Political Marketing: Theory and Concepts


Robert P. Ormrod, Stephan C. Henneberg & Nicholas J. O'Shaughnessy

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    This book is dedicated to our parents

    Paul and Linda Ormrod

    Manfred and Ursula Henneberg

    John and Marjorie O'Shaughnessy

    About the Authors

    Robert P. Ormrod is Associate Professor of Business Economics at Aarhus University, Denmark. He received a PhD from Aarhus University for his work on political market orientation. Robert's primary research focus is on political marketing and he publishes regularly on this subject in both marketing and political science journals. Robert is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Political Marketing.

    Stephan C. Henneberg is Professor of Marketing and Strategy at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He received his PhD from the Judge Business School, Cambridge. Stephan's research focuses on issues of inter-organisational strategy, business relationships and networks, and political marketing. He was the Academy of Marketing Special Interest Group Chair for Political Marketing and has organised three international conferences on the topic.

    Nicholas J. O'Shaughnessy is Professor of Communication at Queen Mary, University of London. He holds degrees from London, Oxford, Columbia and Cambridge Universities. Nicholas's research focus is on political marketing and propaganda, and he is the author and co-author of numerous journal articles and a Senior Editor of the Journal of Political Marketing. Nicholas is the author of two classic texts in the field of political marketing, The Phenomenon of Political Marketing and Politics and Propaganda: Weapons of Mass Seduction. Nicholas is a Quondam Fellow of Hughes Hall, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


    “Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please”

    Niccolò Machiavelli, History of Florence, 1521–1525

    I commend this excellent book from Robert Ormrod, Stephan Henneberg and Nicholas O'Shaughnessy to you from three of the leading figures in Political Marketing Research. It is timely and sums up much of the core work in the area and suggests a more contemporary interactionalist approach and proposes some stimulating new questions and directions for the discipline. The impact on modern democracy is a critical factor which is explored well in this book and is often the most challenging one to address in our age of social marketing media, internationalisation and interactive technology development.

    How do we engage voters and actively involve them in the democratic process, or is it inevitable that tactics will be used to turn off citizens from casting their vote so that the opposition can win? Removal of migrants from electoral rolls to ensure the traditional candidate is elected was a tactic in the US Presidential Election which did not work as well as some Republicans wanted. Whilst the unleashing of massive smears and innuendo against the Liberal Democrats in the press ahead of the Eastleigh bye-election in the United Kingdom in February 2013 did not change the end result, it damaged democracy and alienated many from believing the traditional media in the United Kingdom. We have seen it before, in 1996. I was called as an expert witness in the Hannifin Divorce Referendum Appeal Case in the Irish High Court in Ireland on the effectiveness of political advertising, which stimulated a growing interest in the effective measurement of campaigning as a result of the High Court Judge's ruling, that advertising/political marketing could not influence voters.

    We have come a long way as result of quality work from such figures as Bruce Newman, Dennis Johnson, Phillipe Mareek, Paul Baines, Jennifer Lees-Marshment and countless others and have an established discipline of political marketing, which has a growing movement of scholars from across the management, communications and political science disciplines in addition to marketers researching. Political marketing as a concept and practice has its early origins in the United States and was first regularly used as a territorial definition within marketing by Kelley (1956). Researchers have subsequently argued that it was first seen as an applied concept in the 1950s and 1960s in the United States while others have seen its early origins as being at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is broadly seen to include both political campaigns for elections and referenda and more covert campaigning in support of lobbying, pressure groups and public affairs work, and in particular modern interest and issue group campaigning. As a result, much work in this area cuts across traditional academic boundaries and lies both within the management and marketing domains as well as politics and international business, and is often seen as a core component of corporate competitiveness and strategy. It very often challenges the boundaries of democracy.

    This book helps address those key questions of how we engage voters and citizens in running their lives and democracy. I commend it to you.

    PhilHarris, Series Editor, Advanced Marketing Series, Westminster Professor of Marketing and Public Affairs, Centre for Corporate and Public Affairs Research, University of Chester, England, UK

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