Dhumal releases ‘Political Marketing in India’ by Dr. Arun Kumar Sharma

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  1. Brand Politics

    Populism lessons in governance

    Shimla: Even though political parties deny existence of political marketing, yet they adopt all marketing principles to convert potential support into votes for ensuring handsome returns in elections, a study has established.

    Politics of exclusiveness is now giving way to the politics of development warranting emphasis on good governance, says Arun Sharma, who is giving final shape to a book based on a five year study he conducted.

    A first of it kind study after taking all stakeholders into account, which included voters, mediapersons and strategists of political parties from all hues, concluded that political parties at election time turn sellers and sellers only create and satisfy new desires in consumers.

    “A market oriented party is not concerned with changing people’s minds, but in following them. Vote bank politics very much resembles ‘loyal brand recall’ for a product,” says Sharma.

    Of late economic wellbeing and rising aspirations of middle class has put a strain on political parties compelling them to modify their programs.

    Sharma points out, “the ‘Feel Good’ or ‘Shinning India’ campaign of NDA was well countered by ‘Congress Ka Haath Aaam Admi Ke Saath’ in the 2004 general elections.

    Candidates to be successful have to understand their market, which consist of voters – their needs, aspirations and the constituencies they intend to represent.

    In order to garner support of maximum voters, political parties try to ascertain felt needs of voters and then offer sops as solutions. Political parties by marketing promises to solve the problems only follow the marketing concept, says Sharma.

    However, it is the data thrown up by the study which dispels many perceptions of the electoral process.

    Interestingly, where as all the 50 politicians interviewed for the study felt that no political party fulfilled the election promises they held out before the ballot is cast, there where at least 12 percent voters who held that polictial parties did fulfill these promises.

    For political parties, emotional issues, corruption, leadership, anti-incumbency got precendence over economic issues, whereas for the voter it was bread and butter issues like unemployment that matterred more.

    Political parties held out ideology as the bedrock of a manifesto that found use for electioneering purposes but voters were not so enthused about ideology in a manifesto that did not meet their aspirations.

    Both voters and leaders considered that exit polls and opinion polls were influenced by political parties but only 80 percent of the politicians and 66 percent of the voters wanted them banned.

    Interestingly while all politicians felt that exit polls and opinion polls influenced polling only 57 percent voters felt that they had any impact on the crucial electoral process.

    Over probable causes of defeat, voters and political parties were in agreement.

    Election management, better management by opponents, candidate choice, party policy and inside sabotage; ranked in that order were marked as the likely causes for losing a election.

  2. says: Avnish Katoch

    So true! So well penned words by Dr. Sharma.

    Mr. Makhaik the coverage which you carry here for every major event in HP is so important and an education for future leaders and young generation. The databank we have here should help so many people in so many ways. I hope this amazing work is recognised by the masses.

  3. I beleive there is only one more publication in India on Political Marketing written by Pune based professor. When i thought of researching it for my PhD studies i could not find a guide, finally a brilliant Professor from MMU, Mullana agreed to guide me.
    Political marketing is a very new discipline. Though political plyers detest the very idea of ‘marketing’ as they deal with ideas and ideology. Well marketing as such can be applied to any activity, commercial or not for profit too. Even religious organisation are not averse from benefitting from the power pf marketing. Some people equate politics with business but millions who do not agree with such an interpretation appreciate the marketing undertaken by political players.
    In India we have just began our journey on this road and we are looking forward to evolve a fit model for India that could help us benefit from it. Political marketing do not stop at campaign management or releasing advertisements during elections, it encompasses the whole gamut of activities, concepts and processes that a party have to undartake to acquire a ‘Market orinetation’.
    A market Orineted would have a better chance of getting the acceptance of voters in an election.

  4. says: Ganesh Deshmukh

    I have read the book ”Political Marketing The Indian Experience” and I am very much intrested to know more about this subject to make career in Political marketing. I am an MBA student.

  5. This is a very relevent book and i got some insight to the concept of political marketing. it also helps me a lot for my works in political marketing and pure marketing in india

    Hamza VK

  6. The best book on the subject is written by Dr. Dilip M. Sarwate of Pune and published by Tata McGraw Hill
    Publications in 1989. The Marathi version ‘Nivdanuka Jinkanyasathi Sarva Kah was published in 2010 by Rajhans Prakashan, Pune Both the books give practical inputs on Indian context. Both the books are used by candidates and political parties at the time of elections. Dr. Sarwate is perhaps the best campaign strategist in India advising various political parties.

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