The Delhi polls are scheduled for 4 December, 2013 and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has created the buzz that has forced the other two major parties – Congress and BJP – to take note of the emergence of a new political party. It bodes well that I follow up with what I had written over a year ago, on Lessons in Disruptive Marketing from Arvind Kejriwal.
I had mentioned the following as I ended the article.
The bottom line is that Arvind Kejriwal has stirred the hornet’s nest and ruffled many a feathers. Would his brand of politics hold good for India or would the political powerhouses crush him and his party for transgressing into their sacred property? Only time would tell.
Note: I am taking an objective view of the scenario at hand. Do not give it a political colour.
What has changed in the last 13 months for AAP?
Grass-roots market research
- AAP volunteers went door-to-door to understand the pain points that the masses face in Delhi. They went to places where the middle class and the lower middle class dwell, in addition to the upper middle class areas.
Identified the market gap
- AAP identified the issues of sanitation, expensive power and other nagging issues that have resulted in pent-up anger amongst the masses. They saw opportunity in assuring that if they come to power, they would salvage the situation and improve upon it. The market gap that existed in terms of addressing issues that neither of the larger parties have been able to assuage.
- AAP has issued a unique manifesto for each of the 70 assembly seats that they are contesting elections on. The manifestos assure that AAP would sort each of those area-specific issues out.
Apportioned mind-space of the target group
- AAP volunteers have played a huge role in taking the party’s message to each constituency at a granular level. Being a new player in the business of politics, they have gained commendable mind-space of the target group. Whether it is for the good or for the bad, would be apparent on 8 December, 2013, when results for the Delhi Assembly elections are declared.
Where has Arvind Kejriwal erred?
If there ever was a perfect marketing campaign, we would have read a series of books and journals about it. Each campaign, planned in a flawless manner, does fall apart on some counts. I’d call it a progeny of Murphy’s Law and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s theory comes into play through the aspirations of a leader who takes self-actualisation to its zenith, going beyond the stated purpose. Murphy, as we know, raises his head whenever he wants to.
Arvind Kejriwal, and I am basing my words on what I have been reading in news and hearing from ears on ground in Delhi, has become larger than the organization he had set up. Adjectives like autocratic have been associated with him, often too frequently, lately. His aspiration to achieve self-actualisation has taken him beyond what he might have intended.
A disruptive marketing campaign is usually the brainchild of a rebel, someone who challenges the norm and wants to highlight the product at hand, in a not so amiable manner. Arvind Kejriwal has been successful at the disruptive marketing part and has shown that launching a product in a market dominated by giants and eating into their market-share, is still possible and that there would be more instances where such enigmatic case studies would crop up.
What Mr. Kejriwal needs now, is to instill faith in his product and go for the home run. A sizeable pie of the target group is behind his product and are game to experiment with this new product, to give him a chance and to give, in turn, themselves a shot at better living conditions.
Let’s wait for what pans out on 8 December, 2013. Delhi is the new playground for disruptive marketing.