It’s that time again! Presidential hopefuls are announcing their desires to run for the President of the United States. At present there are 22 candidates running for the US Presidency, five Democrats and 17 Republicans. Stay tuned, this could, of course, change tomorrow.
Depending upon what media station is your choice for election information your view can be enhanced, skewed or ignored. Regardless of party, even those that I didn’t list, everyone has an opinion on the candidates, what the country needs and what works and doesn’t work. Becoming the President of the US is about a collective voice, gaining momentum and setting the nation on a course for action. If this sounds like a business marketing campaign, to convince the public on the best candidate it may very well be that the winner is akin to the business sales effort.
Business is the purchase and sale of goods or services to make a profit. Profitability is critical to running a successful business as are sales and procurement. But just because you have a business doesn’t mean it has staying power. The buyers must be aware of it, must understand why it is better than other available options and ‘buy’ into the product and company.
The shared characteristics of Presidential candidates and business include (and are certainly not limited to):
Product: Both have or can be considered a product. The candidates themselves or a product/service may or may not be of value or use to the buyer, the end user. Both have features and functionality that will advance the product in a direction, and may also have features and functionality that may hold back or side line the product over the short and long term depending upon the direction and courses of action for each.
In the case of the Presidential candidate the product may be good for our country depending upon the issue that you want resolved, delivering a better outcome than what is in place today. Think of a selected candidate (or product) impacting budget, defense spending, economy, energy and climate change, foreign policy, immigration, internet reform, national security, tax reform, terrorism, or trade. In the business case the product is to satisfy a specific need or sometimes a multitude of needs.
Price: Both have a price – the business designates a price on their product that the market will bear. The Presidential candidate has a price on what they can bring to the market, how the market perceives their product and at what price they will continue to be a candidate. Both have tradeoffs associated with their selection including product strategy and execution, product integrity, product quality, price, and the authentic brand of the product are just some of the aspects that are all part of the price.
Data: Both have data to help identify buyers and their demographics, the reasons for interest or purchase, and even the polls or studies that highlight the concerns the buyers have that need to be resolved. Competitive data is used in both cases to strengthen the product story and outsmart the competition to win.
Support: Businesses have support functions that provide various services to keep afloat and profitable. Presidential candidates have support from their donors, followers, party affiliates and camps, news media, social media plus discussions among voters.
Marketing: Businesses and Presidential candidates utilize extensive marketing efforts to build sales by developing awareness, informing the buyers/constituents, and creating campaigns.
Finance: Businesses can’t run without sales and profitability. Presidential candidates need sales in terms of votes and donations to run their campaigns to get the votes. Money and staying afloat are critical to both.
Spending: Our country spends billions, perhaps trillions on our Presidential campaign so we can have the best leader to accomplish a grand list of actions that is important to the country. Business spends to get their product out and purchased.
Buyers: Both businesses and Presidential candidates will not survive without buyers/voters. And the latter may falter anyway because of the terms of engagement defined by the US Constitution regarding one President at a time; therefore many candidates, products, will be eliminated and only one will be elected.
Ok, so they have something in common, so what? The so what is perhaps our nation isn’t just about the best candidate for the position, but also the best running business behind the candidate so the candidate is elected. It may be more like an assortment of Presidential candidate products with a successful business behind the product to position it through to the final sale, the Presidency.
Welcome to the collaborative economy – sharing the best of the business and products to select a President for the US. The only thing standing in our way is a command of the issues, the population of voters and their stances on the issues, the data behind it and of course the media’s viewpoint to ‘help’ us decide on our choice.
Oh and of course the election. I guess the part’y’ing line (excuse the pun) “It’s just politics” is appropriate.