The Elections of 2014 have just gone by and we at Marketing91 are very happy that India’s new prime minister is Mr Narendra Modi. We hope that this will be a golden era of politics and that India will rise phenomenally in the next 5 years. However, during the elections there were many things that we have observed and learned. And out of these many things, we will discuss 8 marketing lessons from the Election of 2014.
1) Leadership is crucial –
Narendra Modi proved that leadership is crucial and that a right leader at a right time can make all the difference. BJP in itself was the 2nd most powerful political party. However, come elections 2014, people were voting more for Narendra Modi than for BJP. At the same time, leadership by Mr Rahul Gandhi was poor by comparison.
2) Marketing is not everything –
Congress pumped and pumped money to build their brand and recover their reputation when they knew that there was going to be tough competition from Narendra Modi. However, even though the Marketing was fabulous, it did not bring a win for Congress. Rather, there were too less seats for Congress. Thus, marketing is not everything and you need the product to support the market.
3) Past performance Matters –
Your past performance matters a lot. For example, Modi’s performance in Gujarat has been exemplary in terms of infrastructure support as well as management of the state. But on the other hand, there were many promises made by various Congress ministers which were not met. Thus, looking at the past performance, people began supporting Modi more than Gandhi.
4) Building a brand takes a long long time –
You cannot suddenly build a brand. The brand Narendra Modi did not come in the limelight during the last 6 months. In fact, it has been around for at least the last 3 years since the time Modi began marketing himself. In Mumbai, there were several agriculture and industrial events where Modi was strongly marketed. Thus, the Modi brand is not built over night. Rather a lot of efforts have gone in making Narendra Modi the brand that he is.
5) Distraction is bad for business –
Arvind Kejriwal was a distraction and nothing else. He came in the limelight with Anna hazare and then started his own Party which was the Aam aadmi party. However, it could be seen that Arvind Kejriwal performed poorly as a minister and he was better off raising fingers on everyone. Thus, such distractions are costly as during that time, people were gossiping within themselves more than discussing the real fate of India. Thus scandals and distractions should be avoided at all cost.
6) Media is powerful –
Media brought the turnaround point of Elections 2014 for Congress and Arnab goswani’s interview with Rahul Gandhi was one of the major highlights of Elections 2014. It was a PR exercise which went badly. The interview was disappointing for congress and the reputation of Rahul Gandhi was destroyed due to that interview. That single interview was a major setback for Congress as Rahul Gandhi was unable to pull off the image of being a potential prime minister of India.
7) Social media is the most powerful word of mouth medium –
During all this time, the Social media was abuzz with activity with people oscillating between Narendra Modi and congress. There were millions of posts which declared support for Modi and which wanted change in the country. At the same time, people also shared the issues they had if Narendra modi becomes PM. Overall, people had taken their decision long before voting started. And this was because of Social media. Thus, Social media as an influencer cannot be ignored as it can make or break a product or a brand through word of mouth advertising.
8)Honesty is the best policy –
Lastly, we believe that Mr Narendra Modi is one of the more honest prime ministers of India (which is yet to be seen, but we do believe that). There were a lot of times when mud was slung at Narendra Modi but there was never anything in depth because Modi has always been honest. And this leads us to the final marketing lesson of Elections 2014 – Honesty is the best policy. Be honest with yourself, your employees, your vendors and everyone connected to your business and you are sure to have long term growth.
The above 8 marketing lessons are also a reason that BJP won a majority across India and created a political record. These marketing lessons can be applied to any business and you can reap benefits from the learning that we had from Elections 2014.