The New Digital India

ballotBarack Obama’s successful digital strategy has inspired many political parties and leaders across the world to adapt to the new age marketing medium the Digital. For starters our very own BJP has launched a digital initiative for projecting LK Advani as the visionary for masses. Well if grapevine was to be believed it is an initiative to drive popularity of Mr. Advani over his party adversaries, but what is important to note is that this popularity count is based on feedback from digital audience. But I must add here that this is a well integrated campaign.

Political parties/campaigns have been traditionally been one of the biggest contributors for advertising/media spends, in an election year one of national parties adopting a Digital Approach should be encouraging for digital marketers

BJPs digital offensive comes as India prepares for a general election that promises to be different in two very significant ways: it will be the first time that as much as 40% of the electorate will be first-time voters—young people who have just crossed the voting age of 18; and it will the first time in the country’s independent history that the urban areas have a representation in the Lok Sabha that is proportionate to their population (the country’s rural areas have usually enjoyed more representation). The former segment would be the one which will be open to be engaged through Digital, as more than 50% of Internet population in India is the traditional youth segment. And the player who would be the first to influence this segment will have the first mover’s advantage. We just saw a brief preview of this effect in Delhi elections where a broad minded congress leader won an election by its appeal to younger audience.

Today we stand at an Internet population of 42 million which is just about 3.5% of Indian Population, but a set of citizens who are at the fore of all adopting newer ways of living is a substantially big population to shift the vote gain for any political party. 2004 the vote gains and loss for coalition partners were in the bracket of 3-4% and with no different electoral promises they remain in the same margin now. If somebody can influence the mindset of this audience the victory would become that much more closer. And as these polls come in the wake of the historic US election where an online strategy was a key part of Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign, it will just add fuel to the fire to influence fortunes of political parties.

What’s the silver lining for digital marketers like me is that these would legitimize the much ignored marketing medium! Finally if the marketers sitting in pristine FMCG/Consumer Durable companies realize that if Digital can influence the governance partners in the world largest democracy, they would certainly believe in the selling capability of digital media for the commoditized products.

As I end always “The game has just begun” and thumbs up to Mr. Advani for taking a lead in adopting the new age media.

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