14 Feb 2012

Presidential Lessons in Marketing

US presidential campaigns are among the best planned, resourced, funded, and executed marketing campaigns of their times. And given how result-oriented the exercise is, they are usually willing to go the extra mile-and-half in terms of being innovative, experimental or unorthodox.

In short, it represents the 'ideal' for any marketing campaign.

If you are in Advertising or Marketing, follow US presidential campaigns keenly, and you might even spot what could be the next industry-formula for success.

In the mid-90s and early 2000s, George Bush Jr.'s gubernatorial and presidential media campaigns were based on traditional print and direct marketing techniques.

In 2008, Barack Obama ran with a slick intergated marketing campaign relying on a brilliant mix of branding, print, TV, and heavy use of the Internet.

Both those campaigns were overly media-centred and expensive - and successful. Times have changed, and I suppose, budgets have too.

In 2012, Dr. Ron Paul's presidential campaign seems to be more cost-conscious - and seemingly based on a simple, intelligent strategy: Forget the bling, focus on the end result

It is also different in that it is low on exuberance and high on specifics. It is less reliant on medium, and more on message; less on online social networks, and more on real communities.

It does not promise instant gratification, but a future (long-term) payoff. It is not addressing the lowest common denominator - but exactly those who 'get it'.

In my opinion, this is a really strong formula - and if it is successful (we'll know in Nov 2012), it would an invaluble lesson for all brand managers and advertising professionals.

P.S: The Ron Paul 2012 campaign is also a superb example of how to game a system that is already gamed!

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