Marketing Communications Plan: Every Strategy is not for Every Brand

In the business world, leaders model their business plans after other successful competitors. For example: McDonald’s vs Burger King, Neiman Marcus vs Saks Fifth Avenue and Kmart vs Walmart. If a company appears to be the market leader in a particular category, then whatever strategy used to get them to the winning position, is now the road map to success aka “the business model”. Marketing executives from many companies spend a great deal of money on research. Executive management teams hire independent research firms to poll consumers on the likes or dislikes of various subjects and brands. For example when Democratic Presidential Candidate Nominee, Bernie Saunders announced his run for the oval on May 26, 2016, his inner circle planned on how to move forward with his campaign (Cillizza, 2016). Critics believe President Obama’s campaign did a great job targeting the American voters by communicating with on a grass root-social media level (Woodruff, 2012). Campaign leaders in Bernie’s camp feel this strategy could work for him as well. But can it?

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In 2012, David Axelrod and David Ploufee, President Obama’s campaign manager and senior strategist created a new trend in the election process by marketing and promoting President Obama’s message of change via direct email marketing and social media (Rutledge, 2013). From the outside looking in, Obama’s campaign felt very organic and was a natural extension of Obama’s personality. Senator Bernie Sanders is running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination as we speak and his campaign managers are modeling his primary campaign strategy after President Obama’s. I have received many emails on Bernie’s behalf, but I never gave his organization my email address. How did they receive my information? Yes, I was on President Obama’s email list, but just because I voted for Democratic ticket in 2012 doesn’t automatically mean I will vote that way come November 2016. Bernie Sanders organization didn’t ask me if I wanted to have emails sent to my private email address. I am receiving at least 3-5 emails a day about him and his campaign and I am not happy about receiving these emails. His organization should have asked for my permission before accessing my account. I don’t mind seeing Bernie’s commercials on television and I don’t mind seeing him in the televised debates, however when it comes to my private email account, I have a problem a problem with receiving unsolicited mail. Senator Saunders campaign manager and strategist should have come up with a better marketing communication plan to help promote Bernie’s message to potential voters. I would have like to determine if I wanted to follow Bernie & contribute money to his campaign for President before I started receiving emails about sending donations. To this date I have not received one email or phone call from the Clinton, Trump, Cruz or Kasich organization and I am glad they are allowing me to choose which candidate I would like to support.

Anderson, M. (2015). More Americans are using social media to connect with politicians. Retrieved from

Cillizza, C. (2016). Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign announcement is sort of amazing to watch now. Retrieved from

Rutledge, P. (2013). How Obama Won the Social Media Battle in the 2012 Presidential Campaign. Retrieved from

Woodruff, J. (2012). How They Did It: Political Tactics That Help President Obama Win A Second Term. Retrieved from

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3 Responses to Marketing Communications Plan: Every Strategy is not for Every Brand

  1. Kimberly says:

    Hi Rhonda, the email mix up sounds like an ethical issue to me!

    In regards to the Obama and Saunder campaigns, I think what made Obama successful was that his campaign had a “big idea” that was supported by various messages. While I think organization’s can replicate the steps taken in a campaign, I do think that need to have their own big idea with their own relevant messages.

  2. Timothy says:

    Hello Rhonda,

    Great post, very relative to the current news. You’re right, Obama had a fresh and innovative campaign, it connected with young people and citizens looking to be inspired and set their sights forward. He had a great team of creative and business professionals behind his campaign calculating every step and making the right decisions. It’s evident his campaign was successful, and they did a good job their second time around as well. It is interesting in comparison to the campaigns we are seeing run today.

    Thank you,

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    WOW! That email thing is annoying! I totally get it. If you read my most recent post about CAN-SPAM (the U.S. federal regulation surrounding commercial email), you’ll see a segment on CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) which if we were in Canada, this would not fly starting in July 2017. That’s when everyone sending to Canadians must be compliant. They require express consent to be received (permission-based emails).

    I wish America would hop on that band wagon as well! Especially as a presidential candidate, that’s not a very smart move on Bernie’s part.

    You should be able to opt out of the emails, which is a CAN-SPAM requirement. 🙂