Considering the imminent general election, there has been a lot of research conducted recently on the effectiveness of political marketing for the various parties. According to one such survey, which questioned over 1,000 16-24 year olds, 86% disagreed with the statement “Politicians understand my world”, Marketing Week reports.
This staggering amount provides an insightful glance into the ineffectiveness of political marketing in the UK at the moment. It seems that UK politicians failed to learn from Barack Obama’s successful campaigns in the US in 2008 and 2012, when the Democrats managed to successfully engage a number of young voters and secure political power, Simon Eder – the founder of Voxburner – believes.
Social media and direct marketing tactics like encouraging text and email donations were used to help raise the funds needed for Obama’s campaign and were also a fantastic way of encouraging the younger voting generation to make their voices heard. Eder stated that: “We’re not seeing that kind of ‘Facebook election’ here in the UK […] here the money in politics still comes from a handful of people.”
However UK politicians are trying to utilise social channels more, with Facebook and Sky News recently hosting a live Q&A session with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, where young voters could put their questions to the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders. The show was streamed live across Facebook, Sky News and YouTube.
The political and governmental specialist for Facebook in the EMEA region, Elizabeth Linder, said that there has been a surge in discussions regarding the election on the site; in fact, “last year, political issues were the most discussed topics on Facebook in the UK.”
Some of the key issues raised by the 16-24 demographic included unemployment (listed by 57% of respondents); buying a house (52%); and wage levels (51%). One of the highest ranking concerns was that of their financial situation (75%).
In order to engage with this pool of voters, politicians need to begin utilising social media, Eder concludes.