I’ve been insistent that everybody needs to pay attention to politics now, which is being conducted with greater cynicism than technology marketing ever could be. But in this particular post, political and technology marketing (among other kinds) are compared on a more even basis.
- Articulated voters’ fears.
- Stoked those fears relentlessly.
- Claimed that he “alone” could fix things.
- Won the US presidency.
This is actually a time-honored pattern, pursued by (among others):
- Many other demagogues and authoritarian leaders.
- IBM in its industry-dominant heyday.
- Consumer marketing companies over many decades.
- Several of the world’s great religions.
While fear-and-fix is a powerful strategy, it’s not easy to pull off, because it involves establishing both sides of a partial contradiction:
- There is a terrible danger that is very hard to prevent.
- I can in fact prevent it.
Approaches to resolving this paradox typically fall into one or more of three buckets:
- Overstating (or entirely fabricating) the danger.
- Overstating (or entirely fabricating) the fix.
- Understating (or just downplaying) the costs of the solution.
Let’s consider some examples. Read more
Donald Trump’s favorite musical is said to be Evita, the story of the fascist/populist couple Juan and Eva Peron, who guided Argentina from status as a rich country to being pretty much of a third-world wreck.* Isaac Butler wrote about that back in November, but he missed a key point. More precisely, he missed a key song, whose lyrics I shall copy below. (I think this is one of the rare cases in which printing a song’s entire lyrics is clearly fair use.) Emphasis added.
*In real life, Juan Peron was vastly more influential on his country than his second wife Eva, not least because he lived much longer. But the musical portrays them as more equal partners, giving her great credit for his original ascension to power.
Art of the Possible Read more
A group of former congressional staffers has put out a great-looking, short guide on how to influence legislators. Their angles include:
- They’re Democrats, focused on resisting the Trump/Bannon Administration.
- They base their views heavily on the successes of the Tea Party in the Obama years.
- As might be inferred from the name they chose — “Indivisible” — they’re focused on protecting-the-threatened kinds of issues, such as religious discrimination, sexual discrimination, or health care for the poor.
- They’re focused on Congress — House and Senate — rather than state legislatures.
I’ll quote the summary in its entirety: Read more
The most insightful political-marketing observations I’ve seen in some time come from a New York Times article by Jonathan Haidt that, unsurprisingly, turns out to be excerpted/adapted from a whole book on the point. It argues that an essential aspect to political belief are the stories tribes tell themselves.
It’s been a while since I posted about political marketing, but two New York Times articles the same day raised subjects I’d like to share. One delves into the success of the AIDS activism group ACT-UP. The big lesson is that ACT-UP relied on both emotional impact and persuasive, rational detail. In particular (emphasis mine): Read more
From time to time I tell about a particularly bad job of doing influencer outreach at me. But I don’t directly balance those stories with examples of good outreach targeted at me. There are multiple reasons for this, including:
- My “How to pitch me” post was already arrogant enough. I don’t want to repeatedly conflate “This is how I like to be dealt with” and “This is how you should deal with analysts in general.”
- The nature of my business is such that, by the time I’m having a particularly good relationship with a company, there’s probably something confidential going on, or at least something I should be careful discussing in public.
As an alternative, I’d like to share a particularly good example of outreach I just discovered in the political sphere. Read more
Guy Kawasaki argues that you should always be selling. Specifically, he suggests:
Creating a successful business requires effective persuasion. This study shows that great persuasion sometimes occurs when people don’t expect it. This means that you should always be selling—you may persuade people when you least expect it. This is also a good argument for the potential power of tools such as Twitter and blogs. These new approaches can open doors for people who haven’t thought about a new concept.
If you think about it, what Kawasaki really means is: You should always be marketing.
Looking at him briefly from afar, I’d guess that Kawasaki’s priorities are something like:
- Keep building awareness.
- Stay on message.
Judging by the recent election season, most political campaigns would agree. In enterprise IT, however, I’d tweak and flip them, to:
- Stay on one or more of your messages.
- Build awareness in the right audiences — prospects and influencers alike.
In my introductory post on layered messaging, I laid out two basic templates for enterprise IT messaging. But consider, if you would, the following
General layered marketing template
- Tangible benefits
- Credible causal connection
- Measurable characteristics
- Credible causal connection
- Fundamental nature
|Categories: Campaign 2008, Layered messaging models, Marketing theory, Political marketing||1 Comment|
Obviously, these are difficult times for the Clinton campaign, and Barack Obama is the most likely Democratic nominee for president. His messaging strategy, so far successful, has in essence been:
- Pitch “change” as a top-level message.
- Claim that being a pro-change outsider is more conducive to getting things done than being an experienced insider.
- Adopt similar policy positions to his rivals, so as to reduce the chance for differentiation there.
- Show that he’s not “too much” of an outsider, by collecting insiders’ endorsements.
- Claim that primary electoral success demonstrates both that he’s likely to have general election success in the fall and also that he’s likely to lead effectively once elected.
So Clinton desperately needs to differentiate herself from Obama, beneficially, more than she already has. But how? Read more
|Categories: Campaign 2008, Companies, products, and candidates, Hillary Clinton, Political marketing||1 Comment|
More and more, consumer branding is about engagement. On the Internet, you’re most likely to see references to the social media aspects. But it goes further than blogs, chat, and diggery. For example, a huge fraction of the sports business now is apparel sales – replica jerseys and the like. This may be “tribal” in Seth Godin‘s lexicon, but it’s not particularly online-social.
US politics is heavily about engagement too. The traditional centers of engagement – unions, churches, and so on – have now been joined by the Internet as well. The Washington Post has a great article today about old-style engagement in the Clinton campaign.Micah Sifry makes the case that this time it’s different, and in the process describes the crucial role of internet-based engagement to this year’s presidential campaign.
And of course the same thing’s happening in software. Read more
|Categories: Marketing communications, Marketing theory, Political marketing, Technology marketing||4 Comments|