The most significant marketing news in the 2008 Presidential race! (and you probably missed it)

Posted by David Meerman Scott 08:18 AM on January 11, 2008

Yesterday John Kerry endorsed Barack Obama.

This is not a political blog. So I won't comment on that aspect of the news.

What is absolutely amazing to me is that the vast majority of mainstream media have misunderstood the HUGE significance of this news from the marketing perspective.

Let me explain: In 2003 Howard Dean pioneered the use of the Web in Presidential politics. With staffers like Mathew Gross, who was Dean's Internet Communications Manager and Blogmaster, Dean built a huge list of names—people who could be counted on to donate millions and millions of dollars. When Dean dropped out of the race, his online marketing machine (in particular his huge email list) was passed on to John Kerry. Kerry built it even further through the general election campaign and for the past three years.

Yesterday, Kerry didn't just endorse Obama.

Kerry passed on an marketing asset potentially worth a hundred million dollars in donations (or more). Kerry gave Obama millions of email addresses of Dean and Kerry supporters. Wow.

Yet all the stories you see in mainstream media that have anything to do with marketing are about this incredible obsession with "TV ad buys." Television pundits act as if TV ad buys are all that exist in marketing. We see all the TV ads as editorial content. "Check out this ad, Anderson." We hear about a third tier candidate running an ad in the upper peninsula of Michigan (as if that's really important).

At the same time, the media has missed the fact that Obama just received an email list of MILLIONS OF NAMES of people ready to kick in money, time, and blog power.

These are the people who supported Dean, then Kerry. These are the people who donated hundreds of millions of dollars. These are the people who donated hundreds of man-years of time.

This is a significant marketing milestone.

David Meerman Scott

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