Success of Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign – The Digital Marketing link

By this time tomorrow, it will be clear and in all probability, Narendra Modi will be nominated to become the next Prime Minister of India. In the past nine months, over 200 young Indian professionals from top schools and companies have diligently carried out Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign, across print, social and digital media. — the chai pe charcha discussions, 3D rallies, marathons, conclaves and social media programs — to fulfil the task given to them: \”Take Modi to the dark zones of the country, where the party and the man himself are unknown.\”

Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign – The Digital Marketing Link

Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign itself was a classical mix of traditional good old marketing (public rallies, TV, Radio and Print advertising) and new age-marketing mechanisms (Digital marketing including SEO, PPC Ads, Facebook page and community and regular posts, Twitter handle and regular posts on issues).

The digital version of Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign spans close to 10 websites, including news and opinion sites and, a platform where those keen to see the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win at least 272 seats in the Lok Sabha (giving it a simple majority) can volunteer. It is managed by a team of 50 people, based in New Delhi and Bangalore.

An example of how the machinery worked ahead of Modi\’s Amethi rally

As the BJP campaign, encompassing all forms of media across every platform, swings into action to prepare its Amethi assault, what makes the Modi machine so formidable becomes apparent immediately. Calls are made to the party\’s Media Cell in New Delhi to get the message out. The National Digital Operations Centre in the party\’s Delhi headquarters is directed to update Modi\’s schedule on Facebook and create a Twitter buzz. The India272+ mobile app is updated, and instructions are sent to 2.5 million active volunteers across the country. Within minutes, the entire edifice comes up to speed with an Amethi strategy as if it was always meant to be in Modi\’s flight plan. (This is an excerpt from India Today site. Read more here)

What are the lessons from Narendra Modi\’s poll campaign. Well several interesting lessons

  1. For effective marketing, the most important thing to figure out is how can you best reach your target audience – whether that is through traditional means like TV, Print media, rallies or through social tools and custom websites. The tools do not matter, the reach does.
  2. Once you define a strategy, go out and execute it with full vigour. Execution is the most important part of the strategy. If you have any debates, talk about them during strategy formulation, not during execution. During execution, you can only improvise. Getting the right messaging is critical – you can read more here 
  3. Keep the messaging uniform – Talk about the same issues and repeatedly. Don\’t become over-reactive if someone is pushing you against a wall. Talk about your core values. Repeat it over and over again across all defined channels. It is ok to have a slightly varied strategy for different regions, but stick to it.
  4. Keep the spokespersons limited – Plan who is going to talk on your behalf. Measure your responses. Never over-react. Be topical
  5. Allow competition to kill itself – While this was very evident in the campaign, it may not be always true.

What are your thoughts – would love to hear from you as well.

Feedback welcome, your views are valuable.


Atul Dhakappa

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