When we were researching and writing Tuned In during the early part of 2007, one US Presidential candidate struck us as being particularly tuned in: Barack Obama.
At the time, it was very early in the campaigns. There were over a dozen candidates from both parties jockeying for position during the primaries. But we included only one Presidential campaign in our book, writing about Barack Obama and his tuned in candidacy as one of our mini-case examples, saying:
"The tuned-in politician understands voter problems and the reasons why people vote for a particular candidate. Barack Obama's campaign raised more than $102 million in its initial phases (through the end of 2007) second among all U.S. presidential candidates). His platform centered around powerful ideas, 'the Audacity of Hope' and 'change', has attracted more than one million contributors to his campaign, a strong indicator of a grass roots movement. At this writing, the primary season is just starting, and Obama is not the front-runner. But his upstart candidacy clearly resonates with many voters."
These are not political observations, but marketing ones. It doesn't really matter who you supported or voted for to learn from Obama's victory. (In fact the three co-authors of Tuned In had very different and very passionate views on the Presidential candidates. To be honest we fought a lot…)
Well, despite our political differences, we three are not at all surprised that the most tuned in candidate has prevailed.
Over on my Web Ink Now blog, please check out Ten marketing lessons from the Barack Obama Presidential campaign for additional observations about why Obama was elected to be the 44th President of the United States.
As Phil wrote in a comment on this post: "Not only did he leverage the right mediums and messages, he did what no one since Reagan was able to ... create a coalition that broadened his market. The dramatic increase in young voters that voted overwhelmingly for him was quite likely the difference.
So, the next time someone asks what this new rules stuff, social media stuff is all about and why you should spend time on it, two words will suffice as the ROI. Barack Obama."