Thursday, October 13, 2011

Barack Obama - A President in Peril

We know corporations are still thinking hard and heavy about whether they should even consider social media.  That being said, we also know that politicians are probably obsessed with it.  From a cultural perspective (meaning political management), I am curious how effectively they will use social media in the upcoming election.

The last election saw the viral marketing of candidates explode.  They used Facebook to rally the message.  They used online infrastructure to garner donations at an amazing pace (well at least president Obama did).  And over the last 4 years, the media has USED social media to PUSH their message.  The question will they PULL in this election to not only influence, but to understand what is being said about them so they can speed their interaction cycle to new heights.

I question their efforts.  I believe one of the real problems when it comes to the application of social media to business or any topic is the outright arrogance of those who "think" they understand how to do it.  I would argue as an evangelist of the topic, I probably fit the bill.  In fact, I am the first to admit that I usually make it up as I go.  And when you are pioneer, it is a hard road to hoe.

The razor's edge of the election 2012 will be the candidate who not only figures out how to have other PUSH their message but truly make up new APPLICATIONS of capturing and measuring THE CROWD.  What suite of social media tools will be put in the campaign's toolbox to garner the speed of insight edge they need.  And in my limited time working in the world of computer engineers, I am often astounded at how quickly they degrade to technology discussions and move away from the importance of how things apply to the user.  Like many said about Steve Jobs, his success was based on his maniacal passion about thinking like a consumer.  He also had the stones to literally OBSOLETE products at the expense of his own.  Genius.

Let's turn back to politics.  Rather that do the full analysis of an entire topic, I figured I would go slower this time.  Piece by Piece.  I figured as a passionate supporter of the president and person who would love to help his re-election, I decided to begin to dimensionalize first him and then his opponents.  Call it a play book by which I watch and understand what is going on.

Today, I am starting at the top.  Like my previous post, I am going to take a look at the passion for the President.  How does he fair over the last year?  How does he fair if we break it down month by month?  How does he compare to the front runners he is currently facing?  Below are some of the answers.

Again...I turn to the Brand Passion Index as a high level view.  The video of this chart is linked here:  Brand Passion Index Explanation Video.

Below are two charts.  They are both month by month view of the President's "brand passion".  The gives a contextual view of where he sits in the 4 box grid.  The second is a closer view of his month by month Brand Passion and the total for the last 12 months (10/13/10 to 10/13/11).

What does this all mean???

Essentially, these two charts are telling us that President Obama is dare I say, stagnant with his consumer base.  Of course, many folks out there don't like the President, but what is most troubling is the stagnant pattern we see here.  Overall, Barack Obama has a fairly negative level of sentiment (emotion).  From a passion perspective, while they feel negatively, the intensity of this emotion is somewhere between "dislike" and "hate".  This isn't the greatest place to live on a brand passion index.  From a positive/negative perspective this is a disaster.  From an intensity perspective, the President can salvage things.  But clearly he has work to do.  

The second chart in my mind is more gloomy.  If we look at how people feel about him month by month we will see that it doesn't get much better.  He does float around a bit, and in certain months rises to the occasion, but overall he is mired in a swamp of negative sentiment and average passion.  It's kind of like, I guess I might vote for him, but I definitely don't feel great about it right now. 

You can see a few bright spots on chart 2.  The first one is January 2011.  This is when we gave the state of the union address.  I remember it being well received and if we look at the chart it was one of his best months.  He pushes towards daylight on the BPI.  The second month is May.  This was clearly good political mojo for him.  He got Bin Laden and the people rejoiced.

And while this picture isn't great, let's give it some context.  Below is another BPI, which I mixed up a bunch.  I put a whole bunch of different "brands" on it.  I chose retail, consumer products, electronics and other people to give you an idea of where President Obama sits in relation to these other brands.

 You will see just how negative the sentiment is for the President.  For crying out loud, no one likes Walmart and his sentiment (or position on the y-axis) is much much lower.  There is almost nothing said positively about him on relative basis.  On the plus side, the amount people that hate Walmart is higher because it is much further over on the right.  That being said, President Obama's bubble is really really big.  There are a lot of people saying negative things about him.  And while you might say how can that many people say so must be volume, in steps the iPhone.  It has even more buzz, but has a much better sentiment and passion than the President.  So essentially it is possible to have a better position on the Brand Passion Index with that much buzz.  And the Kardashians?  The USA loves celebrities.  They do better than the President.

I think the President is doing an admirable job.  He inherited a bad economy.  God knows he has tried, but to win this election he must awaken the sleeping giant that is his following.  If he doesn't it will be hard for his election team to PUSH any message amidst a sea of negativity.  I hope they are listening...because I am going to work on understanding...because as I have said many times...I just want to help.

The question I have how does he compare to the front runners in the campaign???
Tune in tomorrow to find out...

Not sure what time, but same crazy channel...

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