What could politics learn from e-commerce?

What could politics learn from e-commerce?

A recent GFK blog about millennials fascinated me with its solid findings about the generation that everyone is talking about these days. We talk about them because they are digital natives; we believe that they have different priorities.  

Amy Warwick of GFK asks a very interesting question. In a world increasingly active online, more and more questions arise to define the “digitally savvy” population. We know Millennials - those reaching adulthood around 2000 and after - have been born into a digital world, but are they more engaged with e-commerce brands?

Using Millennials as a target group has been criticized, as marketers broadly categorize individuals at different life stages, with different interests and attitudes. However, this cohort of digital natives have already shown differentiating behavior in terms of social media usage, gaming and life priorities including health, marriage, having children or buying a house. For all the myths, Millennials are one of the largest consumer groups in history, they have an affinity with technology and are about to reach their prime working and spending years (Goldman Sachs).

The key findings from the GFK research are as follows: 

- Although larger retailers do not reach as high a proportion of Millennials compared to other age groups, those they do reach are more engaged for a much longer period of time. Higher levels of engagement are particularly noticeable for retailers in the areas of fashion, personal care, cosmetics and animals/pets.

- Although young Millennials (16-24) spend more time visiting these sites, they do so less frequently. Younger Millennials therefore may seem difficult to reach, but with engaging content should stay on site for a much greater duration of time.

- Therefore if retailers want to target Millennials they will generate significantly greater levels of engagement with relevant, targeted content.

I think politics and retail have many common characteristics. In both you try to sell a product attached to a lifestyle or ideology. While we are counting down the days to the referendum on the presidential system change, all parties should really look into these types of findings. 

If any party wants to create a buzz around its product, it has to create appealing content and disseminate the content in a highly targeted way. It has to define the right audience and where they hang out online. If your content is not engaging, or if you don’t disseminate it to the right target groups, you will not get the result you want. 

The latest backlash that fits perfectly to this little formula happened on the night of Jan. 24 regarding the pro-presidency “yes” videos put out on social media by well-known Turkish football players. The content was quite engaging - at least it had the “star power” - but the dissemination was not targeted; it was available to everyone, including those who are against the “yes” vote, who moderated the videos much more efficiently.

The Internet can either be a very positive or a very negative force for anyone who wants to be heard. Parties must be very careful and get help from professionals about how to deliver their messages, otherwise they will suffer many counterattacks - as the “yes” camp did on Jan. 24.