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Although it’s by no means a sealed deal, it’s very possible that in the 2010 election, the government will change and the Conservatives will lead the country. What might that mean for our industry?

What I think of different parties and their policies is pretty irrelevant to an online marketing blog and I won’t be discussing it in this post. I’m interested in what a new government might mean for my business and the wider sector.

Is there anything to tell us what the Tories might do that could affect our sector? First of all, I thought I’d take a quick look at whether or not they actually get it.

Do the Conservatives get online marketing?

Simply examining the Conservatives’ online presence suggests they do recognise the importance of the web as a platform for communicating with their voters.

First up, their use of social media is pretty strong. There’s a good presence on Facebook and a well-stocked blog on the party’s website. The recently-launched MyConservatives social network is a pretty good attempt at wining some online support. Conservatives can find like-minded people to lobby and fundraise with.

The party makes good use of paid search also. For example, if you searched for ‘Pre-Budget Report’ last week, you saw a paid-ad message from the Conservatives.

Furthermore, they do well in the natural search listings. An interesting piece of research by online marketing agency Tamar found that the Tories ranked exceptionally well for some of the leading policy issues of the day, ranking an average of 1.5th in the natural search results.

Do the Conservatives get small business?

Most SEO agencies are small and medium-sized enterprises. The industry is rapidly growing, meaning it’s populated by start-ups and growing firms, lead by young entrepreneurs like myself.

So would the Tories support this kind of organisation? Well, they say they would – but, as with any political party, voters have to consider how much confidence they have in these pledges. Here’s what the Opposition pledge to do to help business:

  • Establish a National Loans Guarantee Scheme to help firms access credit
  • Allow struggling companies to defer their VAT bills for as much as half a year
  • Cut payroll taxes for smaller companies
  • Offer tax breaks for new jobs
  • Increase government procurement from small firms
  • Cut red tape

 
Do the Conservatives get web-based business?

The Tories are currently conducting a Review of the Creative Industries, headed up by former BBC man Greg Dyke.

It’s asking some pretty interesting questions, including why there hasn’t been a UK Google-type success story, how the government can make Britain a global centre for digital industries and how to stimulate investment in UK digital business.

Who knows what the party plans to do with this information, but these are some important questions being asked.

My conclusion

There are some positive signs that the Conservative party understand our sector and recognise its importance to the wider economy.

However, this is a party gearing up for election campaign mode. All I could do in this post was to outline what the party have said they would do, support and invest in.

Whether or not you believe it would all come to pass or that the Tories would be better for business than the other parties is a matter of personal opinion.

Kevin Gibbons

Published 14 December, 2009 by Kevin Gibbons

Kevin Gibbons is UK Managing Director at digital marketing agency BlueGlass. He is also known as an SEO speaker and can be found on Twitter and Google+.

102 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Martin Oates

I have to say after meeting the guy in charge of the Tory's social media and digital marketing - they are quite switched on. A little behind the curve, but definately wanting to use it more and seeing the benefits of it.

over 6 years ago

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Matthew Oxley

Tories certainly get digital from a campaigning point of view ; it doesn't necessarily convert to them embracing it from a governmental pov, but it certainly is a positive indication.

Any initiatives to stimulate digital, which, so far exists almost in a bubble (lack of higher education courses being an example) could have a huge impact.

over 6 years ago

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George Rosier, Product Manager at Spark New Zealand

Quite frankly anything that gets Peter Mandelson and his insane ideas regarding punishing 'filesharers' by using ISPs to cut them off without trial or actual evidence can only be a good thing.

over 6 years ago

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SEO Pirate

Google realised it was time for a change with Caffeine and so should the UK. Out with the old and in with the new - Team Conservative ;)

over 6 years ago

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Samuel Coates

Interesting article. By way of a reply to Matthew Oxley, I work in the party's new media team and do feel we are generally pretty good with our use of online as a party - but more importantly that, policy-wise we do have a strong focus on how the internet will change society (open data, decentralised power etc).

over 6 years ago

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David

Very interesting this post, with myself based in Scotland we don't really think of the Tories coming to power as much - minority party here.  Principally however I would be looking at what the Scottish National Party will be doing for the digital marketing industry in 2010 for here, the issues and concerns still apply.

over 6 years ago

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Ken F

I think that Britain needs a change, even though I'm not convinced that the Tories are any better than Labour...

over 6 years ago

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