Free Marketing Course

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I am offering a free short marketing course. The course will cover the basics of marketing and help you to understand the key marketing ideas in a really simple way.

If you are studying for a marketing exam it will help you to revise and check your understanding of the marketing environment and how the economic factors can affect a business. It will show you how to plan for the future and understand the key parts of a marketing plan. It is in easy to follow and will help you to understand the marketing template more easily.

If you are working in marketing and trying to find that little extra insight to help your organisation to compete and deal with the challenges facing business today. It will show you the key models and the way in which your business can develop and focus on building value for the customer. The better the customer needs are met the greater the chance that the business will be successful.

The course will be delivered to you by email over a a few weeks.

Social Media Marketing meets Politics

The results are in Nick Smith was elected as MP in Blaenau Gwent for Labour. As you will have seen in the media this was against the tide of Labour loses. The previous election saw a loss by 2,500 votes and this time a majority of 10,516 votes.  The swing to Labour was 29.2%, a success by any standards.

So how was it done?

The key point in any communication and political campaigns is who get the message over in the simplest way possible. The art of cutting through the noise from other parties, masses of media coverage and voters who maybe switched off, is a huge challenge.

The starting point is the message, simple and give the voter a reason to vote, sounds easy but in reality very difficult to do. There are lots of ways of achieving this and as many commentators have said the role of social media is important.

Nationally, there were acres of newsprint, hours of TV, masses of radio and yet millions of people who had not made up their mind until the day of the election.  In Blaenau Gwent the campaign used lots of traditional tactics, leaflets and connecting with small groups in meetings, in public events, by walking the streets and door knocking.  Visibility of campaign material such as traditional posters and garden stakes as a reminder was important. It also created momentum but the number of posters was much lower than the final vote.

Social media connected via Facebook with 744 friends. That is creates a ripple effect as their friends will see the updates and comments. That increases the coverage and multiplies the effect. These friends then share the links, the stories, the photos and videos. 

Given that there are a defined number of voters. Every friend that votes takes their vote from the opposition. This doubles the impact of that vote.  So of the friends, 700 voted, that is a 1,400 swing and that in political marketing is huge.

The key here is to engage with the friends. That is critical as it increases the turnout of the vote. In political marketing the threat is from the other candidates but also from the sofa, just not bothering to turn out to vote

The connections into Twitter and Utube really worked well. It integrated the campaign and gave it life. This enabled short, quick updates and showed current activities. It involves people so they can feel part of what is going on even if they are not there. It is the social interest that increases engagement.

Using Social Media in Politics

This is a quick post to update you all on my latest consultancy project.  It is  using social media for the 2010 UK Election. The first major use of social media in politics was the highly successful campaign to elect  Obama. The same principle are now being used in the UK Election.

The consistituency is Blaenau Gwent in South Wales. It is is a seat with deep historical and political significance for the Labour Party. For those of you with an interest in politics it was the seat of Aneurin Bevan, who set up the NHS and  then came Michael Foot, with massive Labour majorities. It was lost to an  Independent candidate and has been controversial since 2001. Labour have been fighting hard to win it back for the first time since 2001 and it is not an easy task.

The campaign has a very limited budget. My role has been to run and manage the social media and the results so far have been amazing. The starting point was a Facebook group which has grown hugely with a regular following. This is really important as these people are engaged with the group. That is a major difference as it is two way communication, so much more powerful than one way communications.

This is linked to a blog. This has a different function. It offers more of an in depth analysis of the issues and attracts new readers, who are directed back to FB.  Twitter plays a role and is connected to the blog and also to a FB page. The political candidate already had a page so Twitter was linked into this. The blog tracks back to FB and then of course there is Utube. That has also been a huge boost to the campaign. Simple enough to upload a video to Utube and then link in to the site.

 One of the big advantages of social media in the campaign is immediate feedback and measurable outcomes. In best marketing practice that is key. For those of you in business it is something to focus on. For marketing students sitting marketing exams it is an interesting case study to show you understand what is happening in marketing at the moment.

Within hours you can see the results of a post, the hits on the website, the sources of traffic. This permits immediate response and the ability to change and adapt quickly.

Check it out here and watch the results of the Election to see if it is successful.!/group.php?gid=122196429916&ref=ts