Guest Post

Fear

by David Meerman Scott
10/09/2009

Every day, I run across FEAR of marketing on the Web.

One of the most frequent manifestations of fear is that the new rules of marketing & PR do not work "in our industry." The proof people provide is that nobody else "in the industry" is blogging, or on Twitter, or shooting YouTube videos. I've heard "The new rules do not work for mutual fund managers or lawyers or dentists or politicians or Singapore-based software companies or Canadian blood donation centers or Florida-based real estate agents or churches or rock bands...." I've heard them all. I see the excuses of "this doesn't apply to my market" and "people in my market do not use social media" literally every day.

But consider this. Barack Obama was elected to be the 44th president of the United States because his campaign overcame fear. This is not a political observation but, rather, a thought about the amazing success Obama and his campaign team had in embracing voters. More than five million people supported Obama's profile on sites like Facebook and a half a billion dollars was raised online.

After all, who would have predicted in 2006 that a young, skinny, half-black man with a strange name —Barack Hussein Obama— and funny ears, who had served less than one term in the U.S. Senate, could be elected to the most powerful position in the world, despite facing more than twenty other candidates, many of them better known and better funded?

There is no doubt in my mind that Obama was elected because he marketed online better than any other candidate. Now imagine if the Obama campaign was obsessed with "I want examples of how this kind of marketing works in politics" before he acted? Imagine if the Obama campaign copied what worked in the past for candidates like George W. Bush? Imagine if the Obama campaign acted on fear? I can guarantee you that if the Obama campaign waited for "proof" and "examples from my industry" then he would be simply a junior senator from Illinois today.

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, keynote speaker, seminar leader, and the author of the award-winning BusinessWeek best-selling book The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use news releases, blogs, viral marketing and online media to reach buyers directly, which is being published in 24 languages and the new hit book World Wide Rave: Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories.

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