsive to public opinion. Stage 3: Product Adjustment Achievability: It needs to ensure that the product design and promises can be achieved. Competition analysis: It will take into account the needs and views of the competition, such as the Executive, the media, and adjust its behaviour to suit them, such as the media. Internal reaction analysis: For the product design to be effective, it needs to be supported by those within the institution, so it needs to ensure parliamentarians agree with the proposed changes, and also that tradition is not completely overhauled but integrated. Support analysis: Parliament may target some product changes, in particular areas where it is especially weak. Stage 4: Implementation For political marketing to work it has to be implemented effectively, using all the guidelines from marketing management literature. The findings from Stages 1-3 of the process must be implemented and a majority within the institution need to broadly accept the new behaviour and comply with itso care must be taken to proceed carefully especially if major change is required. The major players must be on board, especially the major parties and the governing party. Stage 5: Communication Parliament will then communicate its work effectively and efficiently, responding to the needs of the media, the governing party and executive. It will use all the techniques, tools and staff of a sales-oriented Parliament. Communication is designed to ensure that the public is aware of the work of Parliament, but also how they may participate, and what the institution offers them. The style of communication is also geared to suit the audience. Stage 6: Campaign A market-oriented Parliament may undertake mini-campaigns to boost its profile, attract new members, and publicise the work it is doing. Stage 7: Delivery Parliament will pass legislation and fulfil its functions, in a way which meets public needs to the greatest extent. Stage 8: Communication of Delivery It will also attempt to communicate the work it has done, for example, publicising the passing of important and interesting legislation, or a particularly significant committee investigation or commission. It will also solicit feedback/user opinion on, for example, the effect of particular legislation in case amendment is necessary. This stage would be continual.

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tion rather than behaviour. This has unfortunately limited not only its academic development but also its utility to practical politics. CPM is necessary at the very least to convey to the political science half of the field why marketing has differential value to add to understanding politics. Scammells (1999) review of existing literature in a major political science journal, Political Studies, indicated how the broad scope of political marketing has not been widely accepted in that discipline. Political marketing is commonly dismissed as a cute idea offering little more than trendy appeal. In defence of political science, however, we have not taught the lesson very effectively. Hitherto, the majority of political marketers focus on PMC (political marketing communication), discussion about the influence of marketing on the design of political behaviour is mixed with analysis of its presentation, and research neglects utilisation of marketing theory.28 Although it is not easy to follow the CPM principles, it is possible, and vitally important, that we make one more step in the development and push research away from the over-focus on political communication and also make much more use of marketing theory than the developers had the capacity to do. One word of caution: Throughout, this article has attempted to draw youthful ideas into a more mature reflection on how we might study political marketing in order to achieve its full potential. This has been done with significant and genuine respect for my elders and the aim to invite substantial criticism and comment. Such a risky path is taken because like all pioneering scholars, it is my duty to contribute to the development of the field in this way. We need to pursue a slightly different, more carefully thought out and wider path. All new subdisciplines have such debates during their formative years and political marketing is no exception. The aim here is to help us take the highway every so often rather than a smaller back lane so that we reach the destination more quickly and enable a much wider range and number of scholars to join us en route. A highway holds many more travellers than a one-way country lane. The CPM research which has been conducted and is starting to grow is also only the beginning: this article does not set it up as perfect or beyond fault. It will overtime become in need of further empirical testing and theoretical refinement, but the overall approach makes for more rewarding research. Furthermore, it is hastily added that work which, for example, focuses on a particular marketing activity such as market intelligence remains perfectly acceptable, as long as it is acknowledged that it is part of a broader picture where political marketing has wider applicability and use. But to demonstrate and fulfil that wider potential, more work using the comprehensive approach is needed. We need to actually do work that clearly demonstrates the benefits of political marketing, in order to gain acceptance

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amongst academics and the public and reach the vision of what the field can become.
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WHY WE SHOULD EVEN GET ON THE ROAD: THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING POLITICAL MARKETING Political marketing is not only interesting to study, it is important to study. The application of essentially business concepts and ideas to an arena traditionally conceived as being as much about how things should be as what they are actually like, raises immense ethical and philosophical questions for society. We can only study the consequences of political marketing if we know what it is and how it is operating. Political marketing is sweeping through political systems throughout the world. In the UK, not only is it informing political parties how to behave, they in turn are putting pressure on the health service, education, Parliament, even local councils to become more responsive to the citizens these political institutions were created to serve. Critical citizens themselves have demanded these changes, becoming consumer of public politics and public institutions in the same way that they are of business and economic services. Nonpolitical but extremely influential forces in society have made the public more critical, with voices of their own, less trusting of officials above them. They are unwilling to simply accept what advice a doctor gives them on how they should be treated, or the verdict of a school teacher on the academic future of their child, or the inefficiency of a local government administrator, let alone trust what party politicians promise during election campaigns. People want results; they want a product geared to suit their needs and wants and they want it to be delivered in a satisfactory manner. Political marketing can help organisations meet the demand. Although marketing originates in business, its concepts and techniques have considerable applicability and transferable value to the political environment. Political marketing can examine how political organisations and institutions respond to the public and deliver or meet the needs of those they serve. Analysis can explore what the goal of such services are, what their product is, who they are run by, who they seek to serve (what is their market), whether they attempt to identify the demands of their consumers, if they solicit feedback in order to improve their service, how they integrate professionals and advice from outside experts within the organisations. Does Westminster Parliament or Congress work the hours and in the conditions needed to attract the best personnel to represent the people; how are they trained? Are they trained at all? Does the media operate to meet viewers needs (for unbiased, balanced and clear information

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about politics) or to attract high audiences? Were the political institutions such as the media and the monarchy ever product-oriented? If so, have they moved towards a market-orientation or are they still stuck in focusing on public relations, viewer figures and so adopted a sales-orientation to declining public interest in their product? However, the rise of political marketing raises significant questions for politics. Can and should health services really be marketed? Do citizen consultation exercises run by local government councils make them more responsive and better able to empty bins? In particular, marketing political parties arouses criticism on several points. One is that political marketing encourages short-termism or populism. Smith and Saunders note how people fear that marketing will cause a scenario where politicians increasingly focus on narrow, short term issues because they are popular, whilst leaving the more critical longer term, strategic planning to become a hostage to fortune.29 Marketing could stop parties taking unpopular but arguably necessary decisions, because they pay so much attention to current public opinion. Another question for Market-Oriented Parties is what role does political leadership play? The basic idea of a market-orientation is to follow, rather than lead, voter demands. It therefore raises the argument that political parties should not simply follow voters demands. In politics, it is better to stand for what you believe and argue your case. The majority may not always be right. The minority or elite may have knowledge and understanding that the majority does not. As Scrivens and Witzel noted, Asking the general population to vote effectively on certain subjects raises a number of complex issues . . . the general public may hold views which are considered by policy makers to be unacceptable in society.30 The political elite are better qualified to make decisions about what the people need and should be given. As Smith and Saunders explain, Pandering to the prejudices of the majority might herald a tyranny of the ill-formed. Capital punishment, forced repatriation and other lowest common denominator issues could become important if marketing research showed a short-term benefit in courting them. Walsh also argues that:31 It is perfectly possible to argue that people want something, and that it might produce some beneficial results, but that it would be wrong to do it. The central questions of politics, the nature of punishment, the organisation of health and education, foreign relations and the formation of law cannot be settled on the basis of consumers expression of wants. Politics is irredeemably a moral undertaking and what is efficient comes second to what is right or good for the social community.

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Similarly, Hodder-Williams argued:32


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There is something distasteful in the thought of British politics degenerating into a competition between two groups of electoral manipulators, each eager to attract at any price the support of that section of the electorate without ideological conviction. Nevertheless there is a case for political marketing. Firstly, these objections, therefore, relate to views about the nature of democracy and this is a long-standing debate. There is a natural tension in the party arena between the politics of conviction and winning elections. This tension has always existed to an extent and has not simply arisen because of the use of political marketing. Lock and Harris noted how some objections to political marketing reflect a somewhat atavistic longing for the good old days when politics was about real issues, before the sound bite, the spin doctor and the marketing message. Unfortunately for those steeped in such nostalgia, such images of an innocent political past are more myth than reality.33 It can be argued that political marketing makes parties more democratic by rendering them more responsive to voters demands. Political marketing is concerned with how organisations respond to peoples needs. There remains room for leadership. Political marketing identifies the demands of voters but it is still up to parties and politicians to design the policies to meet those needs. Political marketing can help this: it makes parties and the political elite more responsive to voters. Nevertheless, Tony Blair has been heavily criticised for leading by focus groups. Defending Labours use of focus groups, Gould argues that:34 With the exception of spin-doctors no campaign phrase has ever been imbued with a greater air of nonsensical mystique than focus groups. Their importance in modern politics is that they enable politicians to hear directly the voters voices. Another quote from Stan Greenberg, an American pollster echoes these views about the use of market intelligence:35 It doesnt need defending. It is part of the democratisation of modern elections. Just as governments have changed, just as parties have changed, campaigns have changed. Democracy has changed. The institutions that used to be effective in mediating popular sentiment have atrophied . . . Politicians have always used various instruments to try to judge where the public stood. And now polls and focus groups are the best available means.

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A Market-Oriented Party uses market intelligence to identify the problem to be solved; political elites judge how best to meet it. Voters, like any consumers, seek the ends of party behaviour. They may utilise the experiences and values of voters in designing solutions, but some judgement is still required. There may be less debate about what to deliver, but more on how and which party is more able to deliver. Furthermore, politicians increasingly listen to voters to gain guidelines and feedback about what works; what does not; what needs improving; because no one person can understand everything about a country, but some mediation and balancing of demands is necessary. These are just some of the issues political marketing raises. Marketing public services, local government, the media and even the monarchy will doubtless raise other issues. On a positive note, if political marketing develops fully then we will be able to open a consulting house at our final destination and offer practical advice to political practitioners throughout the world as well as commentary of the ethical implications. We could suggest how best to achieve a market-orientation in a local council, how to use market intelligence to identify citizen needs, how to best design a political product to meet voter needs. One thing is clear: political marketing needs to be studied and studied well for this to happen. We need to show what is happening in practical politics to offer academic commentary and opinions on the nature and consequences of this behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: THE GOLD IS IN SIGHT Political marketing is a groundbreaking new field with the potential to lead the study of politics and demonstrate the wider applicability of marketing. It can go a long way to enhancing the understanding of political behaviour and political organisations. Furthermore, it could well reach the position of being able to advise and recommend to organisations and actors in the political sphere how best to act to represent and respond to the demands of the citizenry most effectively. But to get there it needs to choose its route carefully. Pure concentration on campaigning or marketing techniques will only take use so far. While such an locus of study is a good place to go, we must be careful not to rest there too long and miss the broader (if longer) journey to apply marketing to all areas of politics. If we take the comprehensive political marketing approach, this applies marketing to the whole behaviour of a political organisation, utilising marketing concepts, marrying two disciplines with a wide range of applicability that includes interest groups, policy, the public sector, the media, Parliament and local government as well as parties and elections. The path is sometimes more difficult, longer, with a wider road to take in many more peo-

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ple as it goes from a range of disciplines and areas. Like all pioneering research, especially that which is cross-disciplinary, it has mountains to conquer, but the view the other side makes the journey well worth it. If research is conducted in this manner, the field can develop more fully and reach its potential to not only enrich the study but the practice of politics. Political marketers can be truly interdisciplinary, conduct joint or group research, forge new links with both political science and management studies organisations, establish a seminar series, seek funding for projects across institutions and disciplines and explore the potential for consultancy. Over time we can achieve the vision of a course on the topic in every university an undergraduate degree in political marketing; and centres of political marketing throughout the world offering not just teaching and research but advice to government and political organisations. This article has sketched one road we could follow to reach this goal. While there may be many discussions about the best path to take along the way, as there are on any journey, at least one path has been set out before us that we can all debate and work together to reach that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. NOTES
1. Newman, Bruce I. (ed.) (1999), The Handbook of Political Marketing, Sage. 2. Scammell, Margaret. (1999), Political Marketing: Lessons for Political Science, Political Studies, 47: 4, 718-39. 3. Kotler, Philip and Sidney J. Levy. (1969), Broadening the Concept of Marketing, Journal of Marketing, 33: 1, 10-15 (January). 4. Tucker, W.T. (1974), Future Directions in Marketing Theory, Journal of Marketing, 38: 2, 30-5 (April); Luck, D. (1969), Broadening the Concept of MarketingToo Far, Journal of Marketing, 33, 53-55 (July); Carman, J. (1973), On the Universality of Marketing, Journal of Contemporary Business, 2: 4; and OLeary, Ray and Ian Iredale. (1976), The Marketing Concept: Quo Vadis?, European Journal of Marketing, 10: 3, 146-157. 5. Arndt, Johan. (1978), How Broad Should the Marketing Concept Be?, Journal of Marketing, 42:1, 101-103 (January). 6. Kotler, Philip. (1979), Strategies for Introducing Marketing into Non-profit Organisations, Journal of Marketing, 43, 37-44 (January); see also Kotler, Philip. (1972), A Generic Concept of Marketing, Journal of Marketing, 36, 46-54 (April); Kotler, Philip. (1977), From Sales Obsession to Marketing Effectiveness, Harvard Business Review, 67-75 (November-December); Kotler, Philip and Alan R. Andreasen. (1991), Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organisations, Prentice-Hall. 7. See, for example, Shapiro, Benson. (1973), Marketing for Non-Profit Organisations, Harvard Business Review, 51, 123-32 (September-October); Scrivens, Ellie and Morgan Witzel. (1990), Editorial, European Journal of Marketing, 24: 7, 5-14; Shama, Avraham. (1976), The Marketing of Political Candidates, Journal of the

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Academy of Marketing Science, 4: 4, 764-77; Cousins, L. (1990), Marketing Planning in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors, European Journal of Marketing, 24: 7, 15-30; Gwin, John M. (1990), Constituent Analysis: A Paradigm for Marketing Effectiveness in the Not-for-Profit Organisation, European Journal of Marketing, 24: 7, 43-48; Von der Hart, Hein W.C. (1990), Government Organisations and their Customers in the Netherlands: Strategy, Tactics and Operations, European Journal of Marketing, 24: 7, 31-42 and Walsh, Kieron. (1994), Marketing and Public Sector Management, European Journal of Marketing, 28: 3, 63-71. 8. Laing, A.W. and Lorna McKee. (2000), Structuring the Marketing Function in Complex Professional Service Organisations, European Journal of Marketing 34(5/6): 576-591. 9. Works in this category include Bowler, Shaun and David M. Farrell. (eds). (1992), Electoral Strategies and Political Marketing, Macmillan; Harrop, Martin. (1990), Political Marketing, Parliamentary Affairs, 43: 3, 277-291; Franklin, Bob. (1994), Packaging Politics: Political Communications in Britains Media Democracy, Edward Arnold; Kavanagh, Dennis. (1995), Election Campaigning: The New Marketing of Politics, Blackwell; Scammell, Margaret. (1995), Designer Politics: How Elections Are Won, St. Martins; Newman, Bruce I. (1994), The Marketing of the President: Political Marketing as Campaign Strategy, Sage; Newman, Bruce I. (1999), The Mass Marketing of Politics, Sage; Niffenegger, P.B. (1989), Strategies for Success from the Political Marketers, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 6: 1, 45-61; OShaughnessy, Nicholas J. (1990), The Phenomenon of Political Marketing, Macmillan; Webb, Paul. (1992), Britain: The 1987 Campaign, Chapter Three in Shaun Bowler and David M. Farrell (eds.), Electoral Strategies and Political Marketing, Macmillan; Wring, Dominic. (1994-5), Political Marketing and organisational Development: The Case of the Labour Party in Britain, Research Paper in Management Studies 12, Judge Institute of Management Studies, University of Cambridge; Wring. (1996), Political Marketing and Party Development in Britain: A Secret History, European Journal of Marketing, 30: 10-11, 100-11. 10. Butler, Patrick and Neil Collins. (1996), Strategic Analysis in Political Markets, European Journal of Marketing, 30(10/11): 32-44; p. 32. 11. See also Farrell and Wortman. (1987). 12. See OLeary and Iredale. (1976), p. 153; Evans and Berman (1994), p. 399. 13. Scammell, Margaret. (1999), Political Marketing: Lessons for Political Science, Political Studies, 47: 4, 718-39, p. 725, footnote 50. 14. Lees-Marshment, J. (2001a), Political Marketing and British Political Parties, Manchester, Manchester University Press, p. 23. 15. Lees-Marshment 2001a op cit. 16. See Keith, Robert J. (1960), The Marketing Revolution, Journal of Marketing, 35-38 (January). 17. See Lees-Marshment. (2001b), The Product, Sales and Market-Oriented Party and How Labour Learnt to Market the Product, Not Just the Presentation, European Journal of Marketing, 35(9/10), pp. 1074-1084, for further detail. 18. Lees-Marshment, J. and S. Quayle. (2001a), Empowering the Members or Marketing the Party? The Conservative Reforms of 1998, Political Quarterly, 72(2). 19. Kotler and Levy 1969 op. cit, p. 15. 20. See Ingram, Peter and Jennifer Lees-Marshment. (2002), The Anglicisation of Political Marketing: How Blair Out-Marketed Clinton, Journal of Public Affairs, 5/6 (forthcoming).

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21. See also Knuckey, Jonathan and Jennifer Lees-Marshment. (2002), American Political Marketing: George W. Bush and the Republican Party, Paper presented at the Political Studies Association Conference, April, University of Aberdeen. 22. Bruce I. Newman. (1999), The Mass Marketing of Politics: Democracy in an Age of Manufactured Images, Sage. 23. See Lees-Marshment (2001a), p. 221. 24. Such work is due to be published in a future special issue of this journal. 25. See Lees-Marshment, Jennifer. (2002), Marketing Good Works: New Trends in How Interest Groups Recruit Supporters, article under submission to the Journal of Public Affairs, for further detail. 26. See Fox, Mark and Jennifer Lees-Marshment. (2002) Marketing Parliament: A 19th Century Institution in a 21st Century Political Market-Place: Prospects for Marketing Political Institutions, paper presented at the Political Studies Association Conference, April, University of Aberdeen. 27. Lees-Marshment, Jennifer. (2004), The Political Marketing Revolution: Transforming the Government of the UK, Manchester University Press, forthcoming. 28. Lees-Marshment, J. (2001c), The Marriage of Politics and Marketing, Political Studies 49 (4): 692-713. 29. Smith, Gareth and John Saunders. (1990), The Application of Marketing to British Politics, Journal of Marketing Management, 5: 3, 295-306 (Spring), p. 298. 30. Scrivens and Witzel 1990 op. cit, p. 11. 31. Walsh 1994 op. cit, p. 68. 32. Hodder-Williams, Richard. (1970), Public Opinion Polls and British Politics, Routledge and Kegan Paul, pp. 96-7. 33. Lock, Andrew and Phil Harris. (1996), Political Marketing Vive la Difference!, European Journal of Marketing, 30: 10-11, 21-31, p. 29. 34. Gould, Philip. (1998), The Unfinished Revolution: How the Modernisers Saved the Labour Party, Little Brown, p. 326. 35. Quoted by Gould 1998 op cit.

Submitted for Review: 02/18/2002