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What Marketers Can Learn from Political Campaigns

Although the 2012 Presidential Campaign is still in its infancy, politicians and business people can learn a number of lessons from observing campaign activity in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Go where the voters/customers are. The politicians with the biggest presence outpoll those with smaller organizations and fewer on-the-ground troops.

Tell voters/customers what they want to hear. Address their issues and needs, not the candidate's or your company's issues.

Perception trumps facts. What candidates and companies say and do and what others say shape how people perceive these candidates and companies.

Negative messaging about other candidates or your competition generally backfires. Negative messaging lowers the overall level of discourse and encourages retaliation.

Voters and customers and the press have long memories. To recover from strategic missteps, ethical lapses, and flawed political campaigns or flawed products and services is difficult. Carefully vet products, candidates, and messages used to promote them.

Social media is a two-edged sword. Candidates and companies can use social media to rapidly reach large numbers of voters or customers. However, others can use social media to spread negative messages about the candidates and companies.

During the next eleven months we will have many opportunities to observe campaigns and learn more that we can apply to our own marketing efforts.

Copyright 1/12 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

Tips To Entice Readers

Whether you are writing a report, a white paper, or a user's manual, first make sure to clarify why you are writing and what message(s) you wish to impart. Then apply the following writing tips:

  • Use concrete language and meaningful examples.
  • Choose words that your readers will understand. Define acronyms and avoid clichés and professional jargon.
  • Use nouns and verbs to replace adjectives and adverbs. Replace "made a statement" with "stated."
  • Whenever possible, express yourself in the positive.
  • Use sub-headings and bullet lists to break up the text and draw attention to important points.
  • Write so that readers can grasp your message without re-reading. Avoid long sentences with complicated clauses.

Copyright 01/12 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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