Monday, January 19, 2009

Strategic Marketing Project - Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Media

I'm pretty excited tonight because we got our mid-term Strategic Marketing project approved. (The abstract is listed below) Portia Mount and I had actually talked about a concept like this prior to the class starting, so we were glad that we'd be allowed the flexibility to choose the topic and scope.

Portia is VP of Marketing for her company, so I believe she's been thinking about aspects of this since last summer.  I got the original idea while reading this article from Umair Haque, as part of a continuing series he's doing on Edge Economy and the need for radical innovation to break us out of the challenges of the current economic crisis.  It also connected for me as I reflected back on stories from both Wikinomics and The Future of Work, as they looked at the value of sharing information externally, building communities, building partnerships, and truly building companies that can survive in the pace of the 21st century.  Listening to Seth Godin's podcast on Tribes and Leadership today completed the circle for me, showing how all of these pieces and ideas came together in the 2008 election.

The other element of the project that I'm excited about is that we're hoping to show how this 21st century approach can be applied to more traditional brick & mortar companies.  Portia and I felt like this would be an interesting challenge to research, as well as our way of giving something back to the rest of the class.

The paper and presentation aren't due until mid-April, but I'm already looking forward to starting on this project.  I'll be sure to post updates as we move along.


ObamaNation: Lessons from the front lines of social media.

This presentation will look at how the Obama campaign used social media strategies to mobilize grassroots audiences to win the White House and what business might learn from this success. In this presentation we'll highlight noteworthy examples including:
  1. The use of Social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter that created new online communities.
  2. The Campaign website and its use of targeted messages to create urgency to generate record breaking campaign donations
  3. How mainstream newsmedia outlets took advantage of the unprecented online presence during the campaign season to connect to new and younger voters
  4. How the rise of the citizen journalist and an expanded blogosphere allowed Obama, a virtual unknown at the start of the campaign, to gain global recognition in one campaign season


Portia said...

Well, I must say Brian this is a very brilliant topic indeed! Seriously, I am so excited about this project because it melds so many interests of mine. Since my first master's degree is cultural anthropology, I am keenly interested in the ways in which social media has changed the way we relate to each other, do business and think about connecting the broader world. A few weeks ago, I took a young woman who is a senior in highschool to lunch to talk about her career aspirations and college. Two days later she sent me a text thank you and invited me to be her friend on Facebook -- my how things have changed since I was a highschool student. This young woman is growing up a radically changed, hyperconnected society and my kids will do the same. I am really looking forward to this project and suspect that we'll keep it going beyond when we actually have to turn it in.