According to Barack Obama’s official Tumblr, America’s sitting president and democratic candidate is a Mean Girls fan.
In Obama's pop culture inspired promotion for Wednesday's presidential debate, his online team posted a classic Mean Girls GIF of Lindsay Lohan's character telling her crush what day it is.
Underneath the iconic exchange between the film's romantic leads, the Obama campaign continued, “And that means the first presidential debate is tonight at 9pm ET. We’ll be watching at barackobama.com/debate, featuring a livestream, a live blog, and a few other live things, probably. See you there.”
Over the years, we’ve seen our presidents communicate to their constituents with everything from fireside chats to press releases to television broadcasts. But now, we’re living in a world where the President of the United States is communicating with us through Mean Girl GIFs.
The tactic was merely a fun way for the Obama campaign to remind voters to tune in but, for business, it’s a reminder to meet your consumers where they are.
Millennials are avid consumers of pop culture and the sharing of memes, GIFS and images happens in social spheres like Tumblr. The playfulness of the post, juxtaposed with the stodginess that government usually brings to mind = instant virality. The meme made its way all over Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and, because of it, more voters were aware that there was a debate on TV (you know, the TV that Millennials don't really watch for news anymore).
Obama’s team made a strategic decision when they opted to reach out to potential (predominantly youthful) voters in this form. Obama’s strategy for connecting with Millennials is an example of micro-targeting, but he’s not the only presidential candidate that knows how to campaign within niche segments.
Mitt Romney recently sent out mailers to residents of Virginia, but instead of talking about political or economic issues, he honed in on a big problem that is relatively unique to that area: Lyme disease. The mailer reads, “It's a disease that begins from a small bug. But Lyme Disease has quickly become the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.”
In addressing a small but relevant issue for the people of Virginia, Romney and his team are engaging voters by appealing to the local issues that matter most to them. It's hard to connect with people on complicated issues like healthcare. But ticks... ticks they get. Lyme disease has an immediate impact on their friends and family.
Both presidential candidates have demonstrated that they know the importance of micro-targeting. Whether it’s through Mean Girls or Lyme disease, both candidates have adapted their campaign strategies to fit certain demographics.
When it comes to marketing, businesses would do well to embrace that same spirit of customization and targeting. Know your demographics and cater to them!
In the same way that Romney and Obama aren’t broadcasting Fireside Chats, your customers probably aren’t responding to ads on television or cold calls.
Do you want to be part of the in-crowd?
If your customers text, tweet and tumble before they ever turn on the TV or read a magazine, it doesn't really matter if you think it's all just a silly waste of time. They don't. And they aren't waiting on you.
Author: Lane Jones is our Fall Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.