School's in session: Obama, Twitter and the iPhone

February 8, 2009

AdWeek recently released the “Top Media and Marketing Innovations of 2008,” which summarizes some of the most successful campaigns of last year. Highlights include President Barack Obama's use of the Internet in his campaign, Twitter's amazing ability to generate short, user-generated blurbs that lend insight into what the masses are up to, and the evolution of hand-held media with the iPhone. Your homework is to study how these campaigns were successful; what ideas fueled innovation; what trends motivated customers/voters/Tweeters; and what tools these campaigns employed. Studying the successes of others can help you achieve success for yourself. Always pay attention to the world around you: You might find a golden opportunity that you're fully equipped to take advantage of.  It's often said that innovation is fueled by necessity, but it's also fueled by a desire to achieve more. Eco-friendly applications could be born through necessity; but a service that lets you tell others what you're doing is not necessarily needed (though it can be used for communication and marketing data). Green technology provides a direct benefit to the ecosystem, while other technologies provide indirect benefits. Online technologies came into play during the 2008 presidential election, though that was not their original intended purposes.  The Obama campaign took advantage of the innovative tools available to them and put them to good use, and the majority of Americans hope that the new president will change the country for the better. This is an example of how innovation, often in the interest of profit, served a higher purpose. At its base, the online Obama effort was a marketing campaign; employed by the masses, it became a vehicle for change. Innovation isn't just for products and services, either. Innovative strategies, such as the Fox network cutting commercial spots and the NBC network's Olympic coverage, can also prove to be highly successful. Fox has found that fewer people use DVRs to skip commercials when more show and less ads are in a one-hour block, which makes commercials more likely to engage viewers.  The network can therefore charge more for less and has a value-added, marketable service to offer. What do you think were the greatest innovations of 2008? How can we learn from them to be more successful in 2009?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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