Obama’s marketing prowess continues to impress

Barack Obama is using SMS to announce his VP selection

Whether you are ‘red’ or ‘blue,’ you have to be green with envy when watching Barack Obama’s marketing machine in action.

The candidate’s web presence and social media savvy have set a new standard for political candidates, and in some ways, everyone else in marketing.

This isn’t news. Obama’s marketing prowess has been covered again and again by bloggers and traditional media alike so I’ve tried to avoid joining the chorus of oohs and aahs.

Call it the tipping point, but today I received an email from David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, offering me the opportunity to “be the first to know,” about Obama’s VP selection—via SMS.

By texting the word “VP” to 62262 on a mobile phone, you can learn the news first too.

Impressive.

Is SMS messaging part of your marketing mix?

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Image derived from photos via Apple, Barack Obama

9 Comments

  • What’s the aim of this marketing? Someone who elects to receive marketing SMS from Obama is obviously going to vote for him anyway, right? This type of person is already solidly in his camp. This isn’t increasing “sales,” then, it’s just showing off a flashy new tool.

    Or am I missing something?

  • Hey Warrior,

    I think I know – I’m still on the fence…..and had “heard” that McCain doesn’t even know how to get into his email. He has “people” do that for him. Not that that won’t make him a good leader……but………damn you PhotoShop and your ability to put the Obama man on the iPhone!!! I may want to be part of that camp……

    It’s a whole new ball game……..you never know what’s gonna tip the scales (or increase sales). The fact that his people are even thinking about this is brilliant. Scary. But brilliant.

  • Yo, CU Warrior:

    Thanks for weighing in. I appreciate you speaking up and asking a question that needs answering.

    The Obama campaign is speaking to ‘customers’ and ‘prospects’ using their medium of choice. Whether its through the mass media, video, podcasts, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and in this case—text messaging.

    The Obama campaign appears to be media neutral—they deliver their message the way people want to receive it.

    If we bring this example back to business, let’s say my credit union offered me the opportunity to learn if my account dropped below $2k via email, I’d appreciate it. But I’d actually prefer to receive that notice via SMS too.

    That’s more than good marketing. That’s good business.

    It’s the type of thing that people appreciate and then share with others.

    I’ve held off on talking about the Obama campaign’s marketing because everyone is seemingly talking about it.

    But their use of SMS notifications is another first in a long line of grassroots marketing tactics that have fundamentally changed the way politicians will get elected from here on.

    What’s more, they’ve shown marketers new ways to engage customers and prospects using new media in an integrated and open way.

  • @patrick Right…but how is this building sales? Nearly everyone who signs up for Obama SMS messages is already voting for him. I think it’s a neat value add for these voters, but I don’t think (perhaps I’m wrong) that this is attracting people to his camp that aren’t already decidedly there. In essence, he’s developed a new way to preach to the choir.

    @Denise You’re right…who knows what will tip the scales? My argument is simply that people who sign up for a particular politician’s SMS messages is not “on the fence”.

  • Warrior–

    I don’t disagree with you that this benefits supporters more than anyone else. But believe it or not, there are people on the fence now. My nephew is one of them. He’s in law school and wants to fully understand both sides. He’s reading McCain and Obama’s books, visiting the websites and absorbing as much information as he can regarding both candidates.

    One of the most important things to him: Each candidate’s VP selection.

  • I don’t see how learning who Obama’s VP is 35 seconds before it’s all over mass media helps your nephew in any substantive way. No matter his reaction to Obama’s news (or McCain’s for that matter), the only important thing is that he has that information prior to election day, right? I’m too young to not get this, but I don’t get it. Your nephew could get the same news via CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC RSS feeds…heck, he could even get it from Twittervision or some other SMS service.

  • Warrior–

    Understood. But the point here is that it’s information delivered the way the user wants it, when they want it.

    I like notifications via SMS myself, too. Then I can go out and get the whole story using via Twitter, CNN or anywhere else I choose.

  • Sigh. I never did receive the SMS notification. Found out about it on CNN (via a Twitter notification).

    The Obama campaign now has the email addresses of an army of supporters.

    Will they respect their permission asset?

    I hope so.

  • The man is going to be a hero and he will do great things for America.

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