Friday, November 7, 2008

Keep the (server) lights on, Barack.

What might have been the most impressive aspect of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama was the marketing of the candidate.

Not only did he stick with a consistent brand message, he used a variety of digital mediums to engage with prospective voters. This included, for those who opted in, a steady stream of e-mail whose every-few-days frequency felt about right. A Web site whose design was as crisp and cool as the candidate himself. And a massive social networking effort that brought hundreds of thousands of supporters together in one place,

So now that the election is over, what’s next? Pull the plug on the server? While in the past most politicians would shut down the communications machine the day after the election, I think it would be a smart move to keep the information, and connectivity, flowing.

To borrow the title from Seth Godin’s new book Tribes (his most illuminating work since Permission Marketing), Barack has developed an outsized tribe of super loyal followers. And the best way to keep this group engaged, is to keep the information flowing and the social network thriving.

The weekly presidential radio address could be supplemented with a weekly presidential e-mail blast. Regular blogs could be written by key cabinet members or presidential advisors. And the social network could remain engaged with regular meet-ups to watch presidential addresses or on-going conversations on how to best push current and hot initiatives.

As we know in loyalty, it is always smart to keep your best customers happy and engaged. Somehow, I think the Obama marketing people may already be on to this. We’ll see.

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