The most visible and possibly biggest spender in the 2010 Philippine Election seems to be losing the election. This begs the question how effective digital media is for a political campaign. Does it translate to votes? Or does the digital divide lessens its impact of on-line media in campaigns.
Through out this political campaign period all branches of media, print, broadcast and digital have been used for reporting, commenting and marketing. And in terms of reporting and commenting digital media has widened the array of sources available to the Internet reader or netizen. As a means of recruiting and organizing netizen for the election it has proven to be effective – look at the different fan Pages in Face books and on-line political campaign HQ. As a marketing tool however due to the very nature of its audience – Netizens – it has limited marketing effect.
And the results of the 2010 elections will dictate how people who intend to market their candidate use the on-line media the next time around. Probably due to the not-so-significant conversion rate the way ot will be used will be more conservative. And again it is because at preaches or talks to a limited audience.
The Netizen. And what is the Filipino Netizen. A Filipino Netizen can use the computer. owns or rents a computer connected to the Internet and has spare time to spend on the Internet. And to be such a Netizen must have the means to spend money and time, in other words he or she must be from the middle to the upper class of Philippine Society.
In other words not the majority. So in terms of vote getting – a not so much. Perhaps for high ticket items like cellphones, cameras, travel, food and things that require extra cash this medium would be perfect. But for marketing to the masses it would be not as important as for example a television and radio ads – which are more effective for products like soda, soap, and even politicians.
The Digital Divide does seem to limit the marketing powers of the Digital Media for the main reason its talking to a different audience. Remember the different types of people lining up to vote last Monday and view the the results today. These are different markets.
It is though effective in terms of news and commentary. And often news and commentary once it reaches the digital media – social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, forums and emails – takes on a life of its won and cannot be controlled. It can be influenced however. It is on-line where a number propaganda did appear from psychological profiles to the latest the rumor that a presidential candidate did not vote for his running mate. It seems to be goog for that but for gemerating support or marketing it has a limited range.
Something that marketers, pr practitioners, propagandists and digital media practitioners should take into account for a political or marketing campaign.