Are You Marketing Like McCain or Obama?

And now a few words about the election. This is not about politics, but about marketing. Regardless of who you voted for (or whether you are in the US or elsewhere), there are important marketing lessons to learn from this election.

I noticed during the primaries and the campaign, that Hillary Clinton and John McCain kept talking about themselves. It was a classic marketing mistake. They kept focusing on their years of experience, how they’ve made change, everything they’ve done, rather than the voters. They said things like, “I have experience,” “I know how to fix our economy.” Lots of “I” and “me”, but very little “you” and “we”.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, said “we”: “Yes we can”, we can change, we can hope. He brought people together in a way that the other candidates didn’t. Plus, he made excellent use of his Web site, email, Twitter, and new media tools to keep his followers engaged. He sent (as Seth Godin says) personal, relevant, anticipated messages. No robocalls, no interruptions, just permission marketing. He created a “tribe” of people who were eager to hear from him. And, he sent an email thanking every one of them after the election was over.

So, which kind of campaign are you running? Are you talking about yourself? Or, are you talking about your customers’ problems? Do you give them a reason to talk about you? Are you remarkable or average?

by Ten marketing lessons from the Barack Obama Presidential campaign