Today’s vote is historic. And I assure you that no matter who you voted for,your guy in some way manipulated you. Once you found yourself making your choice, most people will defend their choice logically. Although as we know in sales 101, we buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic. .
Some interesting lessons for us online marketers have been revealed of late by political experts.
Mark Nagaitis, CEO of 7 Billion People, said “This analysis demonstrates how
the design of a website and the use of language can influence the effectiveness
of that site in communicating the desired message. Too many web designers
underestimate the power of language in reaching the complete audience, not just
their base.” Key findings from the analysis include:
- The McCain website uses language that emphasizes risk and problem avoidance
– such as the section on the Homeownership Resurgence Plan featured prominently
on the home page during mid-October 2008 in the final weeks before the
- By comparison, the Obama website offers voters key language on hope and
opportunity as the primary focus, with risk items still present but secondary in
- Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s website is designed to appeal to people
that use peer opinions and other references in their decision-making process.
Obama’s website speaks to those that see themselves as part of a group. (For
example, the Obama Everywhere section on the home page includes links to popular
social networking sites).
- Conversely, rival John McCain’s website appeals to those people who make
decisions based on gut-feeling, information and personal choice. McCain’s
website primarily speaks to the individual, not the group.
- Senator McCain’s website presents information in a procedural, step-by-step
fashion that appeals to analytical voters that feel comfortable with process and
order – there is a clear path from the initial landing page that features Vice
Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to the center panel of the website home page
presenting topical videos denouncing his competitor. McCain’s website may feel
constrictive to some voters.
- By contrast, Senator Obama’s website appeals to voters that prefer choice
and exploration of all of the options available to them. The website contains a
wide array of menu items and clickable section headings representing numerous
choices for visitors that need to feel that they have explored all the options –
including a Learn menu section providing backgrounds on the wives of Senators
Obama and Biden, texting for campaign updates, Obama Mobile for ringtones and an
official iPhone application for the Obama campaign. Obama may be missing the
opportunity to talk to voters that prefer order and process on the site.
Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!:
Optimistic Governing Words
opportunity, legacy, challenge, control, truth, moral, courage, reform,
prosperity, crusade, movement, children, family, debate, compete,
active(ly), we/us/our, candid(ly), humane, pristine, provide, liberty,
commitment, principle(d), unique, duty, precious, premise, care(ing),
tough, listen, learn, help, lead, vision, success, empower(ment),
citizen, activist, mobilize, conflict, light, dream, freedom, peace,
rights, pioneer, proud/pride, building, preserve, pro-(issue): flag,
children, environment; reform, workfare, eliminate good-time in prison,
strength, choice/choose, fair, protect, confident, incentive, hard
work, initiative, common sense, passionate
Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we
are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps
you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily
understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record,
proposals and their party.
decay, failure (fail)
collapse(ing) deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick,
pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, "compassion"
is not enough, betray, consequences, limit(s), shallow, traitors,
sensationalists, endanger, coercion, hypocrisy, radical, threaten,
devour, waste, corruption, incompetent, permissive attitude,
destructive, impose, self-serving, greed, ideological, insecure,
anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs; pessimistic, excuses,
intolerant, stagnation, welfare, corrupt, selfish, insensitive, status
quo, mandate(s) taxes, spend (ing) shame, disgrace, punish (poor…)
bizarre, cynicism, cheat, steal, abuse of power, machine, bosses,
obsolete, criminal rights, red tape, patronage.
How can you use these lessons to better your online marketing?
David Bullock has interviewed the Obama Social Media team and says:
..the key is to look beyond what the world is evaluating
(politics) to ferret out what this campaign can teach us as we grow and
expand the reach of our businesses.