autho How marketing can help explain the #GE2017 result - DBS

How marketing can help explain the #GE2017 result

June 12, 2017Uncategorized

After the ups and downs of another major vote in Britain’s history, it is clear to see that Theresa May’s Conservative Party had lost the campaign, if not her Prime Minister title, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour had won it. There are a number of ways that this can be explained in how Labour won the marketing game in this election, and the Conservatives lost it.

Tories forgot their audience; Labour found theirs again

The main facets of marketing are to successfully identify and cater to your customers’ needs. This means first knowing who your audience is, what they look for, and how you can meet them.

The massive moment for this was the so-called ‘dementia tax’. On the one hand, saying that the elderly could pay for their care fees through their property would be a good notion for their target audiences, namely those who are older and property-rich but cash-poor. However, by not putting a maximum cap on care fees, this was seen as an attack on the elderly and on another of their audiences, the middle-aged, as this would be an attack on inheritance culture.

By engaging the youth vote with tuition-fee abolition, and the working classes with meaningful workers’ rights and minimum wage reforms, Labour hit their target audiences better than they have since they repositioned towards the centre in 1997. By going back towards the left, they have created a choice that workers and young people can believe in again. This creation of choice has somewhat empowered young people in particular, with 72% of under-25s voting on Thursday which is a record number.

Strong messages, only one was stable

Both of the main parties had big, attention-grabbing headline phrases that they used to great effect across their campaigns.

For the Conservatives, it was ‘strong and stable leadership’ which was infamously repeated time and time again; looking to compound Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of experience, his party’s recent chaotic past, and his attitudes towards international and national security.

The issues with this message began after the ‘dementia tax U-turn’, giving a feeling that the campaign had lost its strength and stability, forcing the party to rethink its message, particularly after the Manchester terrorist attack which further raised questions on May’s track record with security. This was changed to focus on providing a ‘clear plan for Brexit in the national interest’, however with Brexit being the most complex and confusing political matter for the country over the past year, under May’s leadership, this was seen to be a strong or cohesive message.

Labour, by comparison, had an excellent message which only got stronger over time. The soundbite, ‘for the many, not the few’, was backed up by their manifesto which addressed all demographics across the country, and went back to the party’s grassroots which got him to be leader. This, coupled with the fact that it went directly against the idea of the Conservatives’ status-quo leadership, meant that they were able to ride on the coat-tails of their campaign failures.

Labour match Tories on digital

As stated in a previous article, Labour have matched the £1million expenditure by the Conservatives in Facebook advertising alone.

Two-thirds of voters are now on social media, and more people are likely to receive information about party policies through those platforms than they are leafleting or from local media outlets.

Conservatives used a series of attack ads which have targeted moments where Labour are seen to be unable to remember their figures, such as when Jeremy Corbyn was unable to remember how much his free school meals policy would cost. Their social media advertising on the matter was viral and in the news that same evening.

Labour went one step further than just going on their own multimedia campaign, as they sought social media influencers, a very big market of advertising among younger voters and those in the so-called Generation Z group, to amplify their message. With social media videos on Vice’s platforms and grime artist Jme’s channels, have helped boost their viewing figures among younger voters exponentially – at the very least with the aim for them to vote, as younger people were more likely to vote Labour.

This helped completely change the election, with 1.57m people registered under 35 from a maximum 2.3m, and record-levels of turnout from young people in a General Election.

DBS offers a range of marketing services including consultancy, campaign development, execution, and social media management. For more information about our services, contact Josh Henwood today by emailing, or call 0121 374 2318.

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