Leveraging Online Media to Build Your BrandTuesday, June 10, 2008
A few months ago I wrote about what small business owners could learn from Obama and Clinton's respective campaigns. The topics of Obama's branding and online strategies have been discussed in various platforms, including an article in Fast Company, and I am not the only one drawing entrepreneurial conclusions from this election.
This isn't a political post, but I do think that no one could argue against the fact that Obama leveraged online media in a way that no other candidate, at any level, has even attempted. The success he achieved with it, aside from the votes, is mind boggling and unprecedented. This article from the Huffington Post explores it even further.
The quote that I found most interesting from the article was this one:
"The Internet destabilizes every hierarchy it contacts. It erases every barrier to entry."
I've seen this more than ever in our industry in the past year as more wedding blogs and websites come on the scene. The wedding industry is no longer a "top-down" hierarchy. There is no longer a handful of people or companies deciding what the next big trend will be or how brides will decide what to wear down the aisle. Instead, that influence is being shared by many and several of the new influencers are at the grassroots level.
The article also stated that Clinton's campaign was solid and well-executed but that she basically ran Al Gore's campaign from 2000. Obama ran a campaign with tactics that had never been tried before - and it succeeded. It has also changed future campaign strategies forever.
Technology has changed drastically in eight short (and long) years and it has changed the way we process information as consumers. The majority of brides today do most of their decision making based on word of mouth referrals from their family and friends (this is still king) and online research. If you are treating online media as a fad, or putting off learning how it works because of time constraints, then you are putting yourself at a major disadvantage. You may have a great head start in the industry and you may be able to still run a successful business, but like Clinton, you will not be the one who comes out ahead in the long run.
Have you reevaluated your marketing strategy recently? Does it include online media? What can you do that no one else has done yet? You will never have the time to sit and learn how to maximize your online presence. You have to create the time by making it a priority.