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March 4, 2008

Lessons in Online Marketing From Barrack Obama

I recently came across some great online marketing insights into how the US Presidential hopeful Barrack Obama is using the digital media (online media ) to market and brand himself.

In a recent interview to CNN Money Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer of the media buying division of Publicis, the French advertising giant gives us some smart examples of how Barrack Obama has managed to use the internet in spreading his Branding across the web.

He uses Obama's come-from-behind primary and caucus victories against a brand name like Clinton as a classic case study for his market-leading clients.

Rishi who manages some of the world's greatest brands calls this fascinating duel between Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama as perfect example of what he calls the conflict of digital and analog media.

Highlighting how Barrack Obama has been successful in utilizing Blogs, social networks, crowdsourcing (wisdom of crowds ) and user generated content ,Rishi tells us how different and unlike both candidates are in terms of adjusting and using social media to their advantage.

Obama he says is a "digital candidate" while Hillary is the analog candidate. Although they both use traditional media. Barrack Obama leaves Hillary far behind when it comes to their Online Presence . It feels alive and energetic.

His campaign also actively uses e-mail to keep you totally informed. Like if Obama is debating live, they say go watch him. They also created these challenges - when Clinton donated $5 million to her campaign, the Obama campaign sent out a note saying we have to match this quickly. In 24 hours, people donated $8 million to Obama.

Obama uses the Web to support their grassroots community approach by getting people to make supportive phone calls, arrange for rides and places to stay in states where primaries are being held and more.

Unlike Obama, she's used traditional media almost entirely, like her town meeting on the Hallmark Channel. She got maybe 250,000 viewers. But the Black Eyed Peas made this great music video about Obama. It gets almost a million views a day online. The Obama campaign quickly realized how powerful it was and ran it on their home page. So part of their ability is to figure out from the blogosphere or via crowdsourcing, whatever you want to call it, what works and begin using it. A lot of the Obama campaign messages are not their own but they point to and highlight stuff created by others. It's created by the crowds.

More that anything ,Obama strikes a chord among the younger audience in general as compared to Hillary. In a increasingly wired times, Obama has been successful in wooing the target audiences he stands for. Hillary on the other hand has tried to strike out a balance in appealing to her constituents.

"The Online world is more about grassroots. Traditional media is about authority. Digital is about authenticity. You can see it in the language they use. Obama uses the language of "we and you," which is inclusive and nods to the wisdom of the crowds. She uses "I and me." His stuff is about "yes, you can." Which is about the buyer. She talks about "experience from day one." That's about the seller. That doesn't resonate anymore. One key thing you recognize from everything from MySpace to the blogosphere is that people want to have a voice. We keep talking in my business about how the buyer is in control. Her campaign believes the seller is in control. That's why it's better to be digital.

Obama's success in marketing himself so effectively online can be a great marketing case study to show how you can market your company even though when you dont have an established brand name in the market. This Obama Vs Hillary could be a classic Online marketing study to show how an upstart can succesfully gain advantage over their more illustrious rivals by making use of a sound online marketing strategy.