Marketing Lessons from Delhi Elections 2015

Marketing Lessons from Delhi Elections

LISTEN TO CUSTOMERS & UNDERSTAND THEIR NEEDS

The first lesson a management graduate  takes away from the course is to listen to the customers by being a good listener. That’s what Arvind Kejriwal has done in last 8 months. With their team on ground they started understanding the problems and issues at a local level in each constituencies. Scaling the same effort they initiated the Delhi dialogue which initially failed but was enough to gain the initial momentum needed to feel the nerves of the Delhiites. That’s how the 70 point agenda came across much before any party could ever thought!!

 Marketing lessons from Delhi Elections 2015

Connect with the market-Have a deep understanding of their real problems

AAP as a party started gaining the ground long before the elections were declared. Their MLAs started working and connecting with the people in their respective constituencies through conducting Mohalla Sabhas They started  utilizing  their MLA fund long before the elections actually started on works such as :

  • Construction of drains
  • Fixing lights
  • Construction of recreation area
  • Pavement workDeli elections 2015-Connect to the mass

MAKE EFFECTIVE USE OF AVAILABLE PROMOTIONAL MIX

  1. With heavy media charges involved in TV advertisements , AAP opted  for different medium like :
  • Radio: Much cheaper than TV
  • Out of the home Hoardings : AAP claimed to have bought 200-300 OOH places with a proper rotation so as to cover the most important places rather than wasting money on OOH which have poor visibility.
  • Auto advertisements
  • Constituency based Pamphlets
  • Digital : Digital has been the major medium through which initially also the party gained ground.Hashtag# Mufflerman was started which connected with youth and raise dthe popularity of Arvind Kejriwal in increasing the top of mind recall.
  • Mohalla Sabhas : One to one interaction with the masses by listening to problems of each constituency and to discuss how the Rs 4 crore allotted as the MLA local area development (MLALAD) funds should be spent.
  • Delhi Elections 2015-Promotion Mix of AAP

 

 

 

ADMIT MISTAKES AND ACT FAST

If your product is faulty (technologically, manufacturing defects) , it is better to recall the product and admit the mistake. PRODUCT RECALL- A very common phenomenon in recent past much being done in  automotive makers in the past (Maruti, Toyota recalls) is one of the example .

Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his responsibility in 49 days but admitted his mistake later to the people of delhi in his personal visits,group gatherings through radio. He admitted that resigning in 49 days was his mistake and also promised not to repeat such mistakes. People believed in him, started gaining confidence and trust and the result is evident.

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

 

 

CONSUMER MEMORY IS VERY SHORT- REMIND THEM

Greater the frequency, better is the brand recall( barring over frequencies).

49 days of work was reminded in the promotions of AAP  , rallies and personal meetings. The people who felt the differences vouched for it disseminating the word of mouth publicity.

 

aap-wifi-759

MAKE BEST USE OF OPPORTUNITY

 BJP ran a series of  print advertisement where the creative  showed Kejriwal belonged to an “anarchist gotra”. The AAP seized the opportunity, claiming Kejriwal's “Agarwal” gotra – to which many traders belong – had been insulted. The opportunity was enough to create a negative ripples about their overall strategy in undermining the opposite side and going to any extent which further went in favor of AAP.

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PEOPLE DO LIKE FREE GOODS

 Direct to consumers offer does play a very important role in the overall product promotions.

Something Extra / Free does hold the attention. Whenever there is something free, propensity to know about it increases.

Alongside lies the doubts about credibility, reliability of the product. Something free from a renowned brand gets a higher offtake. With AAP done considerable work in providing free water for 49 days, the idea of bundled free things  have certainly gained attraction and credibility from the people.

 Delhi elections 2015-Free Wifi

ANY PUBLICITY IS A PUBLICITY

 Never usher the competitive brand name too often. It certainly adds the browny points  to their favour.PM Narendra Modi kicked off BJP’s election campaign from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan attacking on arch rival Arvind Kejriwal dismissing  him as an “anarchist” who should join the “Naxals”.Followed were the print advertisements  just before the elections which further enhanced the negative marketing strategy chosen by BJP. No doubt, every advertisement was boosting the prospects of AAP. Actually BJP paid for the AAP advertisements through Print media. 

 Delhi Elections 2015-Any publicity is a publicity

INDUCT OUTSIDERS WELL IN TIME

 A top down approach in inducting an outsider to the team has seen the debacles in the Delhi elections. Honesty Vs Honesty Fight became one sided.

No doubt the induction of Kiran Bedi proved a meticulous decision and a master stroke  well thought in advance by the top strategist but was the timing perfect?? Wrong message percolated down the BJP team. Is this the reason  companies do not hire outsiders at the top management in some situations??

Does it always breed a resentment amongst the already working people .A dichotomy. Change is always needed!!!

Better luck next time to  BJP!!!!!

 

REPOSITIONING DOES WORK

Delhi elections 2015-Janta ka CMThe image makeover as “Janta Ka CM” was done in instant reply to the BJP anointment of Mrs. Kiran Bedi as the potential CM candidate. Creatives  of  Janta ka CM were all over the places in delhi followed with a slug of “5 saal Kejriwal”.Was it a mass connect ?? Did it help in gaining the acceptance at the common Janta. Quite evident from the performance  of the party.

 

DIFFERENTIATION IS THE KEY

 When BJP was involved in the negative marketing, AAP avoided any negative propaganda on a larger scale and continued talking about their promises .It instead gave them an opportunity to strengthen their brand promise and created  a different space in the mind of the people.

Be it their fund raising methods like:  

  • Dinner with the Arvind Kejriwal
  • Selfie with the mufflerman" to raise funds for the party to fight the Assembly polls in Delhi.
  • Launch a mobile game called Muffler Man which saw 500 download sin one day to increase the fund for the party

                Or  transparency in their funding systems, selection of the candidates for elections  AAP has always tried to do something different and unconventional in the field of political marketing

 

DO NOT BE COMPLACENT IN TOP

With a majority  of 283 seats in centre and sweeping all 7 seats in general elections, there obviously  was a sense of over confidence and complacency about  the clear win in the assembly elections too. This was quite evident from:

1. BJP moves of not announcing any CM candidate even before 2 months of elections

2. No manifesto even before the elections

3. Having a misleading belief of not losing any state elections in last 5 months.

 

3 Comments on Marketing Lessons from Delhi Elections 2015

  1. Very granular analysis,
    Results showed that people wanted a down to earth leader eveolved from the common people background but raises a spooky question…do Indians are swayed away by the herd mentality of getting the facilities free of cost or without paying an optimum money for that?

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