Suffering from the post-campaign blues (or “reds”)? How to apply what you’ve watched to this game called “Marketing.”
The Day After. This party did this, that party did that, we’ve moved this direction or that direction. We’ll get more done, we’ll get less done, we’ll be gridlocked. Good stuff, right?
Well, if you’re not in the political arena, you can still borrow some tricks from winners and losers after this Election Day. 4 nuggets of advice:
1. Get all your mistakes out of the way early. Tea Party darling Rand Paul said some “interesting” things about the Civil Rights movement. Taken out of context, they sound racist. Taken in context and, it can be argued, he’s reading the Constitution verbatim.
Oh and all this happened way back when, in the summer, when the Tea Party movement was just gaining momentum.
Contrast this with Sharron Angle, whose “you don’t look Hispanic, you look more Asian” comments were idiotic at the very least. Her mistakes were late in the game – so late that, in a “lesser of two evils” race, she was never able to get momentum back.
Test your silly notions early, not late. Get your slipups out of the way early.
2. Stay on message. Duh, this is campaign 101 stuff. Don’t stray, don’t waver.
Also helps to have a defined message. Where does your campaign stand on Immigration or Health Care Reform?
Remember “Hope and Change?” Pretty clear. Well-defined. However…
3. The alternative can be good. Here in Illinois, the Senator-Elect, Mark Kirk, didn’t really have to run a campaign that centered around anything but three words: “I’m not him.”
It was an ugly campaign – even by Illinois standards. But the “him” he wasn’t like was Alexi Giannoulias. AND Giannoulias ran on a campaign that, to this reporter, played up only one trait: his connection with Barack Obama.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that, in a year where people are looking for alternatives to Hope and Change (see above), being something else is good.
Does your marketing play up how you’re the alternative? If not, can it? Should it?
4. Make Mom Proud. In a really, really, REALLY ugly year for campaigns, maybe we should all take a look at some of the old maxims. Or the old-new maxims. Like “never Tweet anything you wouldn’t want Mom to see on a billboard.” Or “Would you talk to your Mother on Facebook with that mouth?”
Not that easy in marketing – or is it? We have things like the FTC, the Truth-in-Labeling Act, even Federal CAN-SPAM guidelines.
Marketers know better than to ever bad mouth their competitors. So maybe politicians should learn from us?
Happy Post-Election Day. Now, go hit the campaign trail!