Will We Change? CEM Musings on the Obama Inauguration


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Did you get messages from around the world about the Obama inauguration? I did.

Did you send messages to friends in the US and around the world?
I did.

Read in the New York Times last year that if Obama was a celebrity brand endorser for the Blackberry (the one he is finding hard to give up), he could have asked for US$30M.

The Obama brand (should we call it “community-organizer” marketing?) is a case study in and of itself for the social web, and the power of social networking.

Just look at this “sales conversion”…

I had dinner last week with Ryan who happened to be an Obama volunteer from the mid-West – he said he’d been a political cynic and finally felt he had to do something. So he looked up the web and turned up at an Obama office and asked what he could do to help. They asked him what he wanted to do. Then they said, surprisingly, OK. DO IT. Let us know what help you need.

That was it.
Ryan’s conversion from political cynic to Obama volunteer was completed.

Imagine how much it would have cost to convert a cynic into a McCain volunteer? how many visits, how many emails and phone calls…. cost effective, “purpose-driven” marketing is a whole new animal.

Which reminds me I wanted to let you know about the great article here from Trendwatchers about Generation G –

Generation Generosity. www.trendwatching.com/trends/generationg/

Want to know why this Generation is emerging? Some facts cited in the January 2009 trendwatcher article came from www.ReputationGarage.com

1. As few as 13% of all Americans place their trust in big business (and it’s not much higher for other mature consumer societies!).

2. Only 39% of employees in a Watson Wyatt survey said they trusted senior leadership.

3. Some three-quarters of US consumers feel that companies don’t tell the truth in advertising.

4. Three-quarters of employees in big companies observed violations of the law or company standards in a 12-month period.

That last one is really scary… reminds me of the joke about the CEO collecting all the bonus he can before he goes to jail.

Will we change? Yes we have to. Yes, we want to!

Happy New Year everyone – here’s to new beginnings!


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