Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Obama's Campaign Can Teach about B2B Marketing

The folks over at the Jaffe Juice blog had an interesting post regarding Stephen Geer, Obama's lead email marketing strategist's presentation at the Email Insiders summit. It got me thinking about the similarity between their highly effective strategy for a Presidential campaign, and the approach required to be a highly effective B2B marketer.

See the full blog post here:

They used a "3 M's" strategy, Messaging, Mobilization, and Money. I think their approach has some great lessons for us B2B marketers looking to connect with an audience.

The order of the Ms is important, and Money is the last M. First is Messaging; follow all the messaging threads and discussions that are going on, whether in the media, blogs, Twitter, etc. This is as important for B2B marketers as it is for political campaigns, as it is the best way to understand how to connect with the audience (by listening) and then establish a connection in whatever arena (blogs, Twitter, events, etc) makes sense for your audience. No money at this point, it's far too early for the sales pitch, just a focus on establishing a connection.

The next M is Mobilization; getting the audience engaged, interacting, organizing, voting. This is a step that is often under-invested in in many organizations. Use your web presence to "mobilize" in a way that makes sense for your audience. Attending events, downloading whitepapers, coming out to breakfast seminars, and joining webinars, are great ways to engage with your audience.

Only then do you get to the last M - Money. If you ask for the sale from someone you have not connected with and truly engaged, you will likely be wasting your time and frustrating them. Make it easy for them to raise their hand to say that they are ready to buy, as Obama's campaign did with "Donate" buttons in emails, but don't push hard for the sale until you are sure they are ready. Obama's campaign used forms, surveys and behavior to identify the right influencers, in the same way that we B2B marketers can use our prospects' Digital Body Language and lead scoring.
Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
In my day job, I am with Eloqua, the marketing automation software used by the worlds best marketers
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