Lost my attempt to stay away from politics, as we approach the US elections, when I picked my son up from school this week.
I’m a big L Libertarian who believes the best government is a small government, so I follow elections with the hope that one or another of the candidates will actually deliver small to do big things. I remain hopeful.
Back to School
My son, who’s an apolitical 3rd grader, has been all abuzz with the elections. As it should, his class is learning about how the political process works (the “ideal” scenario!) and as part of their research they sent letters to both candidates for President with their comments in regards to the future of America, American education and American economy. These questions were simplistic in nature and each letter closed with wishing the candidates good luck.
None of these kids are of voting age. Yet. So the value of a response from either candidate couldn’t be perceived as being driven by immediate rewards (i.e. vote for me!).
This week my son came home proudly displaying his Obama button, and directed me to a letter his class had received from Obama himself (I’m not discounting or naive – relaying perception of the letter, personalized and signed by Obama.)
Of course I asked if a letter had been received from John McCain, the answer was ‘no’, so I asked again, “Why do you think that is?” – My 8 year old son replied, “I don’t know, but I think he’s mean for not writing back.”
What cost a letter and stamp?
It’s a documented fact that the Democrats have more campaign fund dollars than the Republicans as of October… BUT, realistically, what kind of time and money does it take to respond to a letter?
From a marketing standpoint, the Democrats have, from the start, taken a commanding position in everything from web to TV, to social media to print. My question is, why for the price of a stamp and 15 minutes of an aides time would they not respond to a letter?
My conclusion is they are focused on the immediate vote, not the long term mindset.
As kids, many of our brand favorites are indelibly etched into our memories and our preferences, for life.
I remember eating my Dads preferred brand of peanut butter far into my 30’s and listening to music preferred by my mum long after her parental influence had waned.
So whilst the Obama campaign is building mindshare and support for the Democrats’ 2020 election, the Republicans are losing potential voters by not making the emotional and physical connection.
What about 2008?
If we take this one step further and focus on the net affect for *this* election, it’s hard to imagine *any* downside to a written response to this group of 3rd graders (apart from the time and effort to do it.)
Obama’s letter was clearly posted on the wall. Parents saw. Parents discussed. And parents commented.
If my kid is saying McCain is rude (because he didn’t write back), I hear. It resonates. It’s an incremental brand message.
I hope McCain / Palin and *all* politicians hear and understand what has happened here.
Constituents have been ignored. A brand has been tarnished (whilst another has soared).
15 mins and a stamp could cost the Republicans an election in 2020
Now apply this same logic and missed opportunity to your business. *Especially* in tough economic times.
Is there something you can do, to reach out or respond to customers or prospects? Something that takes little more than 15 mins and the cost of a postage stamp (or a cheaper email!), but something that could endear your brand for a future sale?
Market for 2020 and you may just find profits in 2008