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It’s Over!

Election Leaflets

The election may be over – but how did it all begin?

In case you’ve been living on the moon lately, you’ll know how, in the UK, we have been bombarded with election campaigning over the past few weeks.

Whichever party you voted for, it was an interesting exercise from a marketing perspective. And I thought I’d share my thoughts with you of what arrived through our doors. None of my comments below indicate who I voted for by the way, these are my opinions with my marketer’s hat on!

The three major parties, plus the Green party and UKIP put leaflets through our door.

UKIP won on the leafleting effort hands down with two A4 four page leaflets, and two A5 leaflets. There was absolutely no consistency in their design though, and their purple changed with each leaflet. Designers everywhere will be turning in their graves! They had a very strong message throughout, focusing on that “it was time for change”. They addressed a mix of national and local issues.

On the flip side, we had just one leaflet from Labour with, in my opinion, a weak message and a messy leaflet. For such a large and, presumably, well financed party…”could do better”!

Just one leaflet through the door from the Conservatives – interesting, as he was the incumbent (and retained his seat). However, we also got a further leaflet through the post addressed to Mr R. Why not me, I’d like to know?! Not the greatest designed leaflet I’ve ever seen, but a strong comparative message – “Your vote will deliver competent leadership or a coalition of chaos”, with a clear result of what your vote will bring “A better future for you, your family and our country” or “Britain can’t afford it and you’ll have to pay for it.” Again they covered a mix of local and national issues.

The Lib Dems put one leaflet through the door and mailed one direct to me (but not to Mr R). Two different leaflets…..and two different “LibDem” yellows. I’m not entirely sure what they wanted to focus on – because there is no clear marketing message. They talked about national issues but nothing about the local issues. They started one leaflet with “What will the LibDems do for you and your family?” – but then went on to talk about very general national issues which don’t really affect me and my family on a day to day basis. If they did this country-wide, maybe this is why they lost so many seats? The electorate was just not engaging with them.

The Green Party put two leaflets through our doors. Two entirely different messages on the leaflets, but the strongest had a huge headline saying “Vote for What You Believe In”. All very well, but they didn’t go on to tell us how they were going to pay for all the ideals they believe in. All the others had very definite “this is what we will do” or “this is what we will spend”.

And finally, we live in rural Gloucestershire. All the parties (other than the Lib Dems) talked about how they were going to protect our Forest as well as other local rural issues. Yet, no-one came knocking on our door to ask our opinion.

So, what can you learn from this little lot?

Have a clear benefit-led message that engages with the issues that your target market faces, and keep it consistent throughout all your marketing

  • Get your marketing literature professionally designed; having a variety is fine, but do make them all part of the same family (a designer will do this as a matter of course for you).
  • Pay attention to the details of your marketing materials: if it looks messy, the reader will think that reflects on you.
  • Keep all your colours consistent. There is absolutely no excuse at all these days to have wildly different executions of the same colour in printed material. Colour can vary slightly from on screen to printed (mostly only to a trained eye), but on printed material it should be the same. Take advice from your designer and use a reputable printer or print broker.
  • Speak to all of your target audience, and speak to them often.
  • And ask your target audience their opinion, particularly if you’re telling them that you can fix their problems. How do you know what problems and issues they actually have if you don’t actually ask them?!

  • It was an interesting exercise, particularly when you consider the parties’ local marketing in relation to the national campaigning that went on. It is always worth looking at the marketing that goes on around you to see how you react to it – and therefore what you can learn from it for your own business.

    Action Step For This Week

      Spend a few minutes looking at your own marketing collateral and compare it to the points above. Would you win with what you have – or is time for a change?

      If you need help with your marketing collateral, do contact me for a free 30 minute Marketing Insight Consultation by emailing me or calling me on 01452 223306.

      Dedicated to your success,

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