The American presidential election is one of the largest, most expensive, and most comprehensive marketing efforts. Despite this fact, marketing scholars have largely ignored this campaign, as well as thousands of others for congresspersons, senators, and governors. This article describes the growth of interest in research issues related to political marketing. This emerging research area lies at the crossroads of marketing and political science, but these fields have developed largely independent of one another with little cross-fertilization of ideas. We discuss recent theoretical, empirical, and behavioral work on political campaigns, integrating perspectives from marketing and political science. Our focus is on (1) the extent to which paradigms used in goods and services marketing carry over to the institutional setting of political campaigns, (2) what changes are necessary in models and methodology to understand issues in political marketing and voter behavior, and (3) how the special setting of politics may help us gain a better understanding of certain topics central to marketing such as advertising, branding, and social networks.
- Political marketing