The main objective of a political campaign is to determine how a candidate, or a political party, will best respond to the needs and expectations of the potential voter to achieve, first, their adherence. Second, your vote on the day of the elections and, third, your support during the performance of the office that you have won through them.
Important factors for the design of an electoral campaign
The role of a Consultant focuses on helping their client achieve these goals. Below we detail the most important factors that Consultants prefer for the design of their campaigns. The startup poll can discover the perception that the electorate has regarding the candidate and his electoral opponents.
The positioning gives the candidate a “position” to distinguish him from other candidates, giving him his own identity. He is more attractive to potential voters, not only for the qualities that differentiate him from his contenders but also for those in those that may eventually coincide with them.
This positioning cannot be done effectively without an opinion poll, called a kickoff poll, at the beginning of the campaign. This survey discovers the specific situation of voters, serves as a basis for designing the most achievable actions, strategies, and goals, and helps to better conceive the content of the message and its transmission through different media.
2. Startup poll
Through this survey, it is possible to discover the electorate’s perception, in general, and the voters segmented into variables such as age, occupation, education, sex, and geographic location regarding the candidate and his electoral opponents.
This survey also helps discover what qualities and defects the electorate detects in the candidates, their degree of credibility, capacity, dedication to work, efficiency, responsibility, decency, honesty, and sympathy.
We said that the starting poll should also give a good idea of the qualities and defects that the segmented population attributes to their own candidate and their opponents. The qualities will be used to identify it, highlighting it from others, emphasizing its benefits, and presenting it as the best option for the performance of the function at stake. The opposite must be done about defects: neutralize them or at least reduce their eventual negative impact.
3. Electorate segmentation
For the analysis of voter behavior, two factors must be considered: first, the voter’s behavior depends on individual factors and the environment that surrounds him. Second, population segmentation is usually done based on groups to which the voter belongs and based on individual characteristics.
4. Age and sex
The age group that goes from 18 to 34 years is the one that receives the most attention because statistically, it is usually the one that spends the most money on goods and services. This group is the most vulnerable to a negative reaction to a drop in their standard of living and can therefore serve as a thermometer to measure lack of satisfaction with the government.
Regarding sex, women feel disadvantaged and discriminated against in terms of salaries and administrative power. The traditionally male-dominated family is being replaced by the family in which the most important decisions are shared. Hence, the need to better understand what the aspirations and expectations of women are due to their influence on the family group vote.
5. Geographical location
The expectations of people in urban areas are different from those of the rural population. The fears, needs, and goals of people in residential areas are different from those in marginal and popular areas. These factors have to be carefully analyzed to define the message and the use of the media.
6. Media selection
To reach potentially favorable voters for a certain candidacy, the most appropriate media must be carefully selected, which in practice are those most tuned in to or read by those voters and in which they spontaneously trust.
Through the startup survey and tuning and readership studies, it is possible to discover who reads a specific newspaper or magazine, listens to a radio, or watches a particular television channel.
Thus identified the media, it is easy to choose the most effectively reach the population we are interested in conquering.
In general, the popular class spends more time on television than the upper class. These two classes’ types of programs are different: for the popular class, the preferred programs are soap operas and serials; for the middle and upper class, films and documentaries.
Social class is taken into account for the content of the messages: the lower classes of society are interested in the type of advertising that provides solutions to the problems they have, which is visually strong and with perfectly marked and defined characters. The middle class and upper class are generally more critical of advertising.
To reach voters, potentially favorable to a certain candidacy, the most appropriate means of communication must be carefully selected.
An agency usually handles political advertising. Based on the preliminary investigation of the startup survey, on the experience and intuition of its creatives, it elaborates the central concept that will be the axis of the wedges, the reports, the billboards, the stickers, buttons, songs, and other articles. The previous research helps creatives visualize the type of potential voter to whom the message should be directed.
It even helps them with voice selection, the style of language to be used, modern or traditional, humorous or serious, aggressive or neutral. This information encourages the creative to curdle a coherent message with the lives of the people they want to reach, with their feelings and reactions, in such a way that they feel the message as something of their own and not distant, cold, or indifferent.
8. Negative campaign
It is the one that aims to attack the most favorite opponents to win the elections, making them lose popularity. It is usually advised not to resort to a negative campaign when you are at a clear advantage over the other candidates. It is used as a function of legitimate defense when adversaries initiate a campaign to discredit their own candidate or the popularity advantage that one had has begun to lose. You should not run a half-hearted negative campaign. Either you do it thoroughly, without regard, or you don’t have to go down that road.
Many campaigns tend to spend staff and time uncovering examples of adversaries’ political malpractice, their mistakes, and especially scandals. This type of work should also be done with the candidate himself because, if he has negative and embarrassing things to his credit, it is likely that they will be known by his rivals, who will not hesitate to make them known, especially when the defeat threatens them. If this eventuality arises, you must have a well-prepared response, which obviously requires knowing in advance the negative aspects of the candidate in question.
9. The Candidate
It is said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was once asked what the most important thing in a presidential campaign: the candidate, the party, or the money was. Roosevelt would have responded by asking: what is the most important leg on a tripod?
Without a doubt, the ideal would be to bring together a great candidate, a strong party, and abundant funding. But if the best of the three factors is to be chosen, the majority would opt for the candidate, as long as he is adorned with those qualities that are essential to winning: fortitude to make timely decisions, knowledge of the country’s problems, integrity, and truthfulness.
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