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Obama Camp Got It Wrong: Last Minute Marketing Mistakes

Regardless of how you vote (or if you vote) today, I have a “real life marketing” story about the campaign that demonstrates what COULD have been a great last minute push for a presidential candidate, but instead turned into just so much litter on the streets.

As I sat in my office working on my ezine yesterday, a strange looking, ball cap wearing gentleman approached my home. He walked up to the door, never rang the bell and walked away.

Nervous, I went to the door and saw him descending the stairs and heading down the street. It was not my mail carrier, but I knew that the mail carrier had just delivered, so I opened the door to get the mail out of my box, thinking this weirdo might have tried to swipe my mail.

No such luck. All the bills, letters and magazines were still tucked safely inside my mailbox.

But as I collected the mail and turned around I noticed two things: first, another gentleman was on the other side of the street, pacing this nut job, going from house to house. Second, there was an annoying blue hang tag attached to my door asking me to “Vote Tuesday Nov. 4th for Change”.

With no concern as to who or how I’m voting, what matters to me or why, these yahoos are going door to door leaving their yard waste on the front doors of my neighbors, without so much as a knock.

It reminded me of when the kids used to play ring and run. Only not as much fun.

Here’s where the Obama Camp got it wrong. First, they’re just plastering. I call this “the shotgun approach” to doing business – and say what you want political campaigns are business. They’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick.

Never mind looking in the yard to see if there is a political sign or anything. Just hang a tag on every door (there are at LEAST 3 McCain supporters on my street – they’ve got signs – and these yahoos put hang tags on their doors anyway).

There’s a difference between “never pre-judge” and “don’t take no for an answer”. I would think a yard sign would be a fair indicator of how a person feels.

This morning, there are a handful of these hang tags blowing down the street – several of the houses they posted are vacant.

How could this have been solved?

Ring the bell, folks. Knock on a door. Say HELLO, for pity’s sake. You’ll have better luck encouraging someone to get out the vote if you take the time to connect with them.

The same holds true in business. CONNECT with your constituents (customers). Build a relationship – at least say HELLO and ring the dang bell.

Otherwise, don’t be surprised if they choose your competitor IN SPITE of your actions.