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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Marketing Lessons From the Campaign Trail

Howard Dean was the first to realize the potential of using the Internet to market a candidate. As we've learned organizing volunteers and raising cash doesn't guarantee votes, but it has helped several candidates who spent much less than their opponents to win.

Now political campaign strategists are taking what they've learned about the Internet and creating successful initiatives that can inform marketing professionals. Think about this: no one would believe that one day event celebrating a British revolutionary from 400 years ago would enable a Libertarian-leaning republican to set a record for raising money in a day.

Ron Paul managed to raise $4.3 million in 24 hours based on a campaign about Guy Fawkes, who outside of the U.K. is about as well known as, well, Ron Paul. It didn't spending a lot on keywords or a major banner ad buy to do it.

The takeaway here is to find a hook -- an event that preferably can tie into contemporary culture -- to do event-based marketing. A good story is interesting, but something that is timely can focus the audience and get the media's (including bloggers) attention.

From organizing bloggers to posting YouTube videos, campaign strategists are effectively using the latest web 2.0 tools to gain exposure. We should monitor their successes and failures for non-political marketing.

Just as buying TV time or getting the bloggers' ear doesn't guarantee votes, getting people to your website or to know your name doesn't guarantee that your services or products will start selling. You still need to have optimized landing pages and of course, something of quality to sell.

By John Gartner at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

(1) Thoughts on Marketing Lessons From the Campaign Trail

The difference being that this had no official backing from the campaign (as you suggest) - this was the brain-child of the grass roots themselves... I don't think Dean had that.

Also - lest people think the tie to Guy Fawkes had anything to do with violence... whereas he used gunpowder as his 'bomb' - we used cash - hence 'MoneyBomb'.

There are more moneybombs in the pipeline too... 11/11 (Veteran's Day), 12/15-16 ('Bill of Rights Day' and the anniversary of Boston Tea Party respectively - this is being organized by Trevor Lyman who brought us Nov. 5)... And other mailing lists promote weekly (every friday) money bombs.

A site called 'ronpaulgraphs.com' analyzes (graphs) donation data that the Ron Paul campaign makes available to anyone in real time... If you dig and study the graphs a bit, you can see a large spike of new donors not only on the 5th - but the 6th also (the hope of us Paul fans being that these are coming from people that learned of Paul from the 5th).

The 'graphs' website I mention above should be pretty interesting in relation to marketing. Not so much that site in particular - but the power gained by the Ron Paul campaign by releasing data in real-time. Web applications thrive on data - give me some data, I can make you some tools/widgets to play with that data... and spread your message. (I am a software engineer)

Ron Paul's fundraising director (Jonathan Bydlak) mentioned the graph site at their 11/6 news conference - to the affect that it 'makes his job a lot eaier.' - so, by releasing the data gets the campaign some good free analysis.

It is similar to a website like google or ebay releasing and API - which basically allows software developers to create software with their data - which points back to them (ebay and google).

Comments by bill : Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 12:42 PM

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