"What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”


Australians are increasingly disillusioned by our politicians, particularly at the Federal level.

Polls again and again demonstrate an electorate (read people) disconnected from the vital process of government and parliament.The televised and live streaming of Question Time reinforce an impression of a group of people intent only on point scoring and bickering.

It's not that they don't work hard; it's not that they don't believe in their causes. It is simply that the current crop of politicians have forgotten that one of their primary roles is to communicate, not in three-word slogans or 15-second TV grabs and stunts but in the power of persuasion.

How long has it been since we heard a politician attempt to explain a policy in detail? How long has it been since a politician attempted to provide a vision for this nation's medium and long-term future?

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating on restructuring our economy, on floating the dollar and the short-term pain it would cause.

John Howard on the need for a broad-based consumption tax - after saying he would never introduce one.

Since then, nothing. One might argue that Kevin Rubb rose briefly on why we need to tackle climate change. But he had no deep conviction, demonstrated by dumping plans as soon as he was seriously challenged.

Now, more than ever, our leaders must tell us not only what they want to do for us but why.

But what has this to do with marketing?

It's the same thing. Businesses need to talk to their market, to explain their vision, bring their prospective customers with them in a visio for how their products and services can help to improve their lives.

Marketing is not an advertising headline or a slogan. Above all, it is the power to persuade.