Presidential campaigns could learn a lot from Affiliate Marketing. As I watched the Republicans last week in Tampa, three things jumped out at me:
- Test, Test, Test
OK, this one is almost too easy. Clint Eastwood is a film icon who has personified the rugged, self-made individualist throughout most of his movie career. And while it seemed like a no-brainer to give him center stage right before Mitt’s acceptance speech, it seemed crazier and crazier as the speech went on. Affiliates know that you always test an offer or a message before it rolls out to the entire audience. See what works and what doesn’t. Don’t assume that what has worked for months will work again. To paraphrase Clint, don’t let enthusiasm for an offer or an idea “unmake your day”.
- Maximize Prime Time
After Issac blew into town, the agenda for the convention was scrambled. But there should have been a better sense of what got into the narrow prime time window allotted by the networks. The biographical background provided by the people Mitt had helped over the years was powerful and played against the standing stereotype that he is disconnected and uncaring. But why schedule them immediately before CEOs from companies Bain has helped? CEOs in prime time caused the message to be lost. Affiliates know that the best offers must be in the Prime Space on a website where readers eyes are immediately drawn and where they will most easily react. Bury the CEOs, put the family members you have helped on the first screen.
- Be True to Your Audience
Going into the convention, the media told us that the goal was “reintroduce Romney”, to help those who don’t know him get to know who he really is. His wife Ann gave a strong speech Tuesday night, as did a number of leading women Governors and Condi Rice. But was anyone paying attention? Conventions are increasingly a week long infomercial, and it is unlikely anyone who is undecided, which also likely means they have not been paying a lot of attention to the whole race, is going to willingly sit through an infomercial. Again, Affiliates know that good blogs have a focus and a crispness to their message, and can therefore speak directly to their target audience.
Let’s see if Obama is any more affiliate aware.