I wanted to comment on history and give my thoughts to Obama’s online dominance as being a major factor in his victory.
Full disclosure, I didn’t vote… I couldn’t vote.
Currently stepping through the citizenship process, with the hope of voting in 2012.
This is the best country in the world to live in. I am grateful for the opportunity.
Learning from Obama’s online marketing & branding initiatives
Keep it simple.
One message, one brand (subtly tweaked for different audiences / constituents), one simple word “change”
Online and offline, Obama’s campaign utilized a full gamut of tools and mediums that touched many constituents in both active and passive ways – “get involved” or “experience the brand”
The power of many with one goal
Social media, mob mentality or ‘tribe’ behavior, without a doubt empowering and powering many behind a common cause, with the tools to connect, contribute and communicate meant viral distribution and crowd frenzy ignited the Obama vote
The brand and message stayed the same from start to finish (can anyone remember McCain’s first message??) – it incorporated ‘experience’
Connection with the (target) demographic
Obama connected with his key constituents at many levels, primarily on emotional levels but also through ubiquitous technology junction points – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace etc. which captured and ignited the young and previously indifferent vote. Obama’s message was simple and easy to understand and consistent (see above and below)
Great article on the one-sided battle for the social media audience can be found here
The message of change encompassed all woes, connected emotionally and was perceived as relevant to *all* potential voters… change in economy, change in war commitments, change in policies, change in taxation… *everyone* had something they wanted to have changed… it became a relevant battle cry people could (and did) rally around.
The Obama online campaign didn’t waiver or deviate based on polls or public opinion – it had a well planned strategy and timeline that it followed to the letter. I’m certain there was some flexibility and ‘tweaks’ that happened, but with no prior roadmap or campaign precedent to learn from they leveraged non-political ‘real world’ experience and success to plan a multi channel branding & marketing campaign as if they were launching a new cereal or auto brand. Note: Underscoring their continued online savvy, they just launched change.gov to inform constituents during and after the transition.
A new way of pitching politics and politicians
Treating the Presidential Candidate as a consumer product, carefully packaged and promoted (and at the right price to make the sale easier), the Obama campaign stepped out of the ‘normal’ mold of big smiles, big promises and baby-kissing. Obama, as an eloquent and effective ‘brand ambassador’ was able to deliver and embody the brand message with a high degree of success (what greater change than a string of white to black?) – there’s a great visual here.
Bill Clinton was known as the ‘First Black President’ by many, due to his support from the black community.
Obama has easily earned the title of the ‘First Internet President’ due to his mastery and ability to create an online tribe that both supported and drove his brands victory.