James Carville and the 3 Keys of Successful Marketing

james_carville.jpg Yesterday, I watched Our Brand Is Crisis – a fascinating documentary of Washington political consultants, Greenberg Carville Shrum, hired to help a Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada win back the Bolivian presidency.

In the documentary, James Carville's firm is running the campaign. It worked. They won. Sort of. I'm not a fan of Mr. Carville but he's a very shrewd political consultant. Carville states that every political campaign has 3 keys to success:

  • Simplicity – the ability to simply state, in a single phrase, what you will do for the voter.
  • Relevance – the ability to tell the story in the eyes of the voter.
  • Repetition – the relentless effort in telling the story over and over and over again.

This isn't simply a winning formula for political campaigns, it's also a winning formula for marketing. Corporate blogging may be the most effective use of this methodology. Many of my clients look to find new and amazing content to write about every day, get burned out, run out, or simply stop because it's too difficult.

What they fail to understand is that they didn't have to put that much effort into their content strategy. If you want to be a successful blogger:

  • Simplicity – Your readers should understand, immediately, what you have to offer when they land on your blog or website.
  • Relevance – You should write stories, use cases, and whitepapers on how customers have been successful in utilizing your techniques, your products, your service or your advice.
  • Repetition – You should continue to write those stories to support your theme over and over and over and over.

Some may say that this is an insincere methodology, that readers (or perhaps voters) deserve more. I disagree. Readers found you and trust you for the advice you're providing. Those readers have their own motives… and your solution fits their motives. Trying to expand beyond your use is counterproductive, blurs your messaging, and you'll lose readers – or worse – burn out.

Finding alternative stories, supporting data, and references that support your readers' motives are what your clients came to find and it's what you should be providing.

Be sure to check out the documentary. What follows the Bolivian election is worth watching.

What do you think?

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