The battle lines for the General Election are drawn. And for marketers, it’s not blue versus red (or even purple vs orange vs green), but impressions versus conversations.
In the impressions corner are the Conservatives. They are spending a staggering £100,000 on Facebook ads alone. And their impression driving “road to recovery” poster may have been a shambles, but it clearly re-enforces the view that the Tories will stick to traditional marketing and try to win the battle of the eyeballs.
Their strategy seems to be a top down one – pushing the message of recovery and almost avoiding getting into debate and discussion. Party campaign bosses must be praying that all these impressions will translate into positive conversations on the ground and then votes on May 7th.
But Labour are taking the opposite approach. With limited resources, rumoured to be ten times less than the Conservatives, Ed Miliband has pledged to out organise the Tories and is urging supporters to drive conversations. As a result, their social media content is being created to be shared – the NHS birthday and how many of me campaigns are neat examples of starting conversations with people and capturing authentic data to re-engage with voters later on.
However, the promised 4 million-plus conversations online and on the doorstep will count for nothing if it doesn’t translate into voters spreading the word about the policies Labour believe will be better for Britain. With the absence of top down, controlled, messaging there is also a risk that voters will go into the ballot box unsure of what they are voting for – and will vote for what they remember.
Which will win the #GE2015 social media battle? Impressions or conversations? We’ll find out on May 7th.