Before winning the 2008 US presidential election, Barack Obama was recognized by an AdAge panel of advertisement professionals as marketer of the year. While politics and business are often very different, especially in Europe, there are many lessons marketers can learn from Obama’s successful campaign.

His reach was particularly high: a reported 27% of voters have been personally contacted by his campaign, some of them directly by the candidate himself, ensuring his message was clearly and loudly spread throughout the electorate.

US presidential candidate Barack Obama working the phone banks on Election Day, 2008

Obviously, the number of people working for a national political campaign in the United States is tremendous, but the combined media and human-contact usage, sustained by SMSes and the web site was incredibly powerful.

A staple of all campaigns and marketing efforts nowadays, e-mail seems to be less effective than SMSes in this context — while not perfect, this is another good example of the importance of being “native” and using tools for what they’re good at.

But to crown it all, his team launched, the web site of “the office of the President-Elect”. It’s obviously cobbled together pretty quickly, and Slate has already poked some geeky fun at it, but he’s there, doing his job, online as well. Congrats!

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