Marketing is an emerging discipline worldwide, and at the
same time a widening professional field.
conceptualization of the field began in the early 70’s
with relation to social marketing, and was widened towards
the late 80’s. The expansion of Political Marketing
occurred in the second half of the 90’s, as a consequence
of three developments:
- Organizations and political institutions began to be perceived
primarily as suppliers of social products;
- The perspective over citizens has decisively transformed
into one of citizens as clients of the socio-political systems;
- And last but not least, society began to be regarded as
a global mechanism for transferring symbolic goods.
Political Marketing researcher or expert will regard the political
organization as a whole and will focus on studying its capacities
to produce and distribute symbolic capital.
This expert will study the organization’s position on
the symbolic goods market and will analyse the organization’s
relationship with its potential target.
- The analysis, using Political Science methods, of the organization’s
purposes in the political realm;
- Consideration of the factors related to political culture
defining political behaviour and institutions;
- The evaluation, using interdisciplinary instruments from
Economy, Political Science and Sociology, of individuals’
behaviour and their decisions to „purchase” symbolic
- The analysis of the informational context and the organization’s
available means of influencing the public communication process;
- The study of the public agenda and of the manner in which
new themes and topics representing new symbolic goods earn
their place on the mass-media or social group agenda;
- The monitoring of the degree to which the marketing vision
influences and defines the management of the political organization.
Marketing is more than political communication, making up
political slogans, designing posters and survey analysis,
as is often suggested by communication consultants or market
research and polling agencies.
Identifying Political Marketing exclusively with such of its
components deprives the discipline of its fundamental attribute
which is an integrated vision of the „strategy oriented
towards the target public of symbolic goods”. To many
it has become merely the collection of services provided by
different sector experts, which is obviously an incomplete
Marketing is interdisciplinary, if only concerning the manner
in which it combines the marketing vision of the economic
realm and the goal-oriented vision of the political actors,
characteristic to Political Science.
particular perspective of society and of the exchanges between
organization-actors and client-actors has raised issues in
the Political Marketing literature regarding the discipline’s
ethical issue is in fact one of the most tender spots of Political
Marketing in relation with its critics. Their main allegation
is that the discipline’s concern with the complete „satisfaction”
of the client has a detrimental effect on democracy and democratic
The ethical objections are diverse and most of the authors
in the field consider the debate to be open.
Romania, Political Marketing is seldom present as a topic
of university curricula, and most of the times it is merely
a subject of courses held by communication or market research
experts whose professional portfolio includes participation
in political or electoral campaigns.
what concerns the professional sphere, the offer of Political
Marketing services available on the market consist of: opinion
research, PR and communication consultancy and “embryonic-phase”
mass-media analysis services. It rarely produces intelligence
products and only once in four years, around election time,
advertising agencies extend their activity to producing political
clips. In what concerns the management services for electoral
campaigns, there is a diffuse market made up of „free-lancers”
who offer services to local leaders, mainly in local electoral
strategic vision regarding the relationship between the organisation
and its public is completely internalized (within parties
and governmental institutions). It lies merely in the attributions
of the centralized decision bodies and is rarely shared with
the members of the organisations.
the level of public institutions, there is no such vision
of the institution as player on a symbolic goods market, and
consequently the demand for Political Marketing services from
public institutions is also lacking.