Connecting with voters: how business can learn from new thinking in political research  

Deborah Mattinson & Graeme Trayner
Opinion Leader Research

Introduction

This paper is based on the simple yet radical premise that the corporate has become the political. The emergence of a more aggressive media and assertive public means that political and business leaders face similar challenges. As a result, companies are now evaluated in much the same way as politicians. In response, business must adopt the permanent campaign approach of contemporary politics. 'Consumers' should be perceived as 'voters'.

The implications for research are profound. Research plays a central role in modern campaigns, and insights and approaches from politics can inform the work of researchers and planners in other spheres. By learning from political research, business can further meet people's need for authenticity, respect and power.