Whether you are red or blue, you can’t deny Barack Obama’s marketing prowess. Here are a few lessons every organization should consider when they are seeking ‘votes’ from prospects:
Develop strategies based on consumer insights. The Obama campaign clearly understood where America was hurting most, and developed strategies in response.
Build an organization that can deliver that strategy. Obama was casting responsible, fielding an impressive team from the very start.
Own a unique position. Hillary and Barack stood out in a sea of mostly white guys. While Obama was new, different and attractive as a brand, he claimed the word “change” first. It was the thing the market wanted most, and when others tried to claim “change,” they looked like copycats.
Work from a plan. The Obama campaign never veered very far off course from their original plan. They said they would compete in and win in red states—and they did just that.
Stay on message. From the primaries through the general election, Obama did a better job than his opponent at staying on message. Though distracted more than once, like clockwork, he would faithfully return to his message strategy.
Get a great name. Okay, maybe his name didn’t help him much.
Offer form and substance. While Obama’s marketing was the best presidential politics has ever seen, his opponent’s statements that he was a great orator but simply wasn’t ready to lead fell on deaf ears. His policies resonated better with voters, and his delivery, especially later in the campaign, were downright Presidential.
Stay positive. “Yes we can” trumps “No you can’t” every time.
Work from the ground up. Over 90% of the $640 million raised by Barack Obama came from individuals, and the bulk of that was contributions under $200.
Respond to the competition immediately. Smear tactics were often responded to within minutes by Obama’s staff and the candidate himself. The campaign’s Fight the Smears site helped spread the truth to supporters and the media.
Pick partners that reinforce your strengths and make up for your weaknesses. Obama chose a running mate that filled one of his greatest weaknesses by selecting Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Embrace social media. The Obama campaign did a masterful job using social networking sites, using word of mouth campaigns that often went viral.
Remember all your audiences. As a minority, Obama understood he would have some cross-cultural appeal. Still, Team Obama pursued an ambitious multicultural marketing effort. Here’s an ad that aired in Puerto Rico:
The strategies above aren’t red or blue. They’re green—the color of money.
So did you pick up any other marketing tips during the campaign that might translate well to your organization?
Comment below to share.