MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGIES

Obama says his biggest mistake as president has been communication

Yesterday, President and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke with CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose in the White House Blue Room, where they discussed the failures and successes of his administration as he heads into another election, among other things.

Rose asked President Obama about his biggest mistake as president.

"When I think about what we've done well and what we haven't done well," the president said, "the mistake of my first term - couple of years - was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that's important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times."

Direct link to Obama reflects on his biggest mistake as president on CBS.

After the election in 2008, I wrote a post Ten marketing lessons from the Barack Obama presidential campaign. My number three was: "Clearly and simply articulate what you want people to believe."

It's fascinating that Obama has identified his failures in this area as president. (While the President used the phrase "tell a story" in the interview, I am expanding it to "communicating" in this post.)

While I think he did an excellent job during the 2008 campaign, I certainly agree with the president that he hasn’t done a good enough job communicating over the past three and a half years as president.

Learning from the President Obama's mistake

These lessons are applicable to all. Many companies don't do a good job communicating. They don't focus on buyer personas and use the techniques of brand journalism and content marketing to tell a story.

Or, like the president, CEOs communicate during a product launch to make sales (the election cycle in Obama's case) but not once the product is released and used by customers.

Unlike the President however, many CEOs don't recognize this as a failure. Often, the people at the top think a good product is enough.

What can your organization learn from the President's mistake?

Note: This is a marketing blog, not a political blog. These are not political observations, but thoughts about marketing and communications.

David Meerman Scott

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