Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama and the Long Tail Marketing Challenge

US Senator Barack Obama campaigning in New Ham...

Image via Wikipedia

image  Was thinking on the morning after Obama's victory on how he felt when he woke up that day.

Much like many people feel after making a sale.

"Ok, I did it! Oh man, that means I now have to actually do it!"

In consulting, you often hear the phrase "under-promise and over-deliver."

When dealing with metric-based assignments, this can be helpful.

As in, "I'll have the project done in 3 weeks."

And then, of course, you get it done in 2 weeks.

Everyone is thrilled.

image George H. W. Bush (41) said, "No new taxes!" as a campaign pledge.

It was easy for him to be held accountable. Everyone knew if he had succeeded or not.

Now, Obama said, "the Change We Need."

The challenge is your change and my change may not be the same.

We may both say, "we don't like the status quo," but which status quo are we talking about?

And which one is our top priority?

So, Obama built a coalition of people who want "change" in something. But, change in what?

And more importantly, what's the distribution of the desire for change across issues?

Is it a long tail or a bell curve?

If he can affect change in Iraq and Health insurance, but none of the others (for example), what percentage of the people who voted for him this year will feel that "change" has arrived?

And, as important, what percentage will say, "uh, he didn't deliver on the change that is most important to me!"


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