Understanding Indian Political Parties Through the Lens of Marketing Management: Towards a Conceptual Political Marketing Model

Understanding Indian Political Parties Through the Lens of Marketing Management: Towards a Conceptual Political Marketing Model

Pinaki Nandan Pattnaik, Mahendra Kumar Shukla
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1734-5.ch008
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This chapter identifies and develops an understanding of various nuances and the synchrony between the concepts of marketing management and usage by political parties while electioneering. The chapter also evaluates various political marketing models and has developed a comprehensive model to better understand its applicability in an Indian context. It is based on substantial literature review to develop a holistic understanding of Political Marketing and Models of Political Marketing. A Case study of the Bharatiya Janata Party is used to evaluate the proposed model. This chapter adds insight from the Indian viewpoint on existing literature concerning political marketing models.
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Theoretical Background

Political Marketing plays a pivotal role in the strategies implemented by the political parties. It provides a complete skeleton for the political party when they approach the electorate. Political marketing would facilitate the political parties in understanding the electorate, creating effective communication channel during the few months prior to the elections and engage with the voters in a better way and finally implementing/delivering the designed campaign to the electorate. Political marketing also helps the candidates and the political parties to create campaigns and implement them according to the current trend in the election market. It also facilitates the parties and candidates to utilize the new technologies present in the marketing field and apply them in the campaigning activities of the party. Manshadi, M. (2017) refers to political marketing as an inter-disciplinary study. Goods which are produced in politics are power and via marketing, that power is presented in various classifications (promises) and politician signs (brand/mark) to a political market.

Beckham (2017) suggests political marketing, may, nonetheless, provide important benefits to citizens. It can provide information about candidates, parties, policies, motivate political participation, and promote accountability. But even as it may provide these goods, autonomous deliberation by citizens, both individually and with others, is circumscribed by the establishment of enduring schemes of political‐information processing, presentation, transmission, and exchange produced by political marketing. According to Harrop (1990), political marketing is not just about the party’s political broadcast, advertising and electoral speeches but covering the whole area of party positioning in the electoral market. According to Schafferer, C. (Ed.) (2017), in political marketing, the 4P’s and C’s exist too. The products refer to the promises and favours conveyed by the political parties and their candidates. The price is the electoral support and the voter is considered as the customer. The promotion plan includes the advertising, rallies, TV debates, flyers, billboards, door to door canvassing, and other campaigning activities. Lock and Harris (1996) perceive that the political scientists understand that political marketing plays a key role in the context of political communications during the pre-election period only. Harrop (1990) argues that a marketing perspective offers a fresh slant on understanding electoral change and that marketing techniques have improved the quality of political communications during the British elections. In his perspective, political marketing would benefit parties to assess their positioning strategies in electoral choices.

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