Politics · Marketing Strategy

Politics in Business?

David M

October 22nd, 2016

In the last month or so, LinkedIn, following the stance of most media outlets, has become extremely biased to the left in US politics.  While some of the posts receive thumbs up, nearly 95% of every one commenting is criticizing LinkedIn for leftist propaganda as well as posting viewpoints that such posts by LinkedIn do not belong in a professional networking site.  I see vehement disapproval and confrontation from individuals with very established and professional backgrounds.  I have even seen quite a few self proclaimed "liberals" who take the position that it really has gotten out of control and even they are tired of the constant bias even though it supports their own ideas.

The country has become more divided in the last 8 years than the last several decades in many regards including political.  Is this opening up new opportunities for "Conservative" based businesses for those who are tired of the constant force feeding of liberal news, policies, and thoughts in so many areas of society?  Is there enough of an outraged target market now where the labels of conservative or liberal are enough to drive purchasing habits in addition to a mere "need?"

David M

October 23rd, 2016

Jerome, if you found it irrelevant, you had no obligation to grace readers with your thoughts.  

Jim, well stated.  As someone who tries to be a Centrist like our founding fathers, I read political slant and bias in several of the comments which is understandable but simply not accurate from a larger picture.  Example, some of the most liberal people I know own arsenals, and there has been plenty of bigotry from BOTH of these candidates sadly.  But this all applies to your opinion that those with the spotlight represent very few people and often manipulate perspective.  The oversimplification of "social and economic justice" is just...well I don't want to get on an equally annoying soap box about the economic disasters of embracing socialism as an economic system as opposed to socialist policies which are needed at times for the downtrodden.

Your 80/20 rule is interesting.  I had not thought about it like that.  And I think that is what I was getting at.  I listen to both conservative and liberal news unlike many, so I can sift through the propaganda and lies and actually be knowledgable, and I have heard more and more businesses advertise as conservative over the years.  I am also seeing more and more investor groups and projects in front of me where one's background as conservative or liberal clearly affects the deal, not in the shadows as it might have 10-20 years ago, but with more attention and focus.

The reason it at least feels more relevant today than it did in the past is because the political divide has become so concentrated.  Both sides are seen as assaulting the other side's values, morals, etc.  And while this was true in the past, in NO way was it as palpable and present as currently with social media. Interesting that your LI is sending out more conservative posts.  I don't doubt it is some form of result of data mining.  Eitherway, what I am seeing is more of a "We have had enough" syndrome on either side.  This is what I have seen from conservatives in a lot of recent posts.

To me, it seems this will present openings for entrepreneurs who can cater to this in some manner, cater..not encourage.  20 years ago, 90% of the consumer market did not get pelted daily with political bullets.  Now 90% of them wake up and get a tweet, a LinkedIn post, on top of having it spotlighted in every form of news.  Yes it is election season, but it wont change if Hilary wins because at least half the country despises her.  And it want change if Trump wins because at least half the country despises him.

Marketing wise, it will be interesting to see if and how this is capitalized on.

Jim Murray Communication Strategist. Writer. Blogger. beBee Brand Ambassador

October 22nd, 2016

That's a very interesting observation. I think the political viewpoint varies based on who you are connected to to some extent. Myself, I get a lot more pro-conservative posts then pro-liberal on LI

But to your point, I always tend to fall back on something I call the 80/20 Differential. Which in this case would translate into an opinion that, at the most, only 20% of consumer actually care one way or another which way a company leans politically when making their buying decision. If it were the other way round, Apple stock would actually be affordable.
I have been studying the goings on in your country for a long time, because basically it's fascinating and one thing I have learned is that most of the noise that's being made on either side of the political divide is only being made by a relatively small percentage of the the actual public.
The news media and social media have made this issue feel a lot bigger than it actually is. That is not to say that it's not real or not important...just simply that it doesn't actually reflect the view of everybody.  Just an opinion, mind you. But opinions are all we have.

Ren FRSA CEO - Zymge

October 23rd, 2016

This seems a question of brand / tribal loyalty rather than politics per se. I would assume, and this is an assumption as I'm a brit based in the UK, that given a choice of roughly equivalent products / services from organisations that are overtly aligned to one side or another, the current climate would suggest that people would preference along party leanings. However I assume the branding is at the company level which requires the company to align it's brand with a party - which seems both a long term strategy and one that's has lots of issues, not least of which is the fact that at least some of one's staff are going to be opposed to the company's politics. As I assume the primacy of politics are going to die down between election cycles, I'd probably not go in this direction myself. 

Irwin Stein Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.

October 22nd, 2016

As someone whose first political act was handing out flyers for Barry Goldwater I can attest that there is no shortage of conservative views in the media. What is occurring as of late, is that many people on all sides of the political spectrum are justifiably repulsed by the obvious bigotry that has been put forth as part of the conservative message.  You cannot want less government spending and talk about building a multi-billion dollar wall. You cannot want less government involvement in citizens' lives and demand abortions be outlawed. You cannot champion individual freedom and denounce gay rights. (Even Goldwater supported gay rights). If liberals were force feeding the news then no one would report that people deny global warming.  In the 1960s we worshiped scientists who were going to put us on the moon as achievers.  Real conservatives have been saddled with social conservative issues. HB-2 is in N. Carolina an example of "conservative" legislation that is anti-business.  To answer your question: there is definitely a group of people who buy guns and other items that are denoted as "conservative".  I don't think there is anything new about it and I would be concerned on all but a local level that this election will leave a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people for anything labeled as conservative. 

Jim Murray Communication Strategist. Writer. Blogger. beBee Brand Ambassador

October 23rd, 2016

I'm noticing a lot of comments in which people are trying to explain the new world order, in their opinions. I see very few comments where people actually answer David's question. And we all sit around and wonder why social media is considered to be bullshit. Ironic.


November 4th, 2016

I hadn't noticed that about LinkedIn. My own interests are more towards finding a cofounder that will appreciate my own views, and that doesn't exclude my political views, which are necessarily vocal, as a person who has sought to found a new political party. My political views are part of who I am. Either you love me or you don't. I'd consider being quiet about it but I think it's better to share the big picture up front if we're going to really work together.

Matt Asher Investor, writer, coder

October 25th, 2016

Related to this discussion I built the core of a decentralized (uncensorable) publishing platform a few years back. No pickup then due to chicken/egg problem, but with the right investment it could be turned into an alternative to twitter/FB. I also have detailed plans to bridge in existing users by letting them "back up" existing content and even relationships so that, should users get banned or leave these networks (for political or any reason), they could continue on with minimal interruption to their social media presence. Send me a message if interested.

Rob G

October 24th, 2016

David; i'm not a conservative so i can't answer your question re "conservative based businesses" - you'd likely be better off polling a group of conservatives.  I can't say that i have ever made a purchase decision based on whether a product/service was associated with 'conservatism' or 'liberalism' with exception of campaign contributions and the occasional election paraphernalia.  On the contrary, if i knew that a product/service would financially benefit a group of which i was not in favor, Donald Trump for example,  i would likely put effort into finding alternatives.  The same would be true for business related purchase decisions.  I can see a market in election specific services such as data science, research, polling, tools that support grass-roots efforts, etc.  For example, i recently joined a grass-roots group focused on dark money in politics.  The thing that impressed me most about the organization and lead me to lend a hand was their use of technology - far superior to most 'startup' political orgs.  No overly sophisticated tech, but i am continually surprised at how technology deficient most grass-roots political orgs are. 

luis cesar CMO DutyExpress, Marketing Consultant, Architect and Designer.

October 22nd, 2016

in my opinion, any means of communication for more unique that is should have no political position. I also believe that business opportunities happen regardless of direction or opinions policies ..

Andrew Chapman Publishing Entrepreneur and Author

October 29th, 2016

I'll only add that I don't think it's possible to "cater to... not encourage" political identification, at least not at this moment in the U.S. In our current state of things, any product or service that overtly markets its political leaning will be contributing to the ongoing divisiveness and partisanship. There is an equal and opposite reaction with tribal identity, in that the more one side amplifies its identity, the more the other side reacts equally and in opposition. It's like a verbal argument that slowly gets louder as each side attempts to out-yell the other.