ERIC Number: ED219810
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Targeting Political Communications: A Problem in Market Segmentation.
Markwart, Richard I.
Political campaigns are major, high-budget marketing efforts, but because they are usually managed by people with little training in either marketing or communications, they fail to persuade voters to vote in the desired way. Political targeting can be treated as a segmentation problem, one of identifying and responding to the specific qualities of the target group. Applying buyer behavior segmentation strategy to a political campaign yields four categories: (1) the nonparticipant, (2) the hard loyalist, (3) the soft loyalist, and (4) the switcher. Removing the hard loyalists and nonparticipants from consideration leaves a diverse target group that comprises only 25% of the total population. Good segmentation requires that the segment be measurable, accessible, and substantial enough to make the effort worthwhile. Traditional breakdowns of segments are geographic, demographic, psychographic, and buyer behavior. Current methods of political targeting are all inadequate: pressure response and surveys of expert opinion, because they often talk to people already sold; basic application of demographics, because it rarely considers soft loyalists and switchers; and statistical approaches, because when based on demographics they too often depend upon a single demographic factor, and when based upon a geobehavioral approach, they rely on highly unusual conditions for their data. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Market Segmentation; Political Advertising
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Milwaukee, WI, April 15-17, 1982).