Barack Obama climbed almost insurmountable odds in his bid to become our next president. As candidates go, he was inexperienced. He had to face down a powerful opponent – Hillary Clinton – and then maintain momentum against the Republican machine and John McCain. His race was undoubtably a negative for some voters.
To be sure, Obama is a gifted and charismatic speaker. And Bush’s dismal failures made America ready for change.
But Obama won because he ran an expert campaign. I think it’s the largest and most successful social media campaign ever. Through it, he engaged voters and raised an unprecedented amount of money.
I attended an Obama event in March, and my name and email address entered the campaign system. After that, I received timely – almost daily – messages from the campaign. They were personalized, relevant, and tactically addressed issues as they arose. Each missive included an easy way to donate, and encouraged even modest contributions. Multiply that by the millions who engaged with Obama, and you’ve got a genuine groundswell of social equity.
Make note of these names: David Axelrod, chief strategist. And David Plouffe, campaign manager. These are the geniuses who led Obama to victory.
Learn more about how they did it: Todd Defren’s post on Plouffe, the CMO of the Obama campaign. And Mike Chapman, of FG Squared, on how MyBarackObama.com served as home base for engagement in the campaign.
Posts like these will have to hold you until someone writes a book documenting the strategy and tactics that elected Obama. That will be THE book about the 2008 presidential election.