One day, a friend asked me, “why do you like politics if you like marketing this much? Are they related in any way?” This seemed like a strange question to me because in my mind, marketing and politics are closely linked. However, not everyone views it this way. I’ve always loved politics, not as a politician, but as an observer and analyst. Somehow marketing has always seemed like a natural extension of politics.
After pondering this question further, I decided to write about their similarities.
It’s about the Customer or Constituent:
In marketing, you have to understand your customer. The target market you choose for your product or service has to be quantifiable and clearly described. The target market has to be large enough to be profitable. In politics, you have to understand your voter, or your constituent, in exactly the same way. Ultimately, to be relevant in both marketing and politics, you have to be able to appeal to the needs of your target market.
It’s the Environmental Analysis:
A good marketer always understands the environment the business is operating in. A good marketer understands the economics of the business, the regulations and rules surrounding the venture, the social environment, along with demographics, and lastly, the technological environment the business operates in. A good marketer also understands the competition, and their relative strengths and weaknesses. A successful politician also needs to do the same amount of research to understand the environment they are operating in. They need to know what is going on around them at all times. Change is inevitable and one has to have their pulse on the environment.
It’s your Value Proposition:
A successful product or service has a great value proposition. What does the product/service stand for? What can the product do in a way that separates it from being a “me too” product? A good politician has to stand for something, be a part of something different, and provide a value. A successful politician has to be easily differentiated, and not considered a part of the“me too” category.
It’s your Marketing Strategy/Campaign Plan:
If you know your customer, your environment and your value proposition, then the chips can all fall into place. You will know how to come up with a winning marketing strategy and campaign. Think of the product or service as a politician and the campaign as a policy. They both require the same effort and strategic planning. You can’t execute either without having a plan to begin with.
It’s about your team:
At the end of the day, teams can raise you when they execute a plan, or they can sink you when they execute a plan. Marketing and politics share this important similarity. Teamwork in marketing is crucial to the success of a product/service launch. The same is true for politics. It can never be just one person who is executing the plan. For any successful product, service or politician, there is always a team of people working cohesively to make sure that the marketing strategy or political campaign is executed effectively.
I’m sure there are more than five similarities, these are just the ones that jumped to mind.
Looking forward to hearing from you about other similarities between marketing and politics. There are good career paths for individuals with a marketing background in politics. There is a certain crossover in skills and training between both of these areas, so this topic is worth investigating further.