How Has Political Marketing Changed? Is There Room for Ethics?

Kara Buchaklian, Liliana Gould, Olivia Steingraber and Dr. Nese Nasif, Department of Marketing, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, 1725 State Street, La Crosse WI 54601

The marketing of political ideas has fundamentally and drastically changed across time. From the beginnings of the global Industrial Revolution to the end of World War II, politics has always influenced people’s quality of life. In the most modern age of digital technologies, including its pervasive influence across the global population, it is pertinent to question the ethics of political marketing. Marketing communications allow politicians and their stakeholders to communicate particular ideas and ideologies, as well as gain a following. This paper investigates how political marketing has evolved across time in the United States, through the lens of ethics, by exploring prior research and interviewing individuals across different generations. Existing scholarly literature has conceptualized the ways in which political marketing is different from corporate products marketing and how the rise of social media has influenced political marketing in the most recent years. Changing perceptions of voters (e.g., consumers of political ideas) are also investigated. This study will help further understand the evolving strategies of political marketing, including identifying trends, and how political climate influences those trends. Some emergent themes found in the present research are: (1) that historical shifts in political strategies had significant effects on the prominent current strategies; and, (2) the use of traditional media versus social media brings rise to unique ethical issues. Indeed, the foundation of political ethics in a country founded under colonialism is certainly an important discussion within this framework. The paper concludes with ideas for continued research.   

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Kara Buchaklian, Liliana Gould, Olivia Steingraber

Institution: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Type: Poster

Subject: Business

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 4
Date/Time: Tue 11:00am-12:00pm
Session Number: 3509