Friday, August 13, 2010

Extraordinary Marketing Highlight

I wanted to wait a little longer to do this because of the blog transfer and all that but my hand has kind of been forced because such a great example popped up and I really want to touch on it.

That's actually a good lesson for marketers wanting to take advantage of new technology.  Like technology, marketing is a quickly changing field.  The area where these two collide is very turbulent.  The need for a quick response makes it absolutely essential that you be flexible.

And that's OK.  Remember, it's alright to make mistakes.  Being afraid to err is literally paralyzing.  Research shows it's actually a huge barriers towards innovation - something to keep in mind.

And The Award Goes To...
Naheed Nenshi is a mayoral candidate in the intense election for Dave Bronconnier's soon-to-be-vacated Calgary post.  There are 10+ contestants in this race so it's kind of analogous to duking it out for a saturated brand category except in this case the winner takes it all and the loser goes home to lick their wounds.
Differentiating yourself becomes extremely important in such a contested market.

 This is a highlight of somebody who seems to 'just get it'.  Nenshi has a plan (strategy), puts his mind to problem-solving (marketing) and gets the word out in innovative fashion (technology). 

I hate to gush, but really, the campaign is so well executed.  The central theme: "Better Ideas, Better Calgary" is awesome.  It reminds me of Gillette's The Best a Man Can Get - what do you say if you're a competitor?  We're Even Better?  The Bestest?  You're basically forced to change the channel which can be troublesome.

And honestly, if there is an area that has really fallen behind because of failure to take a stand, it has to be the politicians.  Fear of the consequences is understandable because nowhere else are the stakes so high.  There is no consolation prize; the loser simply fades into obscurity.  As a result we see this stagnation where politicians take wobbly positions that try (and fail) to satisfy everybody.

That's why I'm excited to Nenshi unafraid to articulate his vision and take a stand for what he believes in.  I'm just as happy to see him discuss a paradigm shift towards problem-solving and customer service at City Hall but the shining star in this extraordinary campaign has to be the iPhone app.  What a great way to embrace technology and keep your supporters updated.

Kudos to you Nenshi!  Calgary needs a strong leader with a clear vision.  If I could give one small piece of advice it would be to use your vision for Calgary as a missile aimed at the heart, not the mind.  Emotion - not facts and figures - will get people to the polls.  Best of luck in the campaign.

Note: I don't endorse, nor am I affiliated in Nenshi in any way.  My vote remains undecided until election day comes around.  As a marketer, however, I do respect a well-crafted campaign. 

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