Obama’s Marketing Secrets

Now that Hurricane Gustav has blown through, last week’s U.S. Democratic Convention is old news. But some interesting marketing ideas have been left behind on the shore.

Regardless of political affiliation, most people would agree that both Barack and Michelle Obama delivered inspirational and highly motivational speeches last week. No polite, arms-folded participants – the entire crowd was standing, shouting, waving, weeping, hugging. Of course, the cynics will mutter… it’s just politics…partisan crowd anyway…leaders can say whatever they want at this point…etc. etc.

Well, I don’t know about you, but when something works, I pay attention. Here are 5 basic marketing principles that Barack Obama’s memorable speech brought to mind.

1. Know your target market.
Obama’s speech clearly addressed ordinary but struggling middle and working class Americans – teachers, firemen, factory workers, the unemployed.

2. Know where your market is hurting and what’s most important to them – then connect with them around these issues.
Americans are tired of war, recession, and unresponsive government, and they hold deep fears about the environment, Old Age Security and Medicare. Obama addressed these issues and related stories from his own family that let people know he’d walked a mile in their shoes.

3. Tell stories that tap into their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
Obama also noted that Americans seem to have lost track of themselves lately. He held up a mirror and reminded them with stories from past and present of who they really are deep inside – a generous, compassionate, strong, proud nation with a long history of achievement and innovation. Again he told stories from his own family that underlined these characteristics.

4. Tell them clearly how you’re going to help them solve their problems.
Here Obama said the standard things a politician might be expected to say. He is going to be better than George W. Bush and John McCain. He is going to offer tax breaks, reduce the nation’s addiction to oil, build a world-class education system, protect health care and pensions. Well, at least he was clear about it.

5. Help them feel connected to something larger than themselves.
Obama didn’t just tell people what they wanted to hear. He also urged them to work hard to overcome divisions keep the country moving forward for the benefit of future generations. He stressed that we all need to work together to make a better world.

A good thought for the small business community to keep in mind as well.

Some questions for reflection…

-Are you clear about your target market and your ideal client?

-Can you articulate the deeply felt needs of your potential clients?

-Do your solutions address deep desires, needs, dreams, and motivations of your potential clients as well as their deepest fears?

-Do people get excited by your product and service offerings?

-Are you communicating clearly how your product or service will solve these issues for them?

-What are you doing to provide extra value for your clients and customers? What are you doing to become a centre of influence for them so that everyone benefits?

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