Market Segmentation and Product Differentiation in Political Campaigns: A Technical Feature Perspective
The perceived importance of five technical service qualities (Gronroos 1984) or features (i.e. national and local policies, leaders, values and candidates), and voters' ratings of the Labour and Conservative Parties' competence on each of these parameters, were investigated during the 2001 British General Election using an a priori segmentation method and the classification tree statistical technique for data analysis. Voter ratings of the technical service features were found to be indicators of intention to vote. A product differentiation approach is most likely to influence voting intention, because the technical service features are more readily manipulated through marketing programmes than demographic and customer characteristics (Bucklin and Gupta 1992). Ratings of technical service features are stronger indicators of voting intention than voter demographics and characteristics. A product differentiation approach, based around technical service features, would be the most effective focus for strategy development in future political marketing campaigns.
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