On this inauguration day, it's worth recognizing how "Obamarketing" is likely to influence the way we do business in radio from this day forward.
The details of how Team Obama did what they did are well-established, and I'll be covering those more in the next few weeks as a result of the interview I just wrapped with the co-author of the new book, Barack, Inc.: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign
At the heart of this, however, it seems clear that Obama tapped into a movement and a movement tapped into him. While this was mediated in no small part (but by no means exclusively) by the social tools of the Internet, at its core are basic marketing fundamentals that we would be wise to remember.
Obama was DIFFERENT in a very clear way. An historic way. He was an African American.
Obama used social technologies – the Internet – for YOU to control the discussion. He didn't use them simply to repurpose his message to you in a new way. It wasn't about him; it was about you and the message only you could communicate.
Obama inspired a passionate core of fans to spread the word, and they did so not because they were forced to or because they were incentivized by prizes. They did it because they wanted to. And nothing is more infectious than people doing what they do because their hearts tell them to.
So, while there are many lessons to take away from this moment in history, at least some that should drive the way you market your own brands in the year to come are these:
Are you really different? Or, in your zeal to play the Arbitron game, are you just another station playing the same mix of songs.
Is your digital strategy about your audience – or about you?
Do you foster passionate fans? And have you created ways for them to spread the word about you?
Happy Inauguration Day, America.