A view from Nima Yassini

Opinion: What Obama needs to do next

As expected, most media pundits are making some form of comment this month about Barack Obama's historic victory in the US election. The marketing press are excited for their own reasons -- Obama is the first president, or indeed candidate, to really use digital marketing to fuel, fund and sustain an election campaign.

There is no denying the genius of the ways in which Obama and his team incorporated digital strategy into his campaign -- it not only connected a large and geographically divided set of individuals, but also proved a vital channel for dialogue, communication and measurement of success.

It also raised a lot of money and a lot of votes -- through smaller micro-contributions the campaign earned over $60 million, which really turns the whole idea of voting with your feet into voting with a click.

The key here was combining the idea of empowering the consumer with the online tools and techniques they use in their daily lives to enable them to vote and donate.

However, as with any digital campaign, the new president-elect and his administration now need to sustain the power of their online presence and make sure the giddy heights of success don't stop them from continuing their dialogue with their supporters.

The danger for any marketer using blogs, email and other online marketing tools is the temptation to use them prolifically at the start of a campaign only to let them drop once the initial objectives have been achieved.

Over 30% of blogs are left unused after three weeks of being opened, so it's a worrying trend that can be devastating for a brand's image.

Online customers are savvy and intelligent -- if they feel ignored, let down or betrayed by a brand they have been engaging with, they will soon make it known. We must never forget that the power of word of mouth can work against a brand's image as well as in its favour.

Marketers and Obama's administration alike must ensure that they keep the customer journey front of mind at all times.

They have worked hard to gain people's support and trust, but those supporters have also invested their time and effort, and deserve to be rewarded. 

Ongoing dialogue is essential in making sure that people keep lending their support, and it's an important lesson we can all learn that people power can clearly make the largest impact when selling a brand, be it product or president.

Nima Yassini is head of digital at RMG Connect