As controversial as it may sound and although for many years marketing experts tried to discredit it crucialness, the use of marketing is as important in politics than it is for business-oriented organizations (Kotler 1971 p.). Other than marketing to be recognized to be as crucial for as well non-commercial organization, the advance of technology occurring in the 60’s had been a major player to recognize it fact (Newman 1993 p.17).
By the moment it is understood that marketing is a societal process (Ohio State University 1965 in Hunt 2010 p.8) within a dynamic world by reason of the three main driving forces of globalization, technological advances, and economic deregulation (Kotler 1999 p.1), it is therefore comprehending that yesterday’s successful marketing will not be as successful today and which marketing experts must keep up and face it changes, incorporate it into their marketing activities in order to turn it to advantages. Technology advances force were and is till today a major reason to the forever developing political marketing activity ().
In the past decade, the practice and use of social networking platforms has accelerating by political personalities as a source to deliver messages, to their audiences building along the way social networking effect.
Because social media marketing tool to allow to strategically target and understand better audiences, political opinion as a result to increase participation, we assume that it tool can increase electoral votes for particular personality
The main aim of it dissertation is to
– analyze the influential capabilities that social media platforms have toward
– analyze the efficacity of usage of social media platform by political personalities
– analyze the strength and weakness for social media platforms as tool
– Analyze the degree of influence social media platform have during presidential elections.
To analyze at best social media platforms capabilities to influence voters’ opinion during campaigns for presidential election we focus on the two recent elected presidents held in two Western countries; in United States (held in 2016) as well as France (held in 2017).
This analyzes will help to understand how candidates for presidential elections use social media as a marketing tool in social media platforms and if indeed, it usage were effective.
(first part) To evaluate the effects of social media platforms in it context, this dissertation begins with an overview of the evolution of presidential marketing campaign as well as its principles and theories to better market candidacies. Because nowadays social media is used more and more as a strategic tool to promote candidacies during presidential campaign, a description of its tool will be added, focusing on the use of the two most popular social media platforms in Western countries; Facebook and Twitter.
(Second part: Literature Review) As social media marketing is a tool that does not stop to involve in terms of possibilities to improve marketing process, detection of weaknesses occurs with it, and so the complexity to adopt it as a marketing strategic tool. The second part of its dissertation will therefore describe in detail few most strategies used by candidates to better market themselves as potential future president through social network platforms and these approaches influence voters’ decision-making with the help of past research made.
(Third part: Aim and method used in the research): Furthermore, a conduct of two quantitative research will be held in both countries to understand voters’ degree of engagement in social media platforms in it topic to understand better the influence digital marketing have toward potential voters…..
1.1 The Board Concept of Marketing
Although some marketing practices are as old as the earliest trades, some refers that marketing concept have its roots from the Industrial Revolution (around 1750 in United Kingdom, and then in 1830 in United States and Germany) (Fahy and Jobber 2015 p.3) which other claims otherwise; from the late XIX/early XX century with the evolvement of mass market in United States (Baker and Saren 2010 p.4; Powell 1910 in Lüdicke 2006 p.3; Ludicke 2006 p.3; O’Shaughnessy 1990 p. 3). Indeed, as began to surface a strong competitivity between small local farmers to reach the larger market distribution against institutionalized entities during the production era (Ludicke 2006 p.3), marketing has since then become a subject of undergoing intense study (Powell 1910; Butler 1917 et al in Ludicke 2006 p.3), reexamined and revised over the course of time coinciding with economic growth, technology development and society changes as marketing had been observed to be relevant to it transformations (Baker and Saren 2010 p.4, Sweeney 1972 p.3, Kotler 1999 p.1). The study of marketing extended its nature, scope (covering now; goods, services, experiences, events, persons, places, properties, organizations, information and ideas) and functions (promotion, sales management, retailing, advertising, marketing research, wholesale management, distribution management, product development, packaging, marketing management, retail management, consumer behavior, international marketing, brand equity, pricing, customer service and public relations and many more) (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p. 3; Kotler 1999 p.13; hunt 2010 p.55), building complexity to its meaning, enveloping now however, a rich and diverse tools and techniques, all to aid, determine, establish and perform the best marketing strategies and process (planning, organizing and controlling marketing actions taken) to reach organization’s objectives (Kotler 1999 p.2-4).
Today, marketing can be distinguished from two different perspectives; (1) marketing as a managerial function (2) marketing as a societal process (Kotler 1999 p.4, Ohio State University 1965 in Hunt 2010 p.8). Although both are directed to benefit and reach organization’s goals, marketing had been observed to have a major role and impact to the society in which it is practiced (Lazer 1969 in Hunt 2010 p.8; Sweeney 1972 p.3).
In contrast, marketing had been for a long time referred as an “art of selling products” (in Kotler 1999 p.4) even more so that is needed or wanted (Drucker 1973 in Kotler 1999 p.4). Indeed, as it origins indicates, marketing can be referred as a business discipline (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4) for profit-oriented organizations focused on business activities (American Marketing Association 1985 in Hunt p.8) for the greatest purpose of making profit/generating revenue, carried out through market transaction (physical place) (Luck 1969 in Hunt 2010 p.8-9, Kotler 1999 p.4) taking place in the physical place called “market” (referenced today as “marketplace”) (Kotler 1999 p.4), involving the exchange of money, goods and/or services between a producer/seller and buyer (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4). Thus, marketing envelops several concepts, among others being (1) production concept; established through a mass, inexpensive and efficient production of goods or services distributed in a large-scale (2) product concept; focused on creating best quality and innovative products/services on the market and improved them overtime (3) selling concept; focus on creating sales transactions through using aggressive promotion tools strategies (Kotler 1999 p.11-12).
However, over time and more precisely in the 60’s, marketing had been observed to be practiced and beneficial as well for nonbusiness/nonprofit oriented organizations (Kotler and Levy 1969 in Hunt 2010 p.8). Although some had been resilient to extend marketing concept from fear that it could bring further irrelevancy and unpracticality for marketing practitioners (Luck 1969 in Hunt p.9, in O’Shaughnessy 1990 p. 3), This empirical remark gave reason that marketing could no longer be defined solely through activities of transportation, buying and selling (Lavidge 1970 in Hunt 2010 p.9) for ultimate goal and concern of market transaction but rather should be defined in a more inclusive way (Kotler 1972 in Hunt 2010 p.9-10).
Doubtlessly, as marketing action and theory’s core essence remain as “exchange” (Lüdicke 2006 p.6), “exchange process” and “transaction” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4; Newman 1993 p.8) or “transfer” (Kotler 1999 p.7), this one commented therefore to lie on “general idea of exchange” (Kotler and Levy 1969 in Hunt 2010 p.9) and of “value” (Kotler 1972 in Hunt 2010 p.9-10) intended to satisfy both the organization and individual (Kotler 1999 p.4).
Indeed, in United States where subsistence level exceeded, social and cultural conditions changes, and environment consciousness appeared; raised the importance to focus on the before neglected consumer investment for the sake of the organization’s survival (Dawson 1971 p.67) as many had been concerned if “… these children of affluence grow up to be consumers on quite the same economy-moving scale of their parents?” – Zalaznick (1969 in Dawson 1971 p.67). In the buyer/receiver point of view, value and satisfaction are perceived differently from one individual to another, in this context, the target buyer calculates the level of value throughout comparing what he gives (cost such as; money, psychic, time, energy) and what he gets (benefits such as; functional or emotional) (Kotler 1999 p.6).
On the basis of the last foregoing, the exchange being a process (Kotler 1999 p.7) must be therefore primarily “concerned with how transactions are created, stimulated, facilitated, and valued” (Kotler 1972 in Hunt 2010 p.9-10) as this crucial analysis increase chances that the exchange will take place (Kotler 1999 p.7). This is when marketing management comes into greater play, performing an essential instrument to marketing and business operational tasks, helping to reach organization’s goals and lower significantly financial and investment risk that organizations take whenever they introduce a new product/service in the market (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4). Defined as: “analyzing, planning, implementation and control of program designed to bring about desired exchange with target audiences for the purpose of personal or mutual gain… relies heavily on adaptation and coordination of product, price, promotion and place for achieving effective response” (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p. 4), marketing management revolves around constructing a set of optimal marketing efficient and effective decisions (tactical and strategic) determined and aided through marketing research and market research for organization long-term growth, remaining competitive in the dynamic and competitive world and markets, considering therefore all forever changing macroenvironment/broad environment forces (demographic, economic, natural, technological, political-legal and social-cultural environments) and microenvironment/task environment forces (these one influences by broad environment forces, consist of all players who affect organization’s ability to produce, distribute and promote) (Kolter 1999 p.9), pursuing to influence the level, timing, and composition of demand (negative demand, no demand, latent demand, declining demand, irregular demand, full demand, overfull demand, unwholesome demand) (Kotler 1999 p.1-3), ideally growing a strong and satisfied customer base, by way of delivering better value to its target market and segment (identified through various criteria such as such as socio-demographic, geographical, psychographic, behavioral criteria), to obtain a desire effective response (attention, a vote, donation, a purchase) from prospects (potential consumers and/or those that recently expressed an interest or intent to purchase) (Kotler 1999 p.4-5): “We see marketing management as the art and science of applying core marketing concepts to choose target markets and get, keep, and grow customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value.” (Kotler 1999 p.4).
Further, the exchange process had been expressed to be only feasible when both or more involved parties have each “something to exchange and able to carry communication and distribution” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4). Indeed, organizations can reach, inform and persuade (Sandage in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.5) potential consumers through different types of marketing channels (communication, dialogue and monologue channels) (Kotler 1999 p.8) and which after being effective, the buyer/donator, sends simultaneously and besides money; crucial indicative information (Kotler 1999 p.4) (Table 1: A Simple Marketing System). As consequence, the buyer is perceived as the market and seller as the industry (Kotler 1999 p.4).
Table 1: A Simple Marketing System
Source: Kotler 1999 p.5
These exchange of information helps continuously capture the constant changing customer’s needs, wants, demand, preferences, opinion, as well as their attitudes and behavior (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.4-5), assessing customer value (desired and perceived value) to develop more suitable product offering and market offering for the right target buyers, delivering therefore greater personal value and so increasing customer’s satisfaction better so than the competition (Kotler 1999 p.13-14) to acquire costumers and more importantly retain them (Sellers 1986 in Kotler 1999 p.12-13). For that and especially in today’s contemporary marketing practices, it is essential to develop a long-term satisfying customer relation (as well with other key exchange parties) to retain and repeat business with them (Kotler 1999 p.7).
Further adjacent to marketing management, appeared consequently another and further developed-dominant marketing concept: (4) marketing concept (also call modern marketing concept). Contractionary to the selling concept, although still pursuing profitability and/or organizations objectives, this one aim to do so by using a customer-orientated approach (Fahy and Jobber 2015 p.9; 2) ingrained in the business philosophy of the organization for the reason that organization’s source of income comes from both acquired costumers (customer attraction) and most importantly loyal once (customer retention) (Sellers 1986 in Kotler 1999 p.12-13): “Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer” (Levitt 1960 in Kotler 1999 p.12) by “creating, delivering, and communicating customer value to its chosen target markets” (Kotler 1999 p.17) better so than the competitors. This result for some marketing authors to define marketing’s essence as “the establishment of mutually satisfying exchange relationships” (Baker and Saren 2010 p.3). Marketing envelops therefore a multiple of various professions (Hunt 2010 p.55) conducted also throughout other separate departments (including, sales department, retail, advertising and public relation and which in some cases can be even operated by independent specialized agencies) which marketing managers ensures that the organization deliver value to the customers (Fahy and Jobber 2015 p.9; 21-22). As it is believed that each profession in the organization play a role and affect costumer’s entire experience, influencing his/her attitude and level of satisfaction, organizations that use its business orientation must apply therefore an integrated marketing strategy; that is for all marketing functions to work seamlessly and coordinately with the organization’s philosophy, represented as well by all other departments (Kotler 1999 p.13) that may be forged throughout applying both external and internal marketing tactics (Kotler 1999 p.13). Organization that truly imply costumer-orientation as their business philosophy, rotates the traditional company’s organization at 180-degree; putting customers on top priority followed by employees having direct contact with them and placing at last (Kotler 1999 p.13).
With the raised question by Zalaznick mentioned above due to significant increase of conscious consumerism (social, environmental, value) (Dawson 1971 p.67-68) brought no other choice for many organizations and marketers to compel and adjust with these changes throughout their practices (Dawson 1971 p.67-68). Proceeding to that, resulted to recognize marketing’s societal dimensions (Lazer 1969 in Hunt 2010 p.8) which legitimately justified to be viewed as a social process (Ohio State University 1965 in Hunt 2010 p.8) having therefore social responsibilities (Sweeney 1972 p.8-9). Many authors criticized organizations using marketing business orientation to serve consumer on the expense of the society well-being (Kotler 1999 p.14). This movement opened up to develop a total new marketing concept; (5) societal marketing concept, defined as “a societal process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and exchanging products and services of value freely with others.” (Kotler 1999 p.4). This concept although laying on one of the same core ideas than marketing one, call marketers to serve ethically (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.8) the society’s long-term interests (or at least to preserve it), as their top priority before profit and satisfying costumers (Kotler 1999 p.4): “They (marketers) must balance and juggle the often-conflicting criteria of company profits, consumer want satisfaction, and public interest.” Kottler (1999 p.14). The controversial argumentation to merge and add marketing with non-commercial entities and recognizing its function toward the society lead marketing to be studied under a variety of more academic disciplines such as sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p. 3, Baker and Saren 2010 p.106) and so, today, marketing may be considered as a social science (Baker and Saren 2010 p. XVI). With that, appeared almost immediately new terms, such as “social marketing” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.5) practiced by “social marketers” who applies marketing concepts, tools and techniques to promote and influence social ideas through communication process (Sandage in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.5) to resolve social issues (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.11); “social advertisement”, practiced by “social campaigners” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.12), relying heavily on mass media communication with hope to develop a “natural social processes” (Lazarsfeld and Merton in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.6). Same as each marketing concepts, both brought matter of possible limitations and abusive use resulting to deceptive campaigns that would lead to propaganda for social advertisement (Lazarsfeld and Merton in p.5-6) and being limited by reason of unmade marketing research (Wiebe 1952 in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.3) and call for possible reference of being “manipulative” for social marketing (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.11-12).
Whatever the business orientation chosen, organizations and marketers must face and keep up with the three-particular dynamic forces; technology, globalization, and economic deregulation as they influence customers, organizations, business and society, bringing therefore constant challenges to the organizations (Kotler 1999 p.14): “Responding to the changes and new demands brought on by these forces has caused many companies to make adjustments. In turn, savvy marketers must also alter their marketing activities, tools, and approaches to keep pace with the changes they will face today and tomorrow.” – Kotler (Kotler 1999 p.17).
1.2 Marketing in Politics and the Impact of Technologies to its Dynamics
Just like with non-commercial organizations, marketing activities, tools and techniques had been for a long time used to promote a presidential candidacy HOW?.
It is however not before the late 60’s that authors began to really give noticeable attention of its truth to the public (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.3); naturally on account to Kotler’s justification to extend marketing’s concept but also by virtue of technology innovations, being the rooted cause to merge politics with marketing (Newman 1993 p.17), which in addition generalized to stimulate changes in the conducting course of presidential electioneering activities (Newman 1993 p.XIV, Newman 1993 p.17).
Indeed, as television began to be increasingly common to own in United States (with a total of 90% household’s ownership by 1960) (Adweek by Staff 2000), this one became at that time one of the major American’s source for politics’ information (New York Times Archives from 1984). It was however already in 1952 with the first ever aired TV advertisement, purposely created to promote Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential candidacy, that experts began to relatively understand the level of power it medium had to influence voters, as this one had been suggested to help considerably to Eisenhower’s victory (New York Times Archives from 1984).
Its tool and tactics mastered over time by experts (Newman 1993 p.17) was then again strongly used to promote the followings’ presidential candidates in United Sates (Newman 1993 p.-). During John F. Kennedy’s campaign, noticed and believed Kennedy’s better presence and calmer appearance during an aired TV debate against his adversary Richard Nixon, was the reason for his succeeding election in 1961 (Corry 1984 in New York Times; Archives): “The story has it that those Americans who tuned in over the radio believed the two candidates were evenly matched, but tended to think Nixon had won the debates. But those 70 million who watched the candidates on the television believed Kennedy was the clear victor. … Kennedy himself said after the election that “it was TV more than anything else that turned the tide” toward his victory.” (National Archives by Parkinson 2010). Till today, the candidate’s presence on television is believed to matter significantly in the context of winning the presidential election (Newman 1993 p.17). The compression and continuous confirmation of television being one of the most powerful tool ever created to influence voters has gone, however, as far as to air negative political advertisement to degrade the other advisory candidates through a fear appraisal genre, firstly used for the incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson against his adversary Barry Goldwater in 1964 with the spot “Daisy” that many considers to be one of main factor of his victory (Adweek by Staff 2000). Rapidly, some outspoken their bitterness sentiment against the deceptive, misleading and unfair use of it tool: ”more important than what you say is how you look on television’ (Nixon in Corry 1984 in New York Times Archives) and denunciate it as a “… threat to democracy in a way” (Salinger in Corry 1984 in New York Times; Archives) by the political communication advisor Pierre Salinger. Despite public and clear opposition of such marketing tactic, these methods were yet again strongly use during the during the following presidential campaigns (such as in 1988 and 1992) (Newman 1993 p.15-). After it however, the American’s voters were not pleased with such deceptive and even hypocritical political campaigning used for the sake of achieving the ultimate victory objective forcing to change campaigning marketing tactics (Newman 1993 p.5-6; p.15).
It was clear that running for president without the use of such strategic marketing method and well-prepared speeches through the most efficient communication channel was a sprint-game lost in itself. With much less comprehension of its fact and using a much authentic approach, George McGovern experienced it fact during the 1968’s presidential campaign, contractionary to his rivals Nixon and Humphrey whom skyrocket their “high tech campaigning” production advertising budget (Adweek by Staff 2000), hiring diverse advertisement and public relations agencies, image consultants, makeup artists, photographers and other “to create the image and the aura that would make this man Nixon America’s favorite “brand.” (Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.3). These various circumstances led to compare these marketing tactics to commercial organizations whom employ selling orientation and merchandizing approach (in Kotler & Zaltman 1971p.3). In The Selling of the President 1968’s, Joe McGinnis denunciated Nixon’s and other presidential campaigns of using a total telemarketing tactical plan to sell their candidacy (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.182) like a product, giving people what they want through illusionary images and/or hiding candidates imperfections: “the public were certainly sold a President whose reality was concealed from them, so that a talented neurotic was placed in the highest office in the land. … The marketing approach had certainly reassured people, but with a falsely confident image of reality, that muffled alarming social change; for this genre simply reflects the image they desire back at people; it neither challenges, educates nor leads.” (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.184-185).
In study conducted by G. D. Wiebe in 1951-1952 (in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.3; 6) showed that indeed, treating and using methods to promote social campaigns like product ones, helps to achieve successfully the objectives set. Moreover, Wiebe observed as well, a lack of market research for such campaigns and called for success limitations (Wiebe 1953 in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.3). Additionally, noticed five criteria of which effective social campaigns followed; Centered to reach audience’s heart, (1) the audience must feel concerned and believe to be able to make a change (2) once the interest translates into the wish of participation, the person needs direction of what and how to do it (3) supported by an (4) effective and active agency (5) and which the audience’s participation, must be felt as reward that must be equal to the participant’s energy given (Wiebe 1953 in Kotler and Zaltman 1971 p.6).
Ronald Reagan, although always holding strong communication skills and comprehensive knowledge about how to work with television as medium and other technology innovations to his advantage, initiate to apply a heavy marketing management tools and techniques into his campaigns; all oriented by the societal marketing concept, incorporating a market-oriented philosophy and value-orientated approach which were strongly based on most common and current American’s social issues and its values throughout his whole political career (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.189, Newman 1993 p.17). Already during his candidacy for governorship in California in 1966 and 1970, Reagan relied heavily on specialized behavioral analytics’ and advertising agencies as well as expert advisors’ consultants such as Spencer Roberts and Richard Wirthlin to help gather knowledge about his “market” (through market research, voters’ values, expectations, attitudes surveys and focus group, pooling research) (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.186-188). Taking these data into strategical marketing advantages, Reagan and his team were able to draw an impeccable promotion mix for his campaigns, influencing himself to voters, focusing primarily to the most supportive and potential ones as the best solving-issue’s candidate who shares consistent values, and which encourage it to his two successive victories (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.186-188). Continuing with implementing such marketing techniques with the aid of marketing experts during his presidential campaigns in the early and mid 80’s, Reagan further used modern technologies into his advantage for more accurate market research and further efficient communication campaign’s process (imitating commercial organizations strategic planning and tactics) (Newman 1990 p.18) which resulted to his two successful electoral votes by; (1) developing PINS; a more accurate computerized election simulation (invented in 1960 to apprehend voter’s attitudes and its changes in regard to occurring political situations (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.152)), bringing more accurate pools research, dividing the mass American’s voters into segments based on their various criteria such as geographical, behavioral (past votes) and demographic, bringing knowledge about their judgement and political preferences, predicting their future voting behavior (O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.152-153) (2) using social advertising and social marketing tactics where in one hand uses mass media communication (presence on television and airing negative advertisements, direct mail) and in the other uses efficiently his personal connections and created small communities to raise founding for his campaign (direct mail) (Newman 1990 p.18; O’Shaughnessy 1990 p.154).