Political Marketing in the Real World
Barack Obama, perhaps more than any other candidate of late, has truly mastered the utilization of both digital and conventional political marketing outlets to reach a wide audience and keep his supporters energized.
Putting aside any political leanings for the moment, the Democratic political marketing machine, with Barack Obama at its helm, capitalized on a general sense of discontent with Republicans around the country. This is not to say the pendulum will not swing the other direction at some point. In fact, it probably will. When any party is in power too long it tends to become complacent and less responsive. That’s just the nature of a representative political system.
Barack Obama successfully managed his political marketing strategy to turn himself from an inexperienced provincial public servant in Illinois into a US Senator and finally a US President.
A real sense of personal political marketing charisma of course helped a great deal. Like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Obama relied on his superb listening and public speaking abilities to reach out to voters in a way that made them feel important and understood. He successfully managed his empathetic nature into real public support on a consistent basis.
Being able to charge up a strong measure of support through use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, among others, Obama convinced citizens to volunteer their time and also donate their money to his political marketing campaign. Realizing the internet’s potential for reaching voters, Obama invested time in creating a sustainable online presence. His messages, through email, blogs, tweeting and even video were smooth, confident and to-the-point. Obama energized voters (and potential voters), convincing them to care about the issues and participate in change. “Yes We Can” traveled around the internet and the physical world at an exponential rate.
Obama’s political advertising campaign was amazingly consistent with upbeat themes and emotional appeal surrounding rational arguments.
Getting Ahead of the Political Marketing Competition
Even when criticizing opponents, like John McCain, Obama’s political marketing message communicated core parts of his campaign. His messages managed to simultaneously complement and criticize competitors, leaving them hard-pressed to respond in kind. Staying one-step ahead at all times was seemingly effortless.
Relying on social media and conventional political marketing and advertising allowed Obama to reach all fifty states, generating quick delegate support and wider public support at the same time. It was extremely difficult for his opponents to keep up. Carrying the message fast and far provided immediate positive results.
Obama employed an excellent political consulting firm to manage his political marketing message and direct it strategically across the political spectrum. McCain, in contrast, only managed to accomplish late late in his campaign, losing precious time. Obama successfully cultivated and nourished his brand by managing himself on all media fronts.
A Brave New World of Political Marketing
All future political marketing campaigns, Democratic and Republican alike, will have to follow suit in order to enjoy any comparable level of success.