Barack Obama, the Internet guru

  • 5 November 2008
  • Reading time: 2 min
  • News

For the larger part, the recently elected President of the United States, Barack Obama, has run his campaign online. This was by no means a bad move. Research conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project has shown that no less than half the American population has shown an interest towards the elections, via new media like Internet and SMS. Obama TV can be watched, among other places, on YouTube and on Obama’s website. Moreover, one can also download ringtones, videos, wallpapers and widgets and there is a blog, which is updated daily. There are also links to social networking websites on the President’s website, like e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. It isn’t a coincidence that Obama has managed to reach many young people, an audience that is usually very Obama-minded. Due to the fact that there is no compulsory voting in the US, this group hardly ever showed up to vote during previous elections. Obama has thus outstandingly solved this problem by conducting online campaigns.

E-mail marketing tools were also used. Upon opening the website, visitors were asked to provide their e-mail address and zip code. This is very valuable information, which allowed Obama’s team to create a database of potential electors, to which personalized e-mails could then be sent based on geographical analysis. Someone from an underprivileged neighbourhood thus got another e-mail message than someone living in a residential area. It is owing to online marketing techniques that Obama beat his opponent Hillary Clinton. Their programmes weren’t that different from each other, but the medium that they used to “sell” them was. And this could very well have contributed to John McCain’s loss…