To say it mildly the results of the UK General Election were rather surprising and were somewhat disastrous for Theresa May and Conservative Party.

There are of course many reasons for the disappointing results delivered by the Tories and the media will be dissecting what went wrong over the coming days and weeks. But no matter whether a campaign is a massive success or an abject failure it is always important to learn some lessons.

Here is our take on what went wrong and how lessons can be applied to your next digital marketing strategy or campaign.

Lack of planning

You’d like to think a significant amount of thought went not only into the decision to hold the General Election but also the strategy that would form the basis for the campaign. It felt as though the Tories went into the campaign rather complacent and therefore didn’t feel that they needed to have a clear and coherent strategy and communication plan.

The old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” seems quite apt here and it is also so true when putting together a digital marketing campaign or strategy.

Not understanding your audience

There were some fundamental and basic policy errors made by the Conservative Party campaign manifesto that would have negatively impacted and alienated their core voters.

It’s critical that you think about your target audience when planning any digital marketing campaign.  Understand their needs and motivations, put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourself is your campaign, message or promotional activity going to appeal to them.

Not being flexible

The key to any successful digital marketing campaign is to continually monitor the results, optimize and improve things and to be ready to change direction if it’s not working out and delivering on your objectives. The Conservative Party stuck to the same message and same tactics throughout the campaign even though their lead in the polls was diminishing significantly. They didn’t seem to have a ‘Plan B’ or be able to tweak their message based on the results being achieved.

Seek advice and opinion

There has been a lot of conversation in the last couple of days about how Teresa May strategised and ran the campaign using a close knit group of ‘advisors’. This is exactly the opposite of how you want to plan and execute a digital marketing campaign.  Speak to as many people as you can, get their opinions, ideas and advice. It will help you understand the end user, client or customer better and will provide you with some useful insights you can use in the campaign messaging.

Don’t just rely on assumptions

It’s sometimes good to ‘go with your gut’ and make some assumptions, at least in the early stages of planning your digital campaign or strategy, however, at some point, those assumptions should be tested and backed up with hard facts and evidence.  Based on the polling and popularity before the election was called The Tories made some firm assumptions which turned out to be wholly inaccurate and ill-informed.

Emotional vs Rational

Yes it’s important that you have a clear and rational reason why people should vote for you, or buy your product/service, but if you don’t tap into their hearts and minds and generate an emotional response it will always be hard to get people to buy into your brand.  The Tories failed to deliver this.  Their campaign messages were repeated time and time again, but it felt almost robotic and they didn’t show any real passion for what they believed in and didn’t promote how they were going to make lives better.

Don’t underestimate the competition

One of the biggest reasons why the Tories didn’t get the increased numbers of seats and the parliamentary majority they needed was because the competition reacted positively and upped their game significantly.  Labour ran a strong campaign, they had a clear, coherent message, understood who their audience was and what they wanted to hear and developed a proposition that resonated with their supporters and a wider constituency.

There are many factors that will ensure an effective digital marketing strategy and campaign.  Zoom Digital has decades of experience and can help you get effective results and the best possible return on investment.  

So get in touch today to discuss your requirements. We’d be happy to help.