"At its very essence, political marketing relies on the most rudimentary principle of communications: knowing your audience and tailoring your product as required."
Part of accomplishing this is creating a market place of ideas and keeping a bead on the traffic flow. Facebook, polling, comment cards, etc amass data and feed into this. So do aggegrates and next-gen social/policy networks like the ORION Network.
These marketplaces are also providing opportunity for idea sharing and new audiences but to attract attention, providers need to be spectacular. How do you really ensure you stand out in a crowd and engage potential audiences in the right way? By understanding how engagement works in the first place.
That means, directly stimulating positive physical responses in the crowd; you're looking to nudge things like oxytocin levels and positive neurotransmitter connections, ie dopamine. to accomplish this you first have to understand how the brain perceives and responds to stimulus. Hence, neuro-marketing and NLP, even the renewed focus on mental health with hints at proactive approaches.
To understanding this stuff, you have to think about it; much of cognitive function is counter-intuitive. The more you think anything through, in all it's variables, the harder it becomes to fall back on reactive responses.
It's a brave, exciting new world.