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Big data predicts Conservatives will win 307 seats in the general election

bigdataPollsters are in agreement that this election is likely to be the closest fought battle to dominate 10 Downing Street in a generation.

As MD of REaD – a business that has access to demographic and behavioural data on well over 40 million individuals in the UK and the technical nous to analyse it – we have a unique opportunity to generate accurate insights. The world of big data is at the disposal of the marketing world, so why not use it in the political arena to make predictions around the upcoming election? We decided to take the pollsters on at their own game and see whether it really is as close as everyone is saying. Read more >> 

What social media says about #GE2015

CaptureToday, some 30 Million Britons will take to the polls to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom – the outcome of which is anybody’s guess.

While Labour and the Conservatives are expected to remain the party of choice for the majority of voters, smaller parties – particularly UKIP and the SNP – are poised to make an impact at the cost of the traditional two-party system.

Predicting the outcome of the election outright is a daunting task, but by tapping directly into the social conversations related to the election, we can gain a clearer picture of issues that are important to UK citizens – and the parties that are most influencing conversation about those issues.

The one campaign I liked the most.

Something about politics that we actually wanted to see and wanted to share on social media.Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 14.25.56

Brand, Izzard, slabs of stone, ads, social media, TV debates, face to face – what has really influenced the voter?

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It used to be the posters and national newspapers getting behind a party. This time some people were claiming it was going to be decided through social media. Others disputed that.

The TV debates may have influenced those who Gogglebox but face to face, from pink busses to knocking on doors, still prevails as a key factor in trying to persuade one of the largest percentages of voters – who really aren’t sure who to vote for.

The role of brands in Austerity

Unilever

You don’t have to look far to find articles, speeches and campaigns that focus on giving brands a purpose, be it on a service, people or environmental level.

There’s no doubt that this has been partly brought on by the recession, with consumers and employees expecting more from the brands in their lives, whilst many brands seek to compete for consumer attention in more innovative ways than just price wars.

The General Election and ‘brand politics’

brand-poltics-wallIt’s General Election time in the UK, and we go again to the polls on 7 May with a more fractured group of parties to choose from than ever before, and voter apathy at its highest.

A while back I tweeted that in order for Labour and more specifically Ed Miliband to win, he needs to be ‘on brand’. This caused much derision as many followers said brand had ‘nothing to do with politics’.

No, it shouldn’t, but in amongst the policies, brand is now a major consideration when aiming to reduce voter apathy and appeal to first-time voters.

Forget Charlotte Street and look to the High Street: What politics can learn from retail

High streetAs we pull into the last few days of the 2015 General Election, I’m reminded of the main political parties’ lack of finesse when it comes to campaign communications. They only get to flex their marketing muscles every five years, so it’s not an area of expertise and their reflex action is to reach for a big blunt message and hammer it home repeatedly in traditional channels.

This time the approach is further exposed by voter cynicism and the rise of social media. So rather than looking to Charlotte Street for inspiration, maybe politicians should focus on the techniques of the High Street. It’s not as far fetched as you might think. There are plenty of similarities where retail techniques have worked in politics. Read more >> 

Social media fuels the ‘unusual’ 2015 UK Election

electionAhead of one of Britain’s most bitter, unusual elections in recent memory, Socialbakers has put together a comprehensive look at how social media is affecting the candidates and their parties, writes Alexandra Banks, director of global communications at Socialbakers

The normal Tory or Labour majority is gone, and for this election cycle, it’s not coming back.

Instead, election stories are dominated by less centrist contenders – namely, the declining Liberal-Democrats, the growing fringe that is Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP), and the Greens. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) is shaking the tree as well.

In all, the May 7th vote will be like nothing the UK has yet seen. We’re already seeing a last-minute maneuver of support for the incumbent party from 100 of Britain’s biggest names in business, and could yet see the Lib-Dem’s Deputy PM Nick Clegg lose his seat amidst an expected run on incumbent Lib-Dem seats. Labour and Conservatives are neck-and-neck, and poll results differ as to which has the advantage based on if they are phoned in or conducted online. Which is to say, this is going to be absolutely loony.

What the Scandis think of UK election video campaigns

In the next in my series of political advertising analyses, I explore which of the video campaigns have been innovative and effective. Read more >>

Labour: Martin Freeman’s Endorsement

How can marketing tactics help politicians re-engage female voters?

Magemta VanLow voter turnout is a concern for any democracy. Turnout is a particular issue amongst women with only 64% of women voting compared to 66% of men. A seemingly small difference but in absolute terms 2% represents 500,000 women.  Attempts by the political parties to re-engage women haven’t been successful. Harriet Harman has made it her mission to re-engage the “missing millions”, but her first attempt, touring a pink bus round the country, was met with derision. So how could marketers help? If an agency was given this dream brief what should they do?  Here are five suggestions: Read more >>