What can we learn about marketing and selling from the Obama campaign?
I am not a Barack Obama fan. I remember the politics of the 1960's and 70's and don't want to go back to losing wars, stagflation, unemployment and malaise.
That said, we can definitely learn from his success at markeitng and selling:
1. Identify your niche: I thought Hillary was a juggernaut and couldn't be beat (may still be proven correct). My fear was there were tons of new voters who had not learned from the corruption and embarassment of the Slick Willie years and wanted to go back. I did not foresee a young, charismatic, well-to-do candidate who would appeal to that crowd and see Mrs. Clinton as an old, critical parent they wanted to get away from. They don't remember the good things about the Clinton years: the economy mostly, because they were busy going through puberty and getting stoned in college. Enter the Obama campaign. One moron interviewed by the Wall Street Journal said he was going to vote for Obama becuase he was a "rock star." Hillary is definitely not one of those. They think his 1960's ideas are new because they weren't born yet. Obama's campaign correctly identified the young and affluent and went for them, while Hillary rode Bill's coattails and presumed she was heir apparent.
2. Chemistry trumps experience and expertise: In The "I-Hate-Selling" Book we discuss the fact that "Chemistry" is 50-80% of making the sale. Obama has it with the media. The press is amazingly picking on Hillary because she was merely the first lady elected to high office. Contrary to them (who are pushing for Obama hard - see Bill's "fairy tale" comment on youtube.com), she DOES have more experience and expertise than Obama. She was his wife and took an active part of in his administration and planned on being president herself, so she paid attention to what was going on. This is one sharp, smart woman (I am not a Hillary fan) who knows a heck of a lot more about successful governance and our role in the world than the junior senator from Illinois. WHO CARES? Chemistry almost always triumphs over expertise, just ask Algore, who had tons more experience and expertise than "W."
3. Have a consistent message to create your brand: From day one, Obama's campaign has been about "standing for change" whatever that means. Better than his opponent Hillary whose only theme was that she was Hillary, so you should vote for her. That is proving to be not enough, as she has jumped on the change bandwagon way too late and sounds too much like "me-too."
These are 3 valuable lessons to learn for CPA firms. Apply them to your marketing and selling and expect the same great results as our next president.