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Saturday, October 29, 2005

The American Marketing Machine

With all the hubbub around the White House and W. lately - the 2,000 American death milestone in Iraq, Miers Supreme Court Nomination withdrawal, and the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby scandal - I felt that a blog posting dedicated to the White House was appropriate.

So, ever wonder which organization typified the prototypical American marketing machine? Well, my friends (all eight of you who've read my blog this week!), I have to say that my I think the White House takes the cake. Forget what the marketing history books teach you about Procter & Gamble (P&G) being the founders of strategic brand management. Ditto for N.W. Ayer & Son, the first American advertising agency. The White House (1776) v. P&G (1837) v. N.W. Ayer & Son (1869). You do the comparisons.

Comparisons aside, there are two points that I'm going to make about the White House being THE American Marketing Machine:

1. Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase "the medium is the message. Well, for too long the medium has been the message and the White House has historically controlled this it with varying levels of success. Regardless of results, they have been a model source for a comprehensive machine that incorporates high-level strategy and finite detailed planning around such aspects as branding, positioning, messaging, communications, and strategic marketing planning. What I wouldn't give to see their internal guides, processes, etc., developed over all these years.

2. Ironically enough, McLuhan also coined the term "global village." Well, the global village is re-focusing the medium from being the message back to the message being itself. Thanks to new community technologies (blogs, wiki, etc.), which are the parent technologies of PR and other subsets. So, as businesses - American and others worldwide - are learning, transparency is required when the message is THE MESSAGE again. Now the White House must re-create itself if it stands a chance to hold its title as the American Marketing Machine of today, rather than that of the past.

(It would be quite interesting to know the inner workings of the White House and how they are educated or stay informed of new technologies. Maybe they should take a page from my last posting and also monitor job postings!)


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