Skip to main content

“Marketing Warfare” lessons from Singapore General Elections 2011

Nomination day is just around the corner yet if you have read “Marketing Warfare” by Al Ries and Jack Trout, you could easily identify with the strategies of the various political parties.

“Marketing Warfare” isn’t about the battle of geographical conquest, but rather the battle for the positioning in the mind of the consumers. In the General Elections, the various political parties are too fighting for voters’ mindshare but for their heartshare too.

Ries and Trout highlighted that companies with various marketshare have different objectives, which is similar when you start comparing the actions of the political parties.

Party Number 1 (PAP) – Dominance of Market Share (Win as many seats to continue to be the next government)
Party Number 2  (WP) – Increase Market Share (More than 1 seats in Parliament)
Party Number 3 (SDP,NSP,SPP,RP) – Profitable Survival (Win at least 1 seat/GRC or at best more than 1/8th of the votes)

If you are number 1, you should have a defensive strategy

Ries and Trout highlighted that number 1 players should play strong defense and they are three ways which defense should be play. As a defensive player, you should attack yourself.

Wrote Ries and Trout,

Introducing products better than your existing ones pre-empts similar moves by the competition.

For the PAP, the current strategy seem to be “search and destroy” as seen in their attacking the opposition parties’ manifestos and even individuals. History has, however, shown that such that “search and destroy” mission seldom work.

Going door to door in Afghanistan or Iraq to “search and destroy” insurgents have turned US involvement into a prolong war.

The American Army took on “search and destroy” missions in the Vietnam War, hoping to search out the networks of VietCongs and North Vietnamese Army. But in the process, they destroyed many villages and that affected the hearts of the Vietnamese they were looking to win the hearts over.

From the comments or noise online, it seems like the PAP’s attacks on opposition especially to the individual level are also causing more to lose “heart” and sentiment to the incumbent political party.

What if the PAP took a different approach and attack within themselves to come up with a better policy to take Singapore and Singaporeans to the next level? Would this be a better approach to show Singaporeans that there is willingness to improve from within to provide for a better Singapore?

Number 2 – Attack, but focus on a narrow attack

Ries and Trout shared that number 2 should take on offensive strategy but not go with conventional wisdom especially if you fighting for a position within the voter’s minds and hearts.

Conventional wisdom tells us that attack should be on the weakness of the leader.

Ries and Trout, however, wrote

The challenger should seek a weakness in the leader's strength and attack on as narrow a front as possible.

WP has identified and attack the weakness in PAP’s strength by introducing a manifesto that aims to introduce a First World Parliament in Singapore.

“First World” status has always been a strength of the PAP but WP has identified that a First World Parliament with the checks and balances by opposition parties would be that weakness in strength.

WP’s attack has also narrowed their attack as narrow as they can. Their video, focused, on this and it has created a perception that WP is rather focused in its strategy to win more than 1 seats in parliament this time round.

If you are in a smaller group (no 3), guerrilla attacks might be your best option

Personally, I have yet to personal identify with RP, SPP and SDP’s strategy but NSP’s introduction of Nicole Seah falls right smack into a guerrilla attack, even by accident, as recommended by Ries and Trout for companies with the smallest share.

Wrote Ries and Trout,

Identify a segment that is small enough to defend.

Marine Parade GRC isn’t small nor is Nicole Seah but the introduction of Nicole Seah seem have to have made her the Internet darling of this elections.

The Internet isn’t small but being able to capture the hearts and mind of the Internet generation is a good enough segment to be worth defending.

It will be interested elections for 2011 and we can only look forward to whom Singaporeans will choose to lead them forward.


Popular posts from this blog

Why is Ramly Burger banned in Singapore?

Yahoo Singapore ran an article of the Ramly Burger by highlighting that it is ban in Singapore.

Yet, the writer from Makansutra failed to address the most important issue of why the Ramly meat patty is banned in Singapore.

A search online easily did highlight that the famous Malaysian meat patty is banned by the AVA but didn't go into details.

Wrote Arlina Arshad for The Straits Times in January 2004,

"But the importing of beef and beef products from Malaysia is not permitted, said theAgri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Selling and supplying them without a permit is also an offence, and offenders can befined as much as $50,000 or jailed two years, or both, said the AVA."

In May of the same year, another article highlighted that a man was even charged in court for "smuggling" the Ramly burger in 2004.

"The AVA said that meat products processed in Malaysian food factories which it had notapproved were banned here.Suzali was yesterday jailed for four month…

Did She Run Or Did She "Just Fake It" For Adidas?

Andrea Chong, a Adidas appointed influencer, posted a photo of herself in the middle of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2015 and captioned how she was "all smiles" during the run.

Unfortunately for Andrea or the PR agency, one of her readers checked her bib number #75148  at the Marathon's website only to find it to belonging to somebody else.

That somebody else is Kuvin Kuar, a intern at Edelman PR and the bib number had a status "DNF" or did not finished.

This raised the first red flag as one of the rules stated that "A Participants is strictly not allowed to transfer his or her race entry to another party".

This cascaded into perceptions that Andrea herself did not even start or complete the race and was only "planted" by Adidas or the PR agency, Edelman PR, to look pretty in the marathon.

Marketing Magazine noted that Adidas declined to comment about the incident which lead to further speculation that Andrea was possibly just …

Kudos To Huawei 2 Year Warranty For P9 Series

When it comes to smartphones, I think I am jinxed.

For my history of owning smartphones, every time it comes close to the end of the two year contract with my mobile service provider. This time round, it happened to my Huawei P9.

All of a sudden, the LCD screen sort of decolourised. I thought it was a temporary issue but the decolourisation lasted for a few hours. Then the nightmare began.

The touchscreen couldn't be touched. This made it the smartphone a brick.

I thought the Huawei P9 only had one year of warrant. With my contract ending in mid-year, I thought I would have to wait it out till the contract ended and allowed me to buy a new phone under a contract.

Luckily, a friend reminded me that the phone came with a 2 year warranty.

So I decided to go to the Huawei service center, right smack in the center of the city, to see if my phone is under warranty and if Huawei would honour their 2 year warranty.

Thankfully, Huawei isn't as popular as the Samsungs or Apples, and the …