The year 2008 was a ground breaking year for the United States; we were at the lowest point in the economic recession, the unemployment rate was the highest it had been since the Great Depression, our troops were overseas fighting an un ethical and un popular war, and President Bush was on his way out of office with the lowest approval ratings any president had seen in the past 30 years. But then a change came, marketing happened, and America elected the first ever black U.S President in the history of this great nation. He got the people, he knew what they wanted, he knew how he was going to get them; and all he had to do was some good marketing to get it.
President Obama had many strengths as he entered the campaign. He was everything the people were looking for and everything President Bush wasn’t. He was charismatic and actually cared and listened to what the American people wanted. He had excellent public speaking skills and was great in front of an audience both live and on the air. He remained consistently positive throughout the campaign ensuring America it was time for a change. He empathized with the majority of the public whom were out of work and unable to support their families. Thus, he turned his empathy, listening skills, and care into votes and gained support of the majority of the public. Secondly, Obama used all forms of media outlets to reach his intended audience. One of the most important parts of marketing is identifying and knowing your audience and knowing how you’re going to reach out to them. He effectively utilized several different kinds of media to reach a wide array of his target audience. He was most successful at using the internet to reach new and young voters. He had an interactive website, a blog, and held question and answer sessions with the public on networks such as MTV to attract young voters, and reach out to their parents. He and his team even created their own You-Tube channel to get their message out. His advertising tone and messages remained a constant throughout the campaign; he remained trusting and honest to the people and stood behind his initial slogan of “change you can believe in.” As many Americans had been promised change in the election prior and never saw an ounce of change that was better, only change that was worse from President Bush. Americans were apprehensive to say the least. Finally, more than half of the record breaking campaign funds, over $645 million, were raised through small donations from the public of $500 or less. As Election Day grew near, he knew he had the support of the majority of the public. He, along with the support of his marketing and campaign team had more donors than the entire Democratic or Republican Party nationwide.
Through his campaign and brilliant personal marketing and selling he became the first African American President and set record campaign funds, and gained the support and trust of a hurting nation of Americans. The campaign encountered many threats, especially from John McCain the republican candidate for the Presidency. Also, many “old school” Americans were afraid of the changes having an African American President could bring to our country. They were unsupportive of the change and of the Obama Campaign. Also, being that the election and campaign ran during an unsupported public war, McCain was a former Vietnam War vet, where Obama was not, which ment McCain could have gained the support and taken votes away from many former and current Americans serving in the military.
In summary, it is important that we, as consumers, understand that marketing just isn’t about products and services. It can be an idea or even a person. Being that I am a future Public Relations and Marketing Professional, I have spent the past several years learning how to market and brand myself to be more appealing to potential employers. Obama, did the exact same thing, just on a much larger scale. He had an excellent understanding of his audience’s wants and needs, and created a campaign surrounding what they wanted. Marketing is all about knowing your audience and providing them with exactly what they want at a low cost and be credible-you will have repeat and returning customers which mean more money for your company or more votes for your position. Be credible. Be honest. Be personable. Be Marketable.