Great roundup today by Seth Godin on election marketing and today's Presidential race. I'd like to add a few thoughts:
1. The Polls are Wrong - Phone polls are inaccurate in the age of the cell phone with a bias against those who use them as the only line. This will under report young voters. Obama's numbers are probably higher than we think.
2. All Choice is Compromise - No marketing choice is ever perfect. Americans want a candidate that stands for lower taxes, yet is socially progressive. That spends less and provides more. A candidate that is comfortable and different. McCain was a great compromise between experience, independent spirit and progressive thinking. When he brought in Pallin he shifted his perception from independence to dependency. Americans hate dependency although we are all dependent on others. I would bet that Americans couldn't accept a perfect candidate since we are all trained to compromise.
3. Community Math Rules - Individuals like to join communities or be part of a tribe (it's the latest marketing speak). The trick with tribes is that behavior follows a passion bell curve. The top 5% are passionate, involved, lead and participate. The bottom 50% are casually passive. The key to tribes is to grow the size of the tribe to the point where the participation math works your way. McCain's media blitz in the last 3 days worked to grow his tribe and thereby increase the number of voters that might vote. It's hard to judge who has the biggest community which is why Carl Rove understood the math down to the County level when Bush was running for President.
Over the past 12 months Keyword Discovery is showing 68,456 searches for Obama. In comparison McCain had 16,056 searches. You do the math.
4. Narrative - Each candidate needed to articulate a point of view using distinct language and methods for getting the message out to the voter. These narratives needed to be managed across online and offline media. Obama's facebook type approach broke new ground here. I wish he was a bit more original than the tried and true "change". In the worlf of Google ownership of phrases and language rules.
5. Market to the BAse - Obama and Biden emailedi the opt in permission list every day. He used direct mail tactics like offers to drive donations - win an all expense paid trip to Chicago on election day if you donated $5 to the campaign. Clever yes. Do I like to be marketed to no. Do I forgive the tactic. Yes.
While I'm not going to reveal who I'm going to vote for, I do believe that Obama will win by more than expected. Errors in polling will work to Obama's favor to given him the victory. The search statistics are startling.
May the best man win.
Jeff (9AM 11/4, 2008)