Obama a model for one-on-one marketing

As I watched the inauguration of President Obama last week with bated breath — mostly in fear of being kicked off of the NYTimes.com live video feed, which did eventually happen — I wasn’t thinking much about the state of direct market­ing. I was too busy wondering how Michelle Obama could stand and walk for hours in those shoes!

But afterward, it occurred to me what a momentous time this is for the DM industry. After all, we have a President in the White House who understands the power of one-to-one marketing – sending the right message to the right people at the right time — more than any other in the history of our country.

This is the man who touted his vice-presidential pick by text message; who appeared on an animated billboard inside a video game; who sent me dozens upon dozens of personalized, chatty e-mails; who has a bazillion Facebook friends; who got your grandma to watch YouTube; and who actually slowed down Google during his inauguration speech.

Remember those early ’90s commercials urging viewers to “be like Mike” — Michael Jordan, that is? These days, what marketer doesn’t want to “be like Barack?” And, while you may never set records for online video streaming, you can certainly benefit from the Obama buzz. His campaign’s marketing juggernaut is a great example to highlight so your clients can clearly see the benefits of measurable, data-driven marketing.

After all, the genius of Obama’s efforts is that they weren’t just about branding the man or the can­didate. They were about gathering data (he now boasts a massive e-mail database that any top global corporation would envy); audience segmentation; personalized marketing and measuring results — all goals of any savvy direct marketer.

And, top marketers around the world are benefiting first-hand from the new First Family: Retailer J.Crew, for instance, was on top of the e-commerce world after witnessing exclusive outfits from their children’s line adorning Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, at the inauguration. Back in October, Mom Michelle said she enjoyed Internet shopping, saying, “When you don’t have time, you gotta click!”

So take advantage of the marketing inspiration that’s all around you, thanks to Obama’s move to the Oval Office, by carefully reading the feature articles in this week’s issue of DMNews: Our main feature examines why text messaging is still on top of the mobile heap; the Technique focuses on how you can use social media as a loyalty tool; and this week’s vertical focus discusses the growing use of online marketing by top automobile manufacturers.

Sure, Obama’s honeymoon with the American people may be over soon. But your honeymoon with your clients may just be beginning.

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