Oxford College of Marketing and CIM/CAM student Darren Hayday recently ran against the Tories for a seat as Councillor of West Wycombe in the local elections, and won! And to what does he say he owes this success? The social media and digital marketing skills he has gained through studying for his CAM diploma with OXCOM! Read below Darren’s story in his own words:

“Up till now I have ran my own telemarketing company and decided that as it was only myself now working for the company that I wanted to move away from telemarketing and am looking to become a Chartered Marketing Consultant through OXCOM.

For the last year I have been studying for the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and afterward I am looking to study the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing, hopefully to then achieve Charter status.

However, I have managed to somehow plan and implement a political election campaign whereby I managed to win my seat for West Wycombe in the Buckingham County Council as an Independent member. I am the only Independent member in the County Council, whereby the last person that did the same was back in 1993. Otherwise the seat/area that I stood in was classed as a safe Conservative seat and they were not too happy with me taking it from them.

Previously I had the great honour of being the Mayor of my home town of High Wycombe and a District Councillor for eight years before I came out of politics for a short while to concentrate on my business.

I paid for all of the expenses out of my own pocket and did not have the branding on one of the main political parties behind me so I needed new brand penetration and also decided that I should shake things up and introduce and use digital marketing in my mix!

Before I started my digital marketing course with OXCOM and CIM/CAM, whereby I do the intensive weekends at Reading University and home study, my knowledge of social media was not good and very basic.

You would need to bear in mind that my main area was B2B and we are a little lacking in knowledge of social media and digital marketing.

The knowledge that I’ve gained over the last year has really helped me in my confidence and is helping me to achieve new heights in my career as a marketing consultant.

However I feel that I must explain how I used social media, which I believe had a positive effect on my election:

–          I first built a simple website (www.votehayday.com). I made sure that I always replied back to people who made the effort to contact me through the website.

–          I always checked the number of visits, etc.

–          Then I created a Facebook page (search ‘vote Darren Hayday’), whereby I built up a small audience and used this to blog with them to keep them updated on the campaign, etc.

–          I also had the opportunity to run another blog for the local newspaper on-line (http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/yoursay/opinion/blogs/profile/40015/).

–          I carried out an email marketing campaign and targeted influential people living in the postcode areas of the ward to help build my brand.

–          I also took advantage and did a Youtube video that was carried out by the local press (http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/10383143.VIDEO__Your_election_candidates_for_West_Wycombe/).

–          Finally I kept my own database up to date and used tele-canvassing, leafleting, sending out letters and the good old fashioned way of knocking on doors.

–          I always replied back to people and kept a tally of who would be likely to vote for me.

My results were as follows:

Darren Hayday Independent 587 30.3% Elected
Ian McEnnis Conservative 480 24.7% Not elected
Hedley Luxton UK Independence Party 396 20.4% Not elected
Henry Oriabure Labour 310 16.0% Not elected
Neil Timberlake Liberal Democrat 167 8.6% Not elected

I wasn’t expected to win and threw everything into the campaign. I was the only candidate also out knocking on the doors but I firmly believe that in using digital marketing helped to reach people that would not have otherwise considered voting for me.

So this is why I decided to thank everyone at OXCOM and CIM for helping me learn the arts behind both B2C marketing and more importantly digital marketing!”

Cllr Darren Hayday

Bucks County Council

And CIM student!