As an avid student of politics and its processes, it’s almost impossible for me not to be a keen observer of the ongoing US Presidential Campaigns. There are many marketing lessons that can be learned from politicians. In my opinion, a political campaigns is the ultimate marketing campaign.
In recent history, one of the best political campaign machines belongs to the US president, Barack Obama. I don’t have a crystal-ball to predict the outcome of the ongoing presidential campaign between the president and Mitt Romney. However, here are eight marketing lessons you can learn from Obama’s 2012 Re-election Campaign:
1) Develop a key message
Politicians have slogans that they use during their campaign. For example, Obama’s 2012 campaign features the following slogan “Forward”. This slogan resonates as it gives hope for a way forward for the country. In developing a key message, research your customer base and create a key message that addresses their concerns.
2) Be persistent about presenting your message to your target audience
Through the use of social media Obama’s campaign makes sure they repeatedly send his message to people and that it reaches all sections of the population. It is also important to not change your message. Records show that candidates that change their slogans often tend to be losers of election campaigns. If you have developed a key message be persistent and stick to your message. Over time it will become your brand.
3) Maximize internet marketing
Obama’s campaign is extremely adept at internet marketing. He has been on FB, twitter, sending out emails, there are blogs, wikis, websites etc. Social media marketing is free for the most part and very effective.
4) Twitter can be a way to respond to customers in real time
Obama’s twitter site is always active. For instance, during the Republican Convention, Clint Eastwood spoke to an empty chair as a reference to Obama. Soon after his speech the Obama campaign tweeted a picture of a chair with the words “President” and the words “the seat’s taken” underneath. This was a clever comeback and it was re-tweeted and shared by thousands of people. By including twitter and engaging with your customers you can create a stronger customer base. For every successful tweet they can re-tweet to several other people thereby getting the word out about your business.
5) Diversify your social media content
Obama’s campaign used social media to a great advantage by creating content videos that are uploaded after events and this has increased accessibility to Obama. Another benefit of his videos – such as appearances on Jimmy Fallon and the footage of him singing – is that they showcase less serious parts of his personality, this makes him more relatable. If you want your customers to see all that you have to offer creating videos would be another way to diversify content in the social media arena.
6) Speak clearly
Obama’s language is straightforward. For example, during the second debate Obama’s opponent mentioned the statement “binders full of women”. This instantly made his opponent lose credibility with women. Obama on the other hand has always spoken in clear and precise terms. Avoid making statements that could cause you to alienate a section of your customer base.
7) Choose your words carefully
The previous example shows that in addition to speaking clearly it is important to choose your words carefully. Obama is careful about his words and he does not say things that could be misconstrued or are ill-advised. Quite the contrary, his word choice is strategic and often positive and up-lifting. This can be utilized in marketing as well, as if your customers feel better after listening to your words they are more likely to return.
8) Show personality
Obama clearly has personality. His clear speech, careful wording and use of humor make him very like-able and relatable. His opponent’s personality has not been able to come through. If you are to employ this strategy it would make you more memorable to your customers.