Barack Obama: Web 2.0 to win the US campaign

Barrack Obama speaking

I’m not american, I won’t vote any candidates. But I like to understand how challengers succeed in challenging environments and innovative strategies.

Following US presidential elections was a true lesson on internet marketing and communications strategy. ‘Barack Obama’ as a start-up company became in few months an international and powerful firm.


  • A disruptive service (his program) based on installed technologies (on-line and off-line communications tools)
  • One of the most successful fund raising of 2008 – $32 millions on January 2008 and $7,5 millions after the SuperTuesday.

Barack Obama has invented the low-cost presidential US campain, with high impact.

1 – Obama’s leadership?

I’ve read several books on leadership, but nothing inside them could explain Obama’s success (neither mine ;-)).

  1. Make your chance : a clear project, a single ambition. My mother use to say : « If I want, I can do it », and he did (he prefers ‘WE DID IT’ on his website)
  2. Use experts knowledge and get things done : find experts, motivate with clear objective.
  3. High impact messages in the right place (virtual and in real life) : « I’m asking to believe. Not in my ability to bring out a real change … I’m asking to believe in yours. » The message adress both the voters and his campaign team. We’ll see below the importance of this message.

2- Mastering web 2.0 applications: developing Obama’s brand

  • – To gather people i.e voters
  • – To raise funds : Obama has no personal fortune. His competitors have big amounts on money they counted on to launch their campaigns.

3- On-line to Off-line strategy

Obama makes audience, and audience is money. The social netwoks has a central role in Obama’s buzz strategy.

  • He is a charismatic person : on the fist homepage of his website, the latest video is avaible. On the donation page, few word, but a video explaining how the money donate will serve Obama change policy. You can also see the Obama channel YouTube, with a high resolution, a good capture (limited fix plans).
  • You want to reach him, post a message on is blog, as several Obama’s partisans you can post message with your remarks, needs.
  • Where is he? He is where you are, on all networks (from the most business ones (like Linkedin) to more entertainement ones (Facebook, MySpace)
  • What is he doing: go on Twitter!
  • Where can I find all informations on Obama’s campaign? On his website, indeed!

He soon understood that a simple presence on this network is not enough. He worked all his messages by targets. For example, on Business networks like Linkedin, he explained through his profile ‘I’m as competent as you are in your job’. All his messages vehicules the word ‘change’. Obama means change. America need change. America needs Obama. Simple, no?
Everybody loves Obama,, everybody want Obama. Obama has this faculty to make audience, local and international one. After the internet, he became the press ‘chouchou’. For printed magazine, artilces on Obama worth gold. Obama becomes money, a product with an added value for many americans, his compaign has been financed by his supporters, the ones who accept to pay for chance.

He wins battles. The most famous one, is versus Hillary Clinton. She used to deliver more traditional messages.

Good Luck, Senator Obama.

Poto Mitan

About Poto Mitan

Sandrine Joseph is a digital communications, social medias strategist and practionner. She is also a Diversity advocate. She is the editor of PotoMitan blog that promotes women in corporations.


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