Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know the current Australian government is planning to spend $160 million on a plebiscite: a non binding vote by registered population of this country to tell the Government how many of the said registered voters support a marriage equality bill.
Basically, it asks people to tell the government their opinions.
What is getting quite a bit more interest, and in quite so much detail is the money the government is planning to give to various organizations so they can market their ideas on why there should (or shouldn’t) be a law allowing members of the LGBTI community to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. $7.5 million will be given to each side of the divide, so they can market their opinions. But how do you measure the effectiveness of such an “investment”?
Well, for a start, we can monitor the internet traffic on Social Media. Tweets and blogs can be tracked, and checked for support from either side of the discussion. Due to advancement in technology, we no longer have to carry out polls, as most information is freely available on the internet, and can give a marketer a lot of insight into a sector of the population who are active online.
Which begs the question: why do we need a plebiscite in the first place? Surely with the number of supporters rising over the years, there can’t be any doubt about the nations intentions and opinions.
60% of all respondents support marriage equality, so what does $7.5M in marketing do towards changing the minds of the 5% undecided? What kind of marketing campaign is going to change the minds of enough “yes” voters to make a difference?
Australian Marriage Equality on Twitter @AMEquality has more than 13,000 followers, which seems a stark contrast to anti-marriage equality followers. When you google anything relating to opposing marriage equality, you mostly have news stories.
So, it would seem the pro-equality camp is well ahead, and without having spent a single dollar to get there, and has accomplished this by appealing to the good nature of people around the country. People around this nation are spreading support and messages of love, and this is gaining momentum.
In some small way, you might hope that marketing positive messages would be more effective than marketing negative messages. However in this case, marketing a aparticular position becomes difficult, as there is no price vs quality consideration, and it’s not like loyalty is likely tio change either way: you either accept people for who they are, or you don’t.
So the real test of effectiveness in spending the $15M of your money will be whether there is any change to the current percentage of the population who are supporting a particular position.