The second (new) P

Last month, Dave Duarte pointed out on his blog, Marketing Geek, that the Wikipedia page on Marketing had a new subsection on “Web 2.0 and the new 4 Ps”, namely Personalisation, Participation, Peer-to-Peer and Predictive Modelling. This week, Tyler Reed posted a neat slide presentation on the same topic.

In political marketing, the second P in particular has always been important. After all, going out and casting your vote is the most basic (and all-important) participation in the political process. Participation is an end in and of itself. Respond to your voters’ wishes, and you’ll be rewarded. Ignore them at your peril.

Product marketing is measured in Rands and cents; political marketing is measured in votes cast. It creates a particular challenge, since the success of your brand is only truly measured twice every five years.

Of course, in order to remain relevant and ensure we get that return on Election Day, we need to try and engage people and encourage participation between elections.

As far as our online strategy is concerned, that has largely been limited to contacting us via our website or subscribing to, and responding to, our various electronic newsletters.

Last year, we started a political blog called Inside Politics; but it isn’t a traditional blog, in that posts tend to be longer analytical articles, rather than short diary-style entries. And while the blog invites contributions from readers by email, it doesn’t have built-in Comments functionality. At the beginning of this year, we launched a more traditional style blog, Eye on Crime, which picks up on criminal justice issues in the media and encourages interaction with, and among, readers.

Our main website, falls somewhere between a traditional website (it has several static pages with lots of information about the party) and a media-style news archive (with top story and latest headlines on the front page). (We’re currently planning a major revamp – more about that another time.)

Occasionally, we do something a little different – with a little mini-campaign on or linked to the site. A few years ago, we created the domain,, with an archive of all the health minister’s blunders and a poll asking whether she should be fired.

And last year this time, we created an Accountability page on our website, where members of the public could mark each Cabinet Minister out of 10, and the average score would be included in the DA’s Cabinet Report Card, which gets compiled at the beginning of December every year. As well as publicising the page by launching it at a media conference, we created a little viral email with the health minister’s face (who better as a call to action) and the question, “How much would you give this minister out of 10?” followed by numbers 1 – 10, and a link to the page.

This year, I thought I’d write about it here too. I’ve also created a SlideShare version of our very simple email viral:


2 Responses to “The second (new) P”

  1. 1 Jayx 18 November 2007 at 2:44 pm

    That there scale is missing a zero Ant.

  2. 2 ahazell 18 November 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Fair point, Jayx. I’ll take it up with our webmaster 🙂

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