Summary of Obama’s marketing material


In 2008, the year belonged to Obama. Every country was touched by something Obama was doing online. He was everywhere, using a variety of online tactics – everything from smear campaigns to ongoing email campaigns that encouraged donation to rallying support on a number of social networks. His campaign was exhaustive.

Examples of his marketing efforts are captured in this presentation.

KEY LEARNINGS

  1. Leverage communities & networks – majority of Obama’s campaign was focused on friend get friend (FGF) and encouraging others to show their support whether through donation or rallying others.
  2. Consistent presence – the ongoing one-to-one communications didn’t let up. There was (and still is) a constant flow of emails from everyone in the Obama camp. Emails came from Michelle Obama to Joe Biden to Al Gore.
  3. Lack of Obama involvement – there weren’t many times when Obama was involved. It was obvious that a ghost writer was controlling the campaign. It would have been nice to recieve more from Obama. The only thing he was involved in was producing the videos.
  4. Candidate usage – no marketing collateral was produced that didn’t have direct reference to Joe or Obama. Candidates images were constantly used to ensure people had a connection.

RELATED POLITICAL POSTS:

  1. Who is Ben Self? Obama’s social marketing guy
  2. How retailers are getting in on the Obama bandwagon?
  3. US Political Campaigns – Social Networks
  4. What can Australian Politicans learn from the US?
  5. Australian Policitian’s – where are you online?
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How retailers are getting in on the Obama bandwagon? IKEA


For Obama’s inauguration IKEA created a website where you could use their furniture to embrace change in the Oval Office. It’s a very simple site, but extremly topical and a nice way to be relevant.

The journey through the site starts with a blank Oval Office where you have the option to drag and drop furniture, Obama and the dog into the office. From there you can look at the office from an opposite view and send your thoughts about the office layout to The White House (see screens below).

iKEA Obama Inauguration - home page

iKEA Obama Inauguration - home page

IKEA Obama Inauguration - furniture in the oval office

IKEA Obama Inauguration - furniture in the oval office

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Opposite view

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Opposite view

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Send to Whitehouse

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Send to Whitehouse

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Thank you

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Thank you

LEARNINGS

  1. Topical – find a way you can connect with consumers around topical events or activities that are happening. This idea is more around branding and awareness, but because the consumer is able to select furniture and read a little more about the furniture no doubt it will result in increased sales.
  2. Simple – there aren’t many pages to this site and without reading any instructions, I knew exactly what to do. The sites that are simple are the best.
  3. Interactive – by getting the user to interact with the website, it makes it a better experience. They get to see the products, decide what works and look at combinations. Perfect cross-sell/up-sell opportunity.
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US Political Campaign – Social networks


Throughout the 2008 US Presidential election campaign, a lot of focus has been put on Obama and his marketing campaign. There has been a particular focus on how he has used online channels to communicate his message. Very little attention has been paid to what Joe Biden is doing online.

I was doing a search and found that Joe Biden has his own YouTube Channel (see screen grab below) and his own supporter network – captured via website and retained via email (see screen grabs below).

Joe Biden YouTube Channel

Joe Biden YouTube Channel

Joe Biden Website

Joe Biden Website

Joe Biden Contribute Data Capture

Joe Biden Contribute Data Capture

RELEVANCE

Why is this relevant to Australian Politicians? It shows that the US Politicians are nurturing their campaigns. They aren’t setting and forgetting about them – they are constantly updating content and engaging with the audience.

LEARNINGS

Key learnings from Joe Biden’s online activity:

  1. Involvement – Even the deputy is actively involved in promoting their views online
  2. Consistency – ongoing updates and coverage
  3. Innovation – trying new things.
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What can Australian politicians learn from the US?


To try and understand more about the US political system and how ingrained marketing is with their campaigning, I decided to subscribe to Obama’s site and opt-in for communications and updates on progress. Just by subscribing, I have received emails from Barack and Michelle Obama and a few of the campaign managers. They haven’t let up in sending emails since 16th September. Nearly everyday I have received an email.

Barack Obama - email overview as at 29 September

Barack Obama - email overview as at 29 September

What do the emails say? Apart from Donate money, the latest are starting to rally people to start making phone calls for Barack. They have even prepared a script with what you need to say. It’s very John Howard-esk in the 2004 election with his mass phone messages.

Obama email - The next 48hrs sent 29 September

Obama email - The next 48hrs sent 29 September

Obama website - Neighbour to neighbour

Obama website - Neighbour to neighbour

We would definitely not get away with anything like this in Australia, but we do have very different political systems.

OTHER CHANNELS

Obama is everywhere, on every social network you can think of. His site lists the below with links to all of his profiles – 16 in total.

Obama - social networks

Obama - social networks

Obama (or a ghost writter) has posted 209 updates, as at 29 September, with over 87,879 followers and is following 91,350 people. Every update with a link back to his website.

Obama's twitter profile

Obama's Twitter profile as at 28 September

Not only does Obama have his own Twitter page, but the election has it’s own profile. Everyone is involved.

US Election 2008 - Twitter profile

US Election 2008 - Twitter profile

LEARNINGS

There are a few learnings that the Australians politicians

  1. Presence – be involved and present online. Have an umbrella strategy
  2. Consistency – ensure there is a constant presence and it is consistent amongst all within the party
  3. Involvement – be involved with every presence. Communicate and update users on where you are at (location and policy wise).
  4. Community – get people involved and to participate. Even if it is to understand people’s perception of policies or their opinions on certain topics.

RELATED POSTS

Australian Politician’s – where are you online?

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