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06/02/2009 by

The Full Barack Obama Social Media Strategy!

What brands can learn from Barack Obama and his social media marketing approach? Get inspired here.

Last week I was invited to speak at the SRM Guru meeting in Amsterdam to present the case study of Barack Obama’s brilliant brand interaction and great consumer connectivity program.

At 19:30 hours I kicked of with the song: It’s a New Day to get in the mood again. The 125 marketers were really inspired by Obama’s strategy after 90 minutes. The aftermath Q&A lasted another 30 minutes.

Barack Obama social media strategy 2008: SlideShare

On request of the participants, we decided to share the presentation as hand-out. Although I’m a speaker and not a writer, I created my short story in the comments. However, if you download the presentation, you will be able to read the footnotes in the PowerPoint more convenient.

On the request of SRM to do the Barack Obama case, my co-worker and ViralBlog co-author Paul van Veenendaal did research for almost 2 weeks.

He delivered a detailed Barack Obama study containing over 200 slides! I had to cut it down to 126 slides to be able to stick to my 90 minutes program! So my special thanks to you Paul!

I also want to thank my co-workers from LaComunidad, SocialMedia8 and ViralTracker for delivering their input and cases within the killing deadlines.

To my friend Michael Moon, President at Gistics and author of bestseller Firebrands I want to say: Thank you for your extensive sessions in San Francisco and Amsterdam. I admire your thought leadership and most of all: your patience to keep coaching me the last 8 years.

I also need to thank Jungle Minds. Our partnership and your input sharpened my vision on usability, e-commerce, online sales funnels and online conversions.

Off course I cannot forget our partner Metrixlab. Your brand tracking studies for our clients in the last couple of years, have delivered tangible and rock solid proof that our brand interaction programs do revitalize brands.

Special thanks to our clients. We do understand that our strategic vision, requests for long term brand interaction programs, demands for serious (brand) tracking research and disruptive approach were being perceived as a bit “unusual” in the beginning of our relationship. But you and your stakeholders rewarded us with your support and trust.

Thank you to some very special people at WPP and GroupM in London, Paris, Milan, NYC and Amsterdam. No need to mention names. You bought into our “strange” social media marketing vision, with your trust and great support.

Last but not least, many thanks to the Obama campaign team and Barack Obama! Your DNA, fresh approach and campaign not only inspired millions of people around the globe.

You might not even know, but your brand interaction strategy also inspired many brands and a large part of the global marketing community. You really showed us It’s a New Day and Yes We Can Too! So I say: Barack Obama, Marketer of the Year!

The invitations to do this case study at other events and brands were greatly appreciated and accepted. For information and bookings please connect to Speakers Academy.

This review (in Dutch) of the Barack Obama campaign strategy presentation at the SRM Guru meeting (at January 29 2009) was written by Melanie Thijm of Brainwork.

Some books that really inspired me:
Firebrands, Building Brand Loyalty in the Internet Age by Michael Moon.
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.
Jammin by John Kao.
Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell.


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Comments (28)

  • Niels 06/02/2009, 10:40

    WOW @ the amount of information! Looks like I have some reading to do this weekend 馃槈

  • Laurens 06/02/2009, 17:27

    This is such a cool case! Congrats!

  • @ Niels
    You should have seen Paul’s +200 slider 馃槈

    @ Laurens
    Cheers mate! Grab and use it…



  • Menker
    10/02/2009, 10:43

    goed verhaal en mooi uiteen gezet collega’s! 馃槈

  • George
    11/02/2009, 08:55

    I was there that night. It was very impressive. Lots of insights from the start, thorough case, good jokes in between and I enjoyed your presentation style. I’m interested in more. I allready read ‘Dreams of my father’ that explains Obama’s interests and his gift fot speech. But add the magic that was presented at SRM by Igor and it all becomes real. Lovely evening. George

  • Ryan Quiel 11/02/2009, 10:17

    Great presentation. I really liked page 94 showing the Xplane Obama graphic and the following pages diving into the raw numbers on social platforms.

    Page 118 had great case studies for ROI with other early corp scial adopters.

    Well done all around!

  • Jane Poerwoatmodjo 11/02/2009, 14:21

    Dank voor de inspirerende presentatie, Igor! En helemaal super dat je je kennis op zo’n manier met ons deelt.

    TNX TNX…

    Jane Poerwoatmodjo
    meJane Communicatie

  • @ George

    Glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing your feedback!


  • @ Ryan

    Thanks! Yes Its Paul that likes the details 馃槈
    And that gives great insights indeed


  • @ Jane

    Thanks for your feedback. That’s what’s social is all about: share the knowledge and learn from peer interaction 馃槈


  • @ Menker

    Thanks mate!

    At groupm we had no time to show it all 馃槈


  • Vladimir Hrouda 20/02/2009, 22:51

    Thanks for you presentation and for your great effort – I’m glad to share it with my readers at my blog

  • arjenjelsma (ArjenJelsma) 26/02/2009, 14:34

    Barack Obama Marketing strategy in PowerPoint

  • guidogihaux (guidogihaux) 09/03/2009, 20:55

    Reading Obama’s marketing strategy

  • @ Vladimir

    Thanks for your reply Vladimir. Feel free to share it with your readers 馃槈


  • mette
    30/03/2009, 13:10

    anyone who knows if there will be a presentation of this case in denmark in the nearest future?

  • crazylegz (crazylegz) 23/04/2009, 14:31 rt @viralblog Case Study: The Full Barack Obama Strategy!

  • agentiadepr (Agentia de PR) 25/04/2009, 22:53

    The Full Barack Obama Social Media Strategy – Viral Blog

  • ppd (Ines Gamler) 15/05/2009, 07:45

    Reading: RT @ViralBlog Case Study: The Full Barack Obama Strategy – (via @tweetmeme)

  • WouterKop (Wouter Kop) 18/06/2009, 11:10
  • @ Wouter


  • Filipe Nogueira
    15/04/2010, 20:29

    Hi there. Great Presentation! Any chance you can get me the full version with your comments? Thanks

  • @ Filipe

    Thanks mate!

    No worries, it will be in your mail asap, will push it through Yousendit.



  • kirkhullis (Kirk Hullis) 11/06/2010, 09:20
  • @Kyle

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Control is what marketers have learned and strive for many times, even in social…

    I always tell them: CONTROL is just an illussion! The main DNA question to you and your brand is: Are you in control enough to let go?



    • You might be very right. Obama was a very unknown brand in the beginning. Social helped him to become a open and trusted brand very fast. In the case we tried to explain to brands: what can you learn from Obama’s DNA to be also successful in social. We never ever claimed he was the best president ever :-)

      Thanks for your reply!!

  • Frank Van Soldt 10/04/2011, 08:10

    Fantastic presentation, all 124 pages of them. With more and more social marketing applications showing up everywhere along with inflation, I think its safe to say that Barrack Obama’s budget will become the norm for many business’s in the nearby future.

    • Thanks Frank. We do hope that many organizations and brands will follow the dialogue approach. However, we’ve seen that in practice, many companies do not have that “open DNA” yet. So many will stick to pushing banners and other adds on social sites. We’ve learned listening, insights and dialogues are the most powerful approaches towards social marketing.


  • Darin Stigers 20/06/2011, 22:52

    Terrific review! This is truly the type of blog post that should be shared around the internet. Sad on the Bing for not ranking this blog post higher!

    • Thanks a lot Darin, blushing here… Glad you like it and a bit suprised since it’s rather old data, but maybe still relevant :-)
      Pls feel free to share it. We have not seen such a strong program since. Maybe Bing should launch Bing Buzz soon..



  • Saniya Garces 16/04/2012, 16:08

    wow, awesome blog post.Really thank you! Really Cool.