Volume 4, No. 5
November 3, 2008
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The Power of a Consistent Message: A Lesson from the Presidential Campaigns
The eve of what is being called an historic presidential election provides an occasion to point out a fundamental rule of marketing communications — be consistent.
If you pay attention to political analysts, you hear them discuss the candidates' messages. What does each candidate stand for? How effective is each at communicating the benefit of his presidency if elected? Are their messages resonating with the voters? These questions relate to the issue of consistent messaging.
Decide what you stand for; repeat, repeat, repeat
Since he entered the race, Democratic candidate Barack Obama's message has consistently been "change." His responses to how he'll address the nation's problems have consistently centered on that message. Whether you personally believe him isn't the point of this example. The example is an illustration of the power of making a firm decision about the benefit you offer and then sticking to it. Pundits from Republican candidate John McCain's own party have been faulting him for his lack of consistency. Sometimes he has been about safety and security. Other times he's been about being a maverick. Recently he's been emphasizing his experience.
How to apply this lesson to your organization
You first must decide what is the benefit your business or organization provides. For example, do you save money, save time, improve health, clean the environment, improve student achievement? If you are to have a consistent message, everyone in your organization needs to be on the same page about what that benefit is. Then, like Obama, communicate that benefit in all you say and do.