Formally or informally, people and organizations engage in a vast number
of activities we could call marketing. Good marketing has become increasingly vital for success.
But what constitutes good marketing is constantly evolving and changing. The election of Barack
Obama as the 44th President of the United States was attributed, in part, to the adoption of new
marketing practices.
The “Obama for America” presidential campaign combined a charismatic politician, a
powerful message of hope, and a thoroughly integrated modern marketing program.
The marketing plan needed to accomplish two very different goals: expand the electorate
via broader messages while targeting very specific audiences. Multimedia tactics
combined offline and online media, as well as free and paid media. When research
showed that the more voters learned about Obama, the more they identified with him, the campaign
added long-form videos to traditional print, broadcast, and outdoor ads. The Obama team—aided by
its agency GMMB—also put the Internet at the heart of the campaign, letting it serve as the “central
nervous system” for PR, advertising, advance work, fund-raising, and organizing in all 50 states. Their
guiding philosophy was to “build online tools to help people selforganize
and then get out of their way.” Technology was a means to
“empower people to do what they were interested in doing in the first
place.” Although social media like Facebook, Meetup, YouTube, and
Twitter were crucial, perhaps Obama’s most powerful digital tool was a
massive 13.5 million–name e-mail list. What were the results of these
online efforts? About $500 million (most in sums of less than $100)
was raised online from 3 million donors; 35,000 groups organized
through the Web site,; 1,800 videos posted to
YouTube; the creation of Facebook’s most popular page; and, of
course, the election of the next President of the United States.1

Good marketing is no accident, but a result of careful
planning and execution using state-of-the-art tools and
techniques. It becomes both an art and a science as marketers
strive to find creative new solutions to often-complex
challenges amid profound changes in the 21st century
marketing environment. In this book, we describe how top
marketers balance discipline and imagination to address these
new marketing realities. In the first chapter, we lay the
foundation by reviewing important marketing concepts, tools,
frameworks, and issues.