Obama’s Victory Offers Lessons to Marketers
to the marketing strategist and bestselling author Al Ries, Nov. 4, 2008
will go down
“as the biggest day ever in the history of marketing.”
Obama, according to Mr. Ries, overcame the challenges from Hillary Clinton
and John McCain because his “change” marketing strategy was superior
to the various messages his opponents trotted out to counter his success.
President-elect succeeded, Mr. Ries wrote on AdAge.com, because
instead of going for the “big lie” he chose the “big truth” strategy.
This approach, he wrote, holds,
“If you tell the truth often enough and keep repeating it, the truth
gets bigger and bigger, creating an aura of legitimacy and authenticity.”
themselves faced with approaches that were gaining little traction with
voters, Senators Clinton and McCain sought to one-up Mr. Obama by, in effect,
suggesting they would “do change better” than he would. According
to Mr. Ries, “different” as a message works in marketing but
“better” never does.
identified three key lessons marketers should take from the Obama campaign.
- Simplicity – When 70 percent
of the population thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction,
change is a word they want to hear. Many marketers don’t use the word
change because they think it is too simple and not clever enough.
- Consistency – Create a slogan
grounded in the real world and repeat it over and over again. According
to Mr. Ries, most companies don’t have the money, patience or vision
to stick with one message. They’re looking for a walk-off grand slam
when the game has just begun.
- Relevance – Mr. Obama’s
unwavering commitment to the change message determined the discussion
points for all the campaigns and took his opponents off their experience
What lessons do you think marketers can learn from Barack Obama’s successful
campaign for the Presidency of the United States?