Political Marketing itu “Menjual Figur”

Pengamat komunikasi politik Heri Budianto mengatakan bahwa secara general masyarakat kini sudah krisis kepercayaan terhadap partai politik (Parpol). Itu dikarenakan kegagalan Parpol dalam menjalankan kaderisasi yang baik serta banyaknya partai yang terlibat kasus korupsi telah membuat masyarakat lebih memilih ketokohan figur, dan tidak begitu mementingkan profil parpol. “Secara umum masyarakat lebih memilih seorang tokoh figur dibandingkan partai politiknya,” ujarnya.

Dirinya juga menyebutkan ketokohan figur telah “memanjakan” partai sejak era reformasi bergulir. Contoh ada Almarhum Gus Dur di Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB), meski dia sudah tidak ada tapi figur atau tokohnya masih melekat hingga sekarang. Ada Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) di partai Demokrat, dan masih banyak lagi tokoh atau figur yang membawa parpol mampu menarik massa. “Fenomena ketokohan memang mengemuka pascareformasi dan ketika sistem demokrasi kita terapkan. Dan itu mampu membawa massa dalam partainya,” imbuhnya.

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Lembaga Survey dan Konsultan Marketing Politik; Antara Data Statistik, Teori Politik, Analisis Sosial-Budaya dan Ekskusi Program Kreatif

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/ricardoinfante

Seorang Konsultan marketing politik pada umumnya bekerja lebih pada segi aspek emosional pemilih dibandingkan dengan pemaparan program-program kerja secara spesifik atau penjelasan teknis program. Media akan memiliki peran utama dalam bidang pekerjaan para konsultan marketing politik akan tetapi media bukanlah satu-satunya alat dengan melalui sebuah metode para konsultan marketing politik mencakup penggunaan teknik-teknik penargetan dalam komunikasi jarak dekat atau metode persuasi dengan campuran retorika melakukan rekayasa penggeseran tema perdebatan dalam memengaruhi tingkah laku pemilih. Tema kampanye adalah bagian dari strategi ini sebagai pembuatan topik yang menarik bagi pemilih. Kebijakan pelaku marketing politik dapat baik digunakan sebagai penyebab mempromosikan seorang atau partai dalam suatu negara, Konsultan marketing politik sering dipersalahkan berperilaku bagaikan menjual produk barang-barang dibandingkan dengan ide-ide atau program politik. (Michel Le Séac’h, L’Etat marketing, comment vendre des idées et des hommes politiques) – (wikipedia)
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The Shopping Aisles of Democracy: New insights into the consumer approach to campaigning and governance.

In late February of this year, two reporters from Postmedia rocked the Canadian political world with news of an Elections Canada investigation into misleading “robo-calls” in the 2011 federal election. Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher had doggedly pieced together a disturbing tale of misleading, often automated phone calls in Guelph, Ontario, directing voters to the wrong polling stations.

The alleged fraud appeared to work in favour of the ruling Conservative Party and threatened to put a shadow over the election results that had given Prime Minister Stephen Harper his much-desired majority government on May 2, 2011. Subsequent reports, in the days and weeks to follow, would only widen the investigation, so that by the end of March Canada’s chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand, told a House of Commons committee that investigations were under way in no fewer than 200 ridings across the country.

It all seems like the stuff of political fiction—a dark thriller about dirty tricks, complete with tales of “burner” cellphones, hacked party databases and a mysterious operative named “Pierre Poutine.” But it is also the subject of political non-fiction—an academic text, in fact, titled Political Marketing in Canada, which was released earlier this year and which landed with impeccable timing in the midst of this spreading scandal.

The book is a collection of sophisticated, learned research into the nuts and bolts of modern campaigning, aspects too often ignored in Canadian political science, which tends to view politics through the loftier prisms of history, ideology or procedure. The editors and contributors to this volume force us to confront the reality that modern Canadian politics is as much about commercial marketing principles as it is about any of the other more intellectual and less pragmatic views of what drives our political world.

Here is how the book’s editors, Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson and Jennifer Lees-Marshment, put it in the introduction: “The range of concepts once unique to business are now common in politics as political elites look at marketing to offer new ways of engaging with and responding to an increasingly demanding electorate.” In other words, this is politics catapulted out of the ivory tower and into the aisles of your favourite retail chain.

Some Canadians, for instance, might have been surprised to learn this year just how much political parties use the so-called robo-calls and voter databases to do their campaign work. As an ad genius might say: “Telemarketing—it’s not just for duct-cleaning companies anymore.” And it is not just the Conservatives embracing market tools—Liberals and New Democrats have been building their own databases and buying automatic-dialling machinery to communicate with voters.

The political pros in all the major parties have been borrowing these tools from the marketplace for years, guided in large part by the examples being set in the United States, where big money and big players have blazed the trail for highly sophisticated techniques of political marketing. Just as your airline or home renovation store is keen to keep track of your customer preferences, so too are political parties eager to give you advertising or even tax policies especially made for you.

That is an important distinction, by the way: marketing is not advertising. You will learn, reading this book, that advertising is what happens after the product is made; marketing is something larger and different: it is the shaping of the product to suit consumers’ demand. Can you do that in politics, or even in government? After digesting a few chapters ofPolitical Marketing in Canada, one realizes that the answer to that question is, to quote Barack Obama, yes, you can.

This book reveals the Canadian Conservatives to be the most expert at adapting commercial marketing techniques to politics, not the least because of their willingness to see the electorate as a marketplace.

“The political marketing by ‘blue’ Tories (i.e., US Republican sympathizers) in 2006 may have changed the political game in Canada, for though regional clusters remain, the battleground has been altered to Tim Hortons coffee drinkers, Canadian Tire shoppers and the hockey moms of suburbia,” Marland writes in his chapter, “Amateurs versus Professionals.” Is this cynicism or simply a smart common-sense approach? This book, studiously non-partisan and non-judgemental (it is an academic text, after all) lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions.

Jennifer Lees-Marshment, it should be pointed out, is a leading international expert in political marketing, who teaches in New Zealand but first became interested in the topic when studying Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives in her home country of Britain. Her contributions to this book—most notably her interview with the former chief marketing strategist for the Canadian Conservatives, Patrick Muttart—are eye-opening glimpses into how political marketers view the electorate.

“Close campaigns are decided by the least informed, least engaged voters,” Muttart told Lees-Marshment. “These voters do not go looking for political news and information. This necessitates brutally simple communication with clear choices that hits the voter whether they like it or not. Journalists and editorialists often complain about the simplicity of political communication, but marketers must respond to the reality that undecided voters are often not as informed or interested as the political and media class are.”

Political purists may clutch at their pearls when they hear that candour from Muttart, but realists have always known that modern campaigns are not fought in the intellectual salons. The contributors to this book, who would all be entirely at home in those salons, have actually done us a service in putting an academic frame around realpolitik. Collectively, they have charted that trajectory of politics out of academia into the marketplace, and then bounced it back into the ivory tower for rigorous, researched analysis.

André Turcotte’s chapter, “Under New Management: Market Intelligence and the Conservative Party’s Resurrection” should be read and memorized by anyone who claims to understand the ruling party’s strategy for campaigning or governance in Canada.

Not enough people have been paying attention, in this reviewer’s opinion, to Turcotte’s revelation of how the Conservatives use polls. This is a party only glancingly interested in those national horse-race figures that transfix the media. Conservatives do not even bother with them, in fact. Bringing market-research intelligence to their political strategy, Turcotte shows us, the Conservatives recognized after their 2004 election defeat that they had to shape their “product” to suit those disengaged voters that Muttart was talking about—the people in a position to decide close races. “The result was that out of a sea of about 23 million eligible voters, the Conservative strategy was able to focus on a pool of about 500,000 voters, which made the difference between victory and defeat … and nationwide nightly campaign tracking was replaced by nightly tracking in winnable ridings and among key groups only.”

Other chapters and contributors show us how marketing is not just a campaign tool, but a way of governing for the Conservatives. Anna Esselment’s chapter, “Market Orientation in a Minority Government,” shows how those of us who cover modern government may be better off reading marketing manuals than dusty old procedural handbooks if we want to understand how our democracy is working.  “Should a market-oriented party (MOP) win an election and form government, it must deliver its product or risk losing re-election … The achievability of the product is crucial to the market-oriented party, as over-promising and under-delivering can threaten a governing party’s chances of remaining in power.”

The Harper government, we will recall, rode to power in 2005–06 on five basic promises: “cleaning up” government, getting tough on law and order, reducing wait times for health care, $100-a-month cheques for parents and cutting the goods and services tax. Esselment’s chapter, without explicitly setting it out this way, forces us to think about whether government is simply a matter of giving people what they want or the more complicated process of giving society what it needs. If government is framed simply as a response to consumer wants, then customers will demand, above all, prompt delivery. And in this way, matters such as Commons debate, parliamentary opposition and economic or media criticism can become mere impediments to the more pressing goal of client service.

This book is the product of a workshop held at a conference of the Canadian Political Science Association in May 2009 at Carleton University. This reviewer, almost by accident, was there. I had wandered into the classroom out of idle curiosity, but remained, glued to the presentations as the first display I had seen of political science for the “real” world where I work. As a political correspondent since the 1980s in Ottawa (with a BA in political science, incidentally), I had been noticing how citizens were increasingly being framed as consumers of democracy. Political marketing, as I learned at this workshop, appeared to be simultaneously a reply and a possible cause for that cultural shift in the electorate. In helping to organize The Toronto Star’s 2011 election coverage, I invited some of the contributors to this book to write a “Shopping for Votes” blog, so that our readers could see the campaign through the political-marketing lens.

The book raises questions—but few answers—about the implications for democracy of the marketing approach to politics. The most pointed one, of course, is whether politicians or governments should be shaping their “product” to suit demands of the voter “market.” Shouldn’t our democracy be more concerned with our higher, collective needs than our individual consumer wants? And where is the room for a pan-Canadian vision when our political professionals are carving up the country into “niche” markets with their own “boutique” taxes and “micro-targeted” policies?

Marketing can be a force for good, this book argues, if it is helping to make governments more responsive to its citizens, and if it is using the tools of the commercial world to make citizens into educated “consumers” of their politics and system of rule. Too often, however, we also learn in various chapters, the marketing techniques have had the effect of enhancing the influence of polls and ad-savvy experts, at the expense of members of Parliament and grassroots members of political parties. And for a style of business that is all about attracting clientele, political marketing has not exactly shone in building the customer base. Voter turnout has been steadily on the decline in the decades since marketing techniques started to be introduced into the democratic mix.

In the book’s carefully balanced confusion, the editors—Marland, Giasson and Lees-Marshment—argue that marketing should be used to enhance efforts to increase voter engagement. Make marketing serve democracy, in other words, and not vice versa. The more we know about the marketing techniques being employed by our political parties and governments, the better we will be able to hold our political class to account for using these tools in cynical or merely power-hungry ways. “A maturation of political marketing practice means that, in time, political actors should be able to reduce their emphasis on salesmanship and pandering as they move toward more of a deliberative, dialogue-seeking citizen-state relationship,” the editors write.

But one has to wonder whether this is an overly optimistic outlook for marketing’s future. Tempted as we may be to blame the political pros for the transformation of our democracy into a supermarket, it is difficult to argue with Muttart’s steely-eyed perspective on the disengaged electorate and hence, on the efforts to get them to the ballot box. The uneducated and uninterested voters have created the demand that political marketing accommodates.

And this takes us all the way back to the robo-calls scandal, which will be still unfolding for many months as Elections Canada carries out its painstaking investigations. Whatever person or persons dreamed up the scheme, it is a telling commentary that they believed it would be so simple to chase Canadians away from their fundamental, democratic entitlement—the right to vote. We may never know how many citizens received such a phone call, shrugged and decided it was too much trouble to get to the ballot box.

Political parties, we learn in this book, have been reaching for the tools of the marketplace in a sustained effort to catch Canadians where they live. Rightly or wrongly, political strategists have concluded they can find the citizenry in the shopping aisles. What’s more, like it or not, the parties most expert in seeing Canadians as shoppers—the Conservatives—have been the most successful.

Political Marketing in Canada, as an academic text with a $90 price tag, will not likely be found in the shopping aisles of the “hardworking, ordinary Canadians” that all the parties have been courting. [Editor’s Note: As of July 1, 2012, this title will also be available in a $32.95 paperback edition.] Nor is it written for that average consumer. It is, however, the first academically solid text produced on political marketing in Canada. In Britain and the United States, there is far more academic literature on this score. Here is hoping that this is the inaugural book in a series of studies into the modern Canadian political “marketplace.” In the meantime, all those who claim to understand modern political strategy, all those pundits and government-relations experts we see on TV, should keep this volume at hand as an essential reference.

Susan Delacourt is a senior political writer with The Toronto Star who will be releasing her own book on political marketing and consumer citizen-ship in Canada in the spring of 2013.

Source : Literary Review of Canada

PROYEKSI POLITIK: Selera Rakyat yang Menentukan

Suhu politik tahun 2011 dipastikan meningkat. Sebab, selain banyak masalah yang belum tuntas, sehingga menimbulkan kegaduhan-kegaduhan dan mengganggu efektivitas pemerintahan, berlangsung juga persiapan Pemilihan Umum dan Pemilihan Presiden 2014. Waktunya tidak lama lagi sehingga dipastikan partai politik akan menyusun strategi, membangun kinerja, dan menyiapkan langkah untuk pertarungan pada 2014. Siapkah parpol menghadapinya dan bagaimana menyiapkan kepemimpinan nasional pasca-Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yang tak mungkin mencalonkan lagi karena telah memimpin selama dua periode. Siapa saja tokoh atau mungkin ketua parpol yang memiliki kans? Mulai hari ini akan diturunkan pandangan sembilan ketua parpol yang meraih suara di parlemen mengenai proyeksi politik.


Peta politik tahun 2014 masih misteri, mengingat semuanya bergantung pada dinamika dan selera politik rakyat. Jika rakyat menghendaki, bisa saja terjadi fluktuasi politik atau turun-naiknya keberadaan partai-partai di politik. Oleh karena itu, Ketua Umum DPP Partai Demokrat Anas Urbaningrum tidak berani memprediksi konstruksi peta politik 2014. Padahal, Pemilu 2014 sangat penting, mengingat Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tidak bisa lagi mencalonkan diri.

Bagaimana proyeksi politik dan strategi yang akan diterapkan Partai Demokrat (PD) menjelang tahun 2014? Mampukah Demokrat bertahan sebagai partai nomor satu? Siapakah calon yang akan diusung Demokrat pasca-SBY? Untuk mengetahui itu, ikutilah wawancara dengan Anas di rumahnya, di pojok kawasan Duren Sawit, Jakarta Timur, Minggu (9/1).

PD memandang proyeksi politik 2011 seperti apa?

Kalau perspektif partai kami, proyeksi politik 2011 ini masih relatif dekat dengan peristiwa politik 2009, yaitu tahun pemilu. Tahun 2010, di tingkat lokal, juga menjadi tahun politik karena banyak sekali pemilihan kepala daerah (pilkada). Oleh sebab itu, PD bukan hanya berharap, tetapi juga ingin tetap berusaha agar tahun 2011 benar-benar menjadi tahun kerja. Kalau 2011 sudah terlalu dalam berpikir persiapan teknis dan operasional politik menuju 2014, kami, kok, merasa sisi etis dari politik, seperti akuntabilitas terhadap mandat politik rakyat, agak terabaikan. Tanpa kami agendakan khusus pun, hal itu tentu berjalan otomatis dan alamiah. Kami pasti mempersiapkan diri menuju 2014.

Kalau disebut tahun kerja parpol, lalu apa yang dipersiapkan PD menuju 2014?

Secara internal, kami memiliki tugas yang sangat berat. PD itu partai baru sehingga tantangan utamanya adalah pelembagaan. PD, kalau ingin menjadi partai yang modern dan kuat serta punya akar politik yang tajam ke grassroots, tidak boleh menjadi partai figur, tetapi partai yang terinstitusionalisasi.

Bagaimana kelembagaan PD, padahal sosok SBY akan hilang sejalan dengan berakhirnya pemerintahannya?

Cara berpikir kami tidak dikotomis antara ikon politik, figur besar, dan pelembagaan. Ikon politik dan figur besar itu justru bagian dari kapitalisasi politik untuk dilembagakan. Pak SBY bukan hanya dipahami sebagai sosok besar yang menjadi spirit bagi pertumbuhan partai, tetapi juga dipahami sebagai jalan pikiran dan paradigma berpikir dan pendirian berpolitik dan karakter politik. Kami yakin, meskipun Pak SBY sudah berhenti (2014), warna SBY masih akan terasa dan akan terlembaga di PD. Jadi, berakhirnya masa kepresidenan itu bukan berakhirnya nilai rasa politik SBY di PD. Cara berpikir kami di partai yang modern, di satu sisi harus melembagakan institusinya, tetapi di sisi lain harus kerja keras memproduksi tokoh-tokoh baru. Jika berjalan, itu bagian penting juga dari institusionalisasi. PDI Perjuangan, misalnya, trademark-nya masih BK (Bung Karno). Pasca-Bu Mega barangkali juga masih menjadi bagian dari trademark politik PDI-P. Pak Amien Rais, yang ketua MPP PAN, adalah juga bagian dari napas politik PAN. Almarhum Gus Dur masih menjadi bagian dari napas politik PKB. Partai Golkar juga masih melakukan kapitalisasi politik terhadap figur Pak Harto. Itu hal yang normal.

PD punya strategi koalisi dan konfederasi seperti sekarang ini terkait dengan munculnya keberadaan partai-partai kecil?

Konsentrasi kami adalah bagaimana partai-partai koalisi yang kami bangun komitmennya tahun 2009 bisa selesai baik tahun 2014. Kami berharap koalisi itu bisa dilanjutkan dengan format yang makin baik, apakah termasuk pengurangan peserta atau penambahan peserta atau penggantian pemain, tetapi koalisi itu dibutuhkan.

Keberadaan partai-partai kecil, bagaimana? Pada pemilu lalu, kan, diakomodasi SBY?

Kami terbuka jika ada partai sahabat yang bersama-sama kemarin pada pilpres 2009 berjuang untuk pasangan SBY-Boediono untuk sama-sama dengan PD. Namun, konsep kami asimiliasi. Kami ingin jika ingin gabung, ya, menyatu betulan ke dalam tubuh PD. Jadi, bukan konfederasi. Namun, kalau ingin bergabung di partai-paratai sahabat lainnya untuk mendirikan konfederasi atau fusi, itu juga pilihan yang bagus.

Ambang batas di atas 2,5 persen itu harga mati bagi PD sehingga tidak akan memberi ruang lagi bagi partai kecil untuk hidup?

Kami menawarkan jalan moderat. Kami usulkan kenaikan ambang batas 2,5 persen menjadi 4 persen, tidak 5 persen. Kalau 5 persen, naiknya dua kali lipat. Kalau semua partai siap 5 persen, kami juga tidak keberatan.

Namun, volatilitas suara itu bisa turun naik. Apakah PD bisa bertahan lebih dari dua musim pemilu?

Pola kita belum ketemu. Golkar bertahan lama pada Orba, tetapi itu bukan peristiwa demokrasi sehingga tidak bisa dinapaktilasi secara politik dalam konteks demokrasi. PDI Perjuangan berhasil 1999, tetapi 2004 ketika di dalam pemerintahan justru turun cukup drastis. Namun, saat jadi oposisi, ternyata juga turun. Logika politiknya, ketika peranan oposisi dimainkan dengan baik, kan, seharusnya dapat insentif politik dari rakyat, tetapi ternyata turun juga. Golkar tahun 2004 menjadi nomor satu. Tahun 2009, juga turun ketika ketua umumnya jadi wapres dan (wapresnya) dianggap wapres yang berhasil. Jadi, polanya belum ketemu. Buat kami, yang penting bekerja baik saja dulu.

Awal tahun ini bermunculan wacana capres. PD sudah berancang-ancang juga?

Bohong, kalau partai tidak berpikir tentang pencalonan presiden. Namun, bagi PD itu ada musimnya. Bahasa di kampung saya, jangan salah mongso, jangan salah musim. Musim kerja, ya, kerja. Musim politik, pemilu, ya, musim politik dan pemilu. PD pasti akan mempersiapkan diri.

Spekulasi yang disampaikan Ruhut Sitompul tentang Ibu Ani Yudhoyono?

Ibu Ani itu tokoh yang sangat dihormati di PD. Beliau pernah jadi Wakil Ketua Umum PD dan ikut dalam proses pertumbuhan awal PD dan sekarang tetap memberikan perhatian walaupun beliau bukan pengurus lagi. Akan tetapi, tetap memberi perhatian terhadap perkembangan partai. Beliau juga ibu negara yang berhasil, beliau tokoh yang dikenal, tetapi kami belum pernah bahas itu di PD. Pada waktunya, Majelis Tinggi PD akan melakukan pembahasan siapa yang akan menjadi calon. Kami juga belum tahu apakah Ny Ani Yudhoyono berkenan dan Pak SBY setuju ataukah kader-kader semua sejalan dengan pikiran itu. Kami tidak akan kesulitan untuk mencari figur capres yang tepat.

Kemungkinan mengubah UUD 1945 agar ada jalan bagi SBY lagi?

Itu bukan jalan pikiran PD, itu bukan jalan pikiran Pak SBY. Kami ingin melembagakan demokrasi kita yang makin baik, termasuk periodisasi jabatan presiden. Jabatan dua periode itu pilihan terbaik. SBY punya pendirian politik yang jelas dan tegas. Berkali-kali Presiden menyatakan cukup dua kali.

Anda sendiri bagaimana?

Mandat saya di Kongres PD lalu adalah untuk memajukan partai dan untuk berhasil memimpin partai dalam pemilihan legislatif dan pemilihan presiden. Sekali lagi, soal calon presiden, sekarang aba-abanya belum itu.

Jangan-jangan Anda dan PD menunggu aba-aba SBY?

SBY itu tokoh yang sangat rasional, demokratis, dan baik. Kalkulasi politiknya rapi, matang, dan bervisi ke depan. Itu yang saya kenal dari SBY sejak saya menjadi aktivis. Karena itu, jalan politik seperti ini akan berlaku seperti di PD. Karena yang dipikirkan PD terkait 2014 bukan hanya untuk PD dan bukan hanya 2014, melainkan untuk Indonesia tahun-tahun yang akan depan.

Kalau melihat survei-survei, nama Anda, kok, tidak masuk dalam posisi yang besar, ya, dalam bursa capres?

Survei capres itu bagus jika dilakukan dari awal, tetapi acap kali itu belum tentu menggambarkan capres tahun 2014. Jadi, sekali lagi, rumus capres adalah dikenal, disukai, dipercaya, dan dipilih. Suhartono

Source : Kompas.com

Kampanye dan Pemasaran

Senin, 7 Juli 2008,Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) telah menetapkan 34 partai politik (parpol) sebagai peserta Pemilu 2009.

Jumlah ini meningkat dibandingkan dengan 24 partai peserta Pemilu 2004 sekaligus memupus harapan terjadinya proses penyederhanaan (penyusutan) secara alamiah jumlah kontestan pemilu.Kita masih ingat,Pemilu 1999 diikuti oleh 48 partai. Di luar opini mengenai menurunnya kinerja regulator parpol, ada dua fakta di balik angka 34 itu.Fakta pertama, parpol tetap dianggap sebagai komoditas strategis sebagai produk politik yang masih layak dipasarkan.
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Politik dan Pemilu dalam Perspektif Pemasaran

BERDASAR perilakunya, pemilih dalam pemilu dapat dikategorikan dalam tiga plus satu kelompok.

Tiga kelompok pertama: pemilih baru yang dalam membuat keputusan cenderung berdasar janji; pemilih yang agak loyal mengevaluasi seberapa jauh kebijakan dinyatakan; dan partisan jangka panjang yang memperhatikan bagaimana par pol memfasilitasinya untuk meraih tujuan. Adapun kelompok terakhir, golput tidak menemukan pilihan yang sesuai dan memuaskan aspirasinya.
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