Regardless of what political party you support there is something undeniably brilliant about the Obama campaign. At face value the idea that millions of strangers will give you $10, $25, or $200 seems odd. Yet that is exactly what successful web businesses are trying to do every day. Extracting the monthly subscription from the customer has been the holy grail of businesses. So what can we learn from the Obama campaign? Firstly, the campaign marketers understood that the world is a very different place. The internet has changed everything and many of the other candidates relied too heavily on the same techniques that have always worked. Let’s break it down a little more.
- The internet is transparent: Everything you say will be checked and distributed instantly and without filtering. This means you need to be honest about who shot at you in a foreign country or what your taxes look like.
- The internet is democratic: Your vote really does count online. The little guy gets a chance to make a difference by combining their vote with other little guys. Special interest doesn’t rule online. In fact, special interest is a fringe interest that can easily get squashed.
- The internet is wealthy: Who would have imagined that you could raise more than$200 million in a few months just by asking the web generation? The web-class may not have individual wealth, like the big-wigs at the fund raises, but collectively their $25 donations are a Tsunami of wealth.
Take a look at this great graphic by Xplane founder David Gray. From David’s Flickr account: “Barack Obama is the first major candidate to decline participation in the public financing system for presidential campaigns. He’s found a more effective way to raise money – by leveraging the power of the American people through online Social Networks. Get the pdf version here.”