The Obama marketing magic

Fascinating insights into the Obama campaign's success are drawn by Doug Ross's review of Doug Hall's revolutionary book Jump Start Your Marketing Brain (2005), a quantitative approach to analyzing successful marketing programs. Hall identifies three tactics for success. Of the three, the Obama campaign utilized two:

  • Uniqueness -- "the uniqueness must be big enough and bold enough to be worth the hassle" -- Obama represented a truly unique candidate. His heritage, speaking ability and newcomer status to the political arena underpinned the "uniqueness" attribute.
  • Spend! Spend! Spend! -- "spending more money does work" -- the Obama campaign raised nearly a billion dollars, which was a record by a huge margin.

In fact, Hall recommends creating a "surge" in spending that will "break the will" of the opponent.
Doug goes into considerable (almost creepy) detail:

Being first to market can double success rates -- Obama informally announced he would be running for President on January 16, 2007. This beat his primary rival to the punch: Hillary Clinton announced the formation of her exploratory committee four days later.

Furthermore, research showed a five-fold improvement in marketing effectiveness when marketing offered "real news" rather than "less novel, established brands". Like the Clinton brand, for instance.

Hall asserts that it's not enough to be first -- when you are first to market, the ideal situation is to define your marketing with "a simple and dramatic statement" (e.g., "Change!"). Defining first as a combination is also a winning approach (e.g., "Hope", "Change").

And he states that marketers must "repeatedly articulate what makes you the first... articulate your point of difference everywhere -- at the start of every... advertisement, on every brochure, on your voice mail message, or your business cards, on your letterhead, and on every T-shirt, mousepad and coffee cup...

As for overcoming resistance to the change represented by a unique, first-to-market strategy, Hall recommends two tactics:


  • Focus on Serving Others: e.g., help for the "middle-class", Latinos, the LGBT community, etc.

Evoke the only emotion more powerful than fear: Greed: e.g., promising tax cuts for "95% of working Americans".

There's much more. The illustrations are great, too. Read this.
Fascinating insights into the Obama campaign's success are drawn by Doug Ross's review of Doug Hall's revolutionary book Jump Start Your Marketing Brain (2005), a quantitative approach to analyzing successful marketing programs. Hall identifies three tactics for success. Of the three, the Obama campaign utilized two:

  • Uniqueness -- "the uniqueness must be big enough and bold enough to be worth the hassle" -- Obama represented a truly unique candidate. His heritage, speaking ability and newcomer status to the political arena underpinned the "uniqueness" attribute.
  • Spend! Spend! Spend! -- "spending more money does work" -- the Obama campaign raised nearly a billion dollars, which was a record by a huge margin.

In fact, Hall recommends creating a "surge" in spending that will "break the will" of the opponent.
Doug goes into considerable (almost creepy) detail:

Being first to market can double success rates -- Obama informally announced he would be running for President on January 16, 2007. This beat his primary rival to the punch: Hillary Clinton announced the formation of her exploratory committee four days later.

Furthermore, research showed a five-fold improvement in marketing effectiveness when marketing offered "real news" rather than "less novel, established brands". Like the Clinton brand, for instance.

Hall asserts that it's not enough to be first -- when you are first to market, the ideal situation is to define your marketing with "a simple and dramatic statement" (e.g., "Change!"). Defining first as a combination is also a winning approach (e.g., "Hope", "Change").

And he states that marketers must "repeatedly articulate what makes you the first... articulate your point of difference everywhere -- at the start of every... advertisement, on every brochure, on your voice mail message, or your business cards, on your letterhead, and on every T-shirt, mousepad and coffee cup...

As for overcoming resistance to the change represented by a unique, first-to-market strategy, Hall recommends two tactics:


  • Focus on Serving Others: e.g., help for the "middle-class", Latinos, the LGBT community, etc.

Evoke the only emotion more powerful than fear: Greed: e.g., promising tax cuts for "95% of working Americans".

There's much more. The illustrations are great, too. Read this.