Debating the debate
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it! A view through the lens of the corporate advisor.
The TV debates appear largely pushed for by David, call me Dave, Cameron. Some might say that his motivation in wanting to put his personal brand on a six hour long display, shoulder to shoulder with Gordon Brown, would have sealed his point of differentiation and drawn the voters (the investment community) in his favour. The wider voting public have never had such an extensive and close up opportunity in history to help inform and judge.
However, the reality was always that the personal brand of the Party leader (CEO) is inevitably entwined with that of the corporate brand, (party) and that of the industry sector (politics). Both of these later associations have deep-rooted issues with the public that have conspired against both main parties to allow the almost new brand (Lib Dems) a real place in the consideration set, and certainly the potential to be highly influential.
As witnessed in the banking industry, no one saw this coming. The advisors have been looking the other way, blind to the threat. As we all know in business, most circumstances develop under a unique set of factors that have characteristics requiring constant interpretation. As with the banking industry, these are interesting times where the unthinkable can and does happen!
These debates are in reality a final act of acknowledgement of what all corporate business has to deal with daily; open, transparent, forensic scrutiny beyond that of the CEO’s vision halo.
All three parties are now experiencing the acute dynamic of 24/7 opinion, gorilla marketing (the lady in Rochdale), the need to be agile and change messaging strategy in real time as well as the communication mix to take corrective action and steer through these unchartered waters, till May 6th.
This scenario amplifies the need to have real time insight and forward facing intelligence to anticipate and outmanoeuvre, to stay in control and hit the home stretch.
As with all corporations, the winner of the investment decision on May 6th will be held to account, even more so now by the voting public, having been in our living rooms or on our laptops for those six intimate hours.
As they say, the party leaders must be careful for what they wish for...