One of my basic tenets to great marketing is that it is more powerful than great products. Apple learned this a long time ago. The iMac was no better a machine than the Performas it replaced – but it had much better marketing. Marketing created buzz. And buzz alone saved Apple in 1998.
Enter the McCain-Obama contest. Obama had lots of momentum following his convention. The Obama "product" looked and sounded good. And then, all of a sudden, comes an unlikey pick for the Republican VP – Sarah Palin. Many people felt (and still do) that she isn’t a good choice based on her experience. The Palin product pales.
But the buzz has been deafening. Like the choice or hate it, you get compelled to take a stand. And in doing so you pay more attention to the issues and you get involved. You talk to others and spread the story. Buzz seduces.
The McCain marketing machine may not have even anticipated this result. I think that if they asked someone who has been doing marketing for Apple they would have taught them one more thing. You should have started sooner.
Will buzz alone help McCain win this election? Not sure. But what is sure is that all the momentum is with Sarah Palin. And she hasn’t even done anything yet.