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Video Lessons: How Barack Obama Won Using Digital and Social Media

The Obama Campaign’s use of digital and social media was the best executed integrated business initiative EVER implemented since the inception of the Internet. I truly believe it. Do you?

Last week MediaSauce hosted more than 100 business executives at our “Election 2008” seminar. As leader of the development and strategy teams for MediaSauce, I was passionate for us to lead this discussion!

I was joined by my colleague Colin Vaughan to present 12 key lessons that every business can apply to increase your digital footprint. I’m glad he could join me – not only is he a marketing strategist for MediaSauce, he was active in the Obama campaign and a Get Out of the Vote Team leader and fundraiser in Indiana.

The program was fast-paced and covered nearly 2.5 hours of lessons, questions and answers. We’ve created a 40 minute version to give you the key points. Please share this with your colleagues and network.

Goals drive success

In the first of four videos below, you’ll discover the background for the campaign’s goal, their 3 strategies and how their team made the difference.

Let’s be clear, there were several other strategies that played into the success of the campaign. However, these three drivers were the fundamental strategies that shaped the campaign.

3 Tactics for Everyone

I do believe that all 12 lessons we’re covering has value, but the first three are by far the lowest hanging fruit for you to tackle for your company. If you ignore all other nine, please take the time to address these:

1. Build a centralized database of your prospects and customers that everything you do can connect to.
2. Activate the key social networks that your audience resides on (and absolutely have a presence on FacebookLinkedIN and Flickr).
3. Build out your own channel on YouTube. You just might go viral!

Please keep in mind, this is a shortened version of the tactics discussion. We’ve distilled down some key points into about 10 minutes to get the conversation rolling.

If you don’t already have these three tactics ready to go in your organization, please get them started. The best part is that all of these sites are FREE to use!

One caution, Flickr is for “personal use” only, so when you’re creating content on Flickr, do it without being overly commercial or you could lose your profile.

Connect at all levels

The Obama campaign understood that being grassroots meant valuing every consumer, no matter their demographic or statue. That individualist approach drove success across a multitude of tactics.

4. No sales is too small to start generating trust with consumers.
5. Targeted email, powered by your centralized database is highly effective (and cheap!).
6. Self-created social networks can be highly effective if they fill a void (and you commit to leading them).
7. Micro-sites on niche topics will create reach and connections with audiences who may miss your main web site.
8. Search engine marketing and online banner advertising can drive traffic if your message is targeted and relevant (see a theme here?).

You noticed a theme I hope about being relevant and personal. Our colleagues at SalesBrain, a neuromarketing firm share that decisions are driven first and foremost by 6 key stimuli. Being self-centered (read being focused on what the consumer selfishly gets from your message) is a key factor in motivating people to make a decision in your favor.

Connect frequently and conveniently

Frequency is an important factor in a successful messaging campaign. By being connected at the most personal levels or with tools that promote frequency, you can be on the radar of your customers more than your competitors.

9. Mobile devices engage your customer anytime and anywhere. (If you aren’t mobile yet, you better start budgeting for it in 2009!).
10. Twitter creates frequency, and quick mass-distribution to your ‘followers.’
11. Blogging can position you as a thought leader and expert while exhibiting transparency.
12. Never give the consumer an excuse not to buy. (Be aware of when the transaction will take place and always make it easy to do so!)

These 12 tactics and lessons are presented briefly in this 4-part video series to help you and others in your organization think about how you can better connect with your customer.

MediaSauce lives and breathes digital and social media every day. As a digital strategist, I’d love to explore this topic further with you and discover if there is any way we can help you grow your business. Please don’t hesitate to email me at or call at 317-512-3612.

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4 Responses to “Video Lessons: How Barack Obama Won Using Digital and Social Media”

  1. How Obama used digital media and social networking to win the election. « Strategic Media & Marketing by Scott Sands Says:

    [...] Click here. [...]

  2. What I can learn from the Obama campaign « Fanatiq’s Weblog Says:

    [...] 2, 2009 in Uncategorized I thought the video from Media Sauce presented some good ideas that we can use in our [...]

  3. MelatoninFaq Says:

    Barack Obama for me is the most charismatic president to be ever elected. He also makes great decisions, for example in the ecomomic stimulus package to counter the effects of recession.

  4. Brian Says:

    I am very pleased with the content on your web site. I get so many suggestions that helped me to.

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