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Political Strategy

Political marketing strategy is about how parties, candidates and governments think and plan in order to achieve their goals. It requires consideration of many different factors such as the nature of the market, history, culture, governance, stakeholders, competitors, resources and goals. It includes targeting, positioning strategies, attack and defence strategies, sales and market orientations, populist strategies, strategy and the environment, measuring and implementing strategy.

General and overview

Arterton, Christopher, and William Greener. 2009. Obama: Strategies and Tactics in the General Election In Campaigning for president 2008: strategy and tactics, new voices and new techniques edited by D. W. Johnson. New York: Routledge.

Baines, P. R. (2010). "The Unloved Relationship? Dynamic capabilties and political-market strategy: a research agenda." Journal of Public Affairs 10(4): 258-264.

Baines, Paul R., Phil Harris and Barbara R. Lewis (2002). The political marketing planning process: improving image and message in strategic target areas. Market intelligence and Planning, vol. 20(1): 6-14.

Baines, P. R. & Viney, H. (2010) “The Unloved Relationship? Dynamic Capabilities and Political- Market Strategy: A research Agenda” Journal of Public Affairs. 10 (4) pp. 258- 264.

Baines, Paul and Richard Lynch (2005). Guest Editorial: the Context, Content and Process of Political Marketing Strategy. Journal of Political Marketing, vol. 4(2/3): 1-18.

Barber, Stephen (2005). Political Strategy: Modern Politics in Contemporary Britain. Liverpool: Liverpool Academic Press.

Bendle, Neil, Joseph Ryoo and Alina Nastasoiu (2018). ‘The 2016 US primaries: Parties and candidates in the world of big data’. In Jamie Gillies (ed.) Political Marketing in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 65-80.

Braun, Alexander (2012), ‘The Role of Opinion Research in Setting Campaign Strategy' Chapter 2 in theRoutledge Handbook of Political Marketing edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Routledge

Butler, Patrick and Neil Collins (1999). A Conceptual Framework for Political Marketing. In Bruce I. Newman (Ed.),Handbook of Political Marketing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Delacourt, Susan (2016). Shopping for votes: How politicians choose us and we choose them. Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre.

Fischer, Thomas, Gregor Peter Schmitz, and Michael Seberich (eds) (2007). The Strategy of Politics: Results of a Comparative Study. Butersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Henneberg, S.C. (2006a). Strategic Postures of Political Marketing: An Exploratory Operationalization.Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 15-30.

Hinson, R. and E. Y. Tweneboah-Koduah (2010). "Political Marketing Strategies in Africa: Expert Opinions of Recent Political Elections in Ghana." Journal of African Business 11(2): 201-218.

Lees-Marshment, J. (2009) “Political Marketing and the 2008 New Zealand Election: A Comparative Perspective” Australian Journal of Political Science. 44 (3) pp. 457-475.

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2009) Political Marketing: Principles and Applications (1st edition)  Routledge. Chapter 3 Political marketing strategy

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2011) The Political Marketing Game, Palgrave Macmillan - Chapter 2 Strategic development

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2014) Political Marketing: Principles and Applications end edition. Routledge Chapter 2 Political strategy

Marland, Alex (2012), Amateurs versus Professionals: The 1993 and 2006 Canadian federal elections, Chapter 4 in Political Marketing in Canada edited by Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson and Jennifer Lees-Marshment, UBC

O'Cass, Aron (2001). The Internal-External Marketing Orientation of a Political Party: Social Implications of Political Party Marketing Orientation. Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 1(2): 136-52.

Papageorgiou, G. (2010) “Toward a System Dynamics Modelling Framework for Effective Political Organisation Management Strategies” Journal of Political Marketing. 9 (1) pp. 55-72.

Smith, Gareth (2006). Competitive Analysis, Structure and Strategy in Politics: A Critical Approach. Journal of Public Affairs, vol. 6(1): 4-14.

White, Andrew (2016) ‘Manifestos as an extended marketing campaign’ Chapter 3 in Political Marketing and the 2015 UK General Election edited by Darren G. Lilleker and Mark Pack (Palgrave Macmillan)

Winther Nielsen, Sigge (2012). ‘Three faces of political marketing strategy’. Journal of Public Affairs, 12(4): 293–302.

Winther Nielsen, Sigge (2015). ‘Party planners – how political strategies are chosen.’ Journal of Public Affairs, 15/4: 340-363.

Worcester, Robert, and Roger Mortimore (2005). Political Triangulation: Measuring and Reporting the Key Aspects of Party and Leader Standing before and During Elections. Journal of Political Marketing, vol. 4(2/3): 45-72.

Worlu, R. E. (2010). "Marketing Strategies of Nigerian Political Parties: A Comparative Analysis." Global Journal of Management and Business Research 10(5): 48-63.

Worlu, Rowland Enwuzuruike (2011), Marketing Strategies of Nigerian Political Parties: A Comparative Analysis. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing


Media programme discussion of the problems and difficulties of campaign strategy and how it can be thrown off course in regard to NZ National Party

Obama Campaign Discussions of strategy


Reece, Nick (2010) Nick Reece on Labor’s Campaign Backdrop Melbourne PressClub AU., (youtube). Available at: (Accessed 4 February, 2012). Reece is a former director of strategy for Australian PM Julia Gillard. See also

New Zealand 2014 election

Where Labour went wrong – election review leakedNewshub – video and article News report discussing the Labour party’s internal review in to what went wrong for the party in the 2014 NZ election – highlights the lack of financial resources, a lack of campaign preparation, internal disunity, a lack of message discipline, and complex and confusing policies as being factors in Labour’s defeat.


Zeleny, Jeff (2012). 'Campaign Postscript Offers a Peek at Debates on Security and Spending', The New York Times, 7th December..   

US Democrats post 2014 strategy discussions

Democrats, in a stark shift in messaging, to make big tax-break pitch for middle class, Washington Post

Consultant report, Beyond the Beltway, with a  survey of voters - in an election postmortem, Democratic firms SKDKnickerbocker and the Benenson Strategy Group found that the party’s message had been off target, even for much of the base. Although the economy is growing and the jobless rate has fallen, most voters still don’t feel it. See

NZ 2014 election

How marketing is affecting this electionNZ Herald – Discusses the influence of political marketing on the 2014 NZ general election, highlighting the importance of political strategy, political market research, political branding, and reputation for delivery to electoral success – relates this to findings in TVNZ’s Vote Compass survey.

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