“Politics is the art of the possible.”
— Otto von Bismarck
Candidates and their political committees are always on the prowl — searching for alternative ways to garner votes. Unscrupulous methods are the stuff of headlines: Some buy votes, others trap voters.
But there is an entirely legal way for wooing voters to be wooed — it’s the stuff of imagination, where marketing and politics meet.
What is the best way to describe this intersection? The word is “politing.”
Politing combines the best thinking of political consultants with the acumen of the best marketers from the private sector. I coined the term politing so as to not confuse people with the buying and selling of votes.
Politing has nothing to do with presenting candidates that are unmarketable or selling the unsellable.
Politing is not a set of rules to teach those who would jump into the political arena, a “how-to” guide that would get them elected.
Rather it encompasses a study of candidates’ positions — and the things that make them appealing to the electorate — and identifying key variables that differentiate successful candidates from losers.
Unfortunately, many political candidates rely on the opinions of publicists and creative teams. Such advisers are limited to ads and graphics.
The strategy of politing is to have everything previously arranged as a business might market a brand — with the candidate’s message delivered seamlessly to the electorate. Politing is the philosophy that every action starts and ends in the market.
Meaning that all candidate needs to raise their electoral voices, the voices that show the masses their way, the correct way.
Candidates can’t pretend to question themselves to learn what voters are thinking; they must look through the window, not at the mirror.
Obviously, the validation of marketing in politics is possible. Those involved in politing will get the most votes.
In some countries, parties that employ such politing concepts often display discipline and are the most successful in winning votes.
Increasingly, these concepts are catching on in Latin America. The art of uniting marketing and politicians doesn’t assure synergy or success. But when the formula is tweaked, the results are undeniable.
Simply put, politing is the art of making the desirable possible.
Carlos Salazar-Vargas is president of CAS&A, a political consulting firm and he serves as professor in political marketing in Mexico. He also publishes www.politing.com.
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