I’m a die-hard presidential ad fan. Every four years I make the minimum donation needed to get on both mailing lists. I subscribe to both blogs, follow their Twitter feeds. It’s bare-knuckles marketing to the death. I love every minute of it.
You should too because there are lessons offered daily that can apply to your advertising. Consider the 2012 election’s unfolding online dimension.
Then and Now
Four years ago, it was over before it started. Politics aside, Barack Obama and the DNC just flat understood the che of advertising in the internet age way better than the folks in McCain’s camp. Maybe it was lessons from Howard Dean’s wildly successful online fundraising efforts. Or, maybe the powers-that-be were hipper to on-going social marketing with a media savvy electorate.
John McCain, bless his heart, never got his online plane off the ground. The utter lack of any cohesive online strategy betrayed the larger picture of the single most inept presidential campaign of my lifetime. Just sayin.
In any given week of the campaign, I’d receive multiple Obama emails, direct mails, and Facebook updates. McCain meanwhile, sent one maybe two emails a month. Period.
Would it have made a difference? Probably not. Advertising, after all, only speeds up the inevitable. And, this was a rematch of German tanks vs. Polish cavalry. Same result.
iCampaigning in 2012
It’s refreshing to find the Obama-Romney online bout more evenly matched. While there’s parity in message volume through various channels from both campaigns, there’s a clear difference on a new front.
Both Romney and Obama have released campaign apps. That’s where the similarity ends. As with four years ago, the distinction between the two campaigns couldn’t be more clear.
The App election is over
There’s no comparison between the apps. Obama’s machine is at full-tilt. There’s a party going on; videos, info, rallies…. Glimpsing so much activity and information intrigued even this right-winger.
Mitt, meanwhile, only wants my info and my money. There’s no getting involved through his app. There’s not even a way to contact the campaign. It’s a one-way message that literally reads “Coming Soon.” [Message to Mitt: Dude, soon is less than 100 days away….]
Therein lies the lesson for you: Obama’s messaging is strong on outreach and inclusion. Nevermind how you may feel about the message itself, the campaign more inviting.
Obama’s app plants seeds of a virtual two-way conversation. Mitt, meanwhile, is still “Coming soon.” Romney’s folk are tinkering with the app-verse while Obama’s people are all-in. Romney’s app is tactical; addressing a single talking point–the VP choice. Obama’s is strategic; a robust source of information. Where Romney’s app fights a single battle, the Obama app establishes a lasting presence on user devices. It’s really no contest and why my vote in the app fight (only) goes to Obama.
Which are you?
Look at your website, your Facebook page, your Twitter feed. How do you invite participation? Can I read reviews? Does the casual visitor see a community? A sense of what involvement looks like? Have you considered creating an app?
Unless you create just such an inviting portal for new customers to explore and become involved with your business, you’re leaving the door open to your competitor. That’s no way to win a race.