This past Tuesday, Barack Obama delivered his last major speech of the Obama Candidacy. After 8 years of leading the nation, and despite your personal opinion of him, Obama has certainly backed up his mantra of “change.” Whether it’s the Affordable Care Act, the automotive industry bailout, or implementing same-sex marriage across the nation, the soon-to-be-former president has ushered in a variety of change. With that being said, he’s also marketed himself and the Obama candidacy unlike any president before. It’s time to take a look at what we, as marketers, we can learn from his time in office.
5 Lessons From the Obama Candidacy
Be an Unconventional Marketer
It would have been very easy for President Obama to stick to traditional media appearances. Yes, he made the State of the Union Addresses and was quick to acknowledge the variety of tragedies that plagued his 8 years in office, but it was his willingness to go with the flow and make media appearances on other outlets that truly makes him stand out.
Take the show Between Two Ferns for example. A satirical show hosted by Zach Galifianakis that often pokes fun at their guests would seem to be the last place the president would want to make an appearance. However, through this appearance, Obama was able to show a more personable side of himself, and one that was willing to poke fun at himself and others.
As a marketer, it’s important to be flexible and to be willing to take an unconventional approach to marketing. While it’s important to cover traditional media outlets, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere to attract an audience. Our industry is constantly changing, so it’s always important to keep your eye on the future to make sure your brand is doing everything it can to keep up with the changing environment. However, make sure you implement your marketing plan correctly. Some older brands that have tried to get hip with the times have failed miserably.
Look Toward Others For Support
The Obama candidacy didn’t just create itself; it took a variety of volunteers, sponsors, and spokespeople to market the campaign and to get the Obama train on the right track. With the help of many others, Obama created a brand that was marketed well through a variety of outlets. Marketed as a family-oriented president struck home with many, while on the campaign trail and in office.
As a marketer, don’t be afraid to lean on others during your campaign. A good marketing campaign takes a variety of ideas, opinions, and jobs so be sure to surround yourself with a team that’s willing to work together to create the best possible campaign.
Use Social Media Correctly
This might be one of the biggest factors when it came to the Obama candidacy. With the rise of Twitter, Facebook, and other various forms of social media, these outlets can quickly become the demise of your campaign. Luckily, Obama was able to have his social media presence be created by a trustworthy organization called Organizing for Action. The non-profit ran the majority of his social media account and was able to paint a positive picture of the president through his tweets and posts.
We’ve already seen how our incoming president Trump uses social media, which is much different than Obama.
Make sure that your social media presence remains stellar during your own campaign. Make sure to not just acknowledge the good responses, but the bad as well. Use this as a way to not only market yourself but also show some personality behind it. Obama would often tweet photos of his family and even post about what he’s been watching on TV.
Make Sure Your Website Works
It seems simple enough, right? Well, unfortunately even the Obama candidacy has web issues from time to time. After Obamacare went into effect, millions of citizens flooded the site, hoping to get on an affordable healthcare plan. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of users would ultimately crash the site, leaving many customers at a standstill.
Make sure to test any websites and platforms that you’ll be using before the launch. Although none of us can predict future crashes after launch, it’s still important to go over any possible issues that could arise. Also, make sure your landing page looks good and that the site is easy to navigate.
Know-How to Handle Crisis Management
As president, Obama had to deal with a crisis on an almost weekly basis. From terrorist attacks to weather emergencies, it was important that he remained composed and coordinated with the rest of his team. Any sign of fear or confusion would be seen as a weakness, so crisis management was key.
Make sure that your company and marketing team have a plan implemented in case of a crisis. Whether it’s a leaked inappropriate picture or a shocking resignation, make sure that you and your staff remain on the same page and know how to handle the situation. Disorganization can look bad on the company and can make your audience wary of trusting you