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Friday, February 23, 2007
posted by Jon | 12:44 PM | permalink
Before I get too much into the gist of my post, I feel an introduction of sorts is in order. My name is Jon and I currently run Blogs For Mitt. Most of what I’ve managed to do so far is a Daily Roundup of Mitt coverage. The guys here at MyManMitt were nice enough to invite me to do the occasional post and this is the first chance I’ve gotten to take them up on their offer.

Now on to what I wanted to write about.

With the inauguration of George W. Bush, there came to the Oval Office the first man to serve there who had been schooled in the ways and art of Business. Bush holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School. Mitt holds this same degree in addition to his Law degree – both from Harvard. I hold an MBA as well, albeit not from Harvard.

Part of any MBA curriculum are courses dedicated to teaching the principles of marketing. Every student has to take these classes, and although most people see such classes as “fluff” when compared to the hard sciences of accounting, finance and economics. The bottom line is you can finance, design, and build the best products known to man kind but if you don’t find innovative ways to induce people to buy them your business will eventually find its way into bankruptcy.

Some politicians are either good at marketing themselves or they have people who are good at doing it for them. As in the world of business, politics is a competitive environment. How a politician deals with his/her opponent is probably more important than what he or she actually says and does over the course of the campaign.

One of the first things taught in advanced Marketing courses is the hard and fast rule that you don’t demean your competition. Highlighting differences and areas in which you or your product out performs the competition is important. Slamming the competition’s product or representatives has a tendency to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the customer.

While this analogy can only be loosely fitted to the political world in which we now find ourselves, there are some quite recent examples of how some Presidential contenders deal with their opponents. Take first the Hillary-Obama Dust Up. Both of those Democratic contenders – more Hillary than Obama – took an issue which should’ve died a quick death and turned it into a media frenzy. In this case, not all publicity is good publicity.

Compare and contrast that with Mitt’s statements today in New Hampshire. When asked about his thoughts on the Hillary-Obama Cage Match, Mitt said:
It's great, isn't it? I love to see it when it happens on the other side.
After referring to his primary opponents – Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani – as “friends” and “national heroes” Mitt had this observation about the upcoming campaign:
I respect them. I'm sure we'll disagree on issues from time to time, but I doubt you'll see the rancor that apparently may exist elsewhere. (Emphasis Added)
This, dear reader, is the hallmark of someone who understands the importance of marketing perception. He doesn’t need to come out and directly attack his competition. All that will come out in the wash anyway. Mitt is marketing the positive aspects of what he has to offer the country as her next President.

That’s what will separate him from the pack.
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