The fact that the electronic message was sent before the historic moment is symbolic of the power the communication medium and what it meant to Obama’s campaign. This observation serves as a notice for businesses: Emails are more than just a means to communicate.
The campaign’s use of electronic messaging to amass strong support also provides businesses an excellent example of how those rising into positions of authority recognize, reason, and decide on the choices they need to make. Exploiting the full understanding of this can translate into a huge competitive advantage. Yes many people use electronic means to communicate today. But how many CEOs use electronic messaging to connect directly with their customers and partners to drive their product and service messages?
Companies now have a success story and a blueprint for transitioning their use of electronic messages from a fringe “one of” a number of ways to drive products and services, to “the” way to anchor a marketing campaign. This is a culture change not a technology change. Clear constant communication between recognized leaders in the company and their customers by electronic means is the new way to reach “buyers” and win.
So how do companies make this transformation? Here are two suggestions:
1. Overhaul the product or service development process. Most of the way companies take an idea to a product or service is based on methods borne out of the industrial age. That does not work anymore in the Digital Age. The market dynamics have changed and the traditional methods are no longer efficient. Constant interaction with the customers is necessary to ensure the product or service hits the mark when it is released.
2. Design launch campaigns that enable executives to use electronic messaging and connect directly with the customers and partners. Then build a more rounded campaign using the other mediums. This is a cheaper, faster, and as we just witnessed, more effective way to scale and drive your messages.
If this transformation seems hard to grasp, just take a stroll on a high school or college campus and watch how students use their cell phones to text message. Then imagine if they are in the work place and the text message they are reading is about your product or service. The genius of the Obama campaign was in visualizing this, making the personal connection through the electronic medium, and driving a message of change. Now this change includes businesses.