Friday, February 8, 2008

Marketing Lessons From Politics - "I" versus "We" Messages

The Historical Contest Between Barack and Hillary

By David Miranda

We are witnessing a historic political contest between Democratic Presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It not just that one is an African-American and the other a woman. It is about the differences in their messages -Sen. Clinton's "I" versus Sen. Obama's "We".

Sen. Clinton's speeches are filled with statements beginning with "I" as in "I am the most experienced." "I am ready to lead the country on Day One". "I am the best person to take on the Republicans in the general election." As the frontrunner since declaring, she seemed to be the inevitable nominee of the party." (and still might be).

Sen. Obama's speeches, on the other hand, are filled with statements that embrace "We", as in, "We can do this together". "We can and must do better". "We can be a better America" He concludes his speeches by getting his audience to chant. "Yes, we can" which has become his campaign slogan.

Who will win the Democratic nomination? At this point, it is still a horse race, but one thing is clear, Sen. Obama's "we" messaging has resounded with many people and the once long shot has gained momentum and audience. His "we" messaging is working and working well forcing Sen. Clinton to recently retool her own messaging along the lines of Sen. Obama.

What is the marketing lesson here?

The lesson is that it's not about you. It's about your clients and customers. What is it that you, your products and services can do for them - to make their life better? People respond to sincere, empathic messaging and will generally reward you with the ultimate consideration - "votes" in the cash register.

While your competitors are touting their own importance, let your customers know that "we" are here for you.