Chief amongst those lessons is the value of having a sound marketing plan in place where all of the strategic elements work in coordinated fashion to deliver the desired result. In other words, marketing works.
Good marketing ensures a consistent and convincing message - here about change - that generates contagious enthusiasm with distinct calls to action [contribute, register, vote, organize...]. Good marketing applies not just to politics, but also to business and the retail experience.
I'm not the only one to find marketing lessons in these events. In fact, I suggest you check out Rohit Bhargava [see below], David Meerman Scott [see Ten marketing lessons from the Barack Obama Presidential campaign], Henry Lambert [see Obama’s Lesson’s For Marketing], Meron Bravo [see Wednesday Jabber: Market Like A Poll Star!], Kim Cornwall Malseed [see 6 B2B Marketing Tips Courtesy of McCain & Obama] and Aarti Shah's 11/5/08 PRWeek article titled "Obama's savvy comms propel him to victory."
As I read through them [which I strongly recommend that you do, too], I noticed that they seemed to fall into 5 'uber' categories. So, without further ado, I share with you 5 marketing lessons from social media & the elections - mashed from the articles above and my own observations.
1. A strong and consistent brand matters.
The Obama campaign developed a visual brand for itself, something more typical of a consumer product than of a politician. The brand successfully evoked themes of hope and change and in a "shareable" format.
In How Obama's Brand Helped Him To Win The Election, Rohit Bhargava states that among the campaign's marketing lessons, "strongest is the power of having a strong AND shareable brand. Obama's logo and brand identity were consistently used across all his communications, but also treated with a flexibility that would drive many holders of a brand identity completely mad. Instead of taking a closed approach to his brand identity, the Obama campaign let people remix the brand for their own uses." He includes two graphics he created to illustrate the range of interpretations created - amazingly varied, but also powerfully consistent.The brand cleary and simply articulated what the campaign wanted people to believe.
Other considerations: be different and stand for something big. Be prepared to be flexible.
2. Embrace different means for reaching your audience. Be where they are.
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