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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter

Mary

Idea Pool

I’m glad I’m not Mitt Romney’s event planner. (Ouch)

Mary Schmidt

Feb 28, 2012

Romney's speech in Ford StadiumI’d be looking for a new job. Of course, based on the evidence, he doesn’t appear to have an event planner (or any pro marketers for that matter.)  Maybe a young, overworked and overwhelmed volunteer did the stadium event on the fly? 

A fundamental, unchanging marketing truth: Perception IS reality.  If your customers (or voters) think it - rather it’s true or not - that’s what you’ve got to work with, for good or ill. 

The number of people who showed up for what was called (by the New York Times, that liberal rag, no less)  a “highly anticipated, substantive address packed with previously unknown details” was perfecly respectable. About 1200, which is pretty good, considering the Romney campaign had leaked most of the details before the event. However, that 1200 looked like a really lonely 12 in a stadium built to hold 65,000 people

when the stadium audience of about 1,200 people clapped, they filled the screen as cameras panned across them.

But in the age of Twitter and the Internet, that is not all that matters.

Before Mr. Romney had uttered a word, reporters began posting pictures online showing the stadium from every available angle — almost empty, except for the chairs set up on the field itself, near the 20-yard line.

Was that fair? Well, no. However, didn’t anyone possibly think the huge stadium might not be the best fit? For a candidate who’s not exactly surrounded by hordes of passionate supporters on his best day? The campaign then tried to make it all okay by saying the venue was the choice of the Detroit Economic Club.  Way, way too late. After the fact.  The images are all over the place and keep spreading. Perception is now reality.

Hmmm….maybe he hired the same staff person who planned McCain’s event in Navy and Marine Corp stadium four years ago. A stadium with a capacity of over 30,000.  His staff set up 64 chairs in a corner of the stadium.  Well, it seemed like a good idea until that happened.

Related posts from the archives:
Perception: Yours Versus Your Customers
The McCain Marketing Plan: How It Could Have Been Done.
Why Tim Pawlenty Won’t Win (Not His Politics.) 
You Can’t Buy Customers
Marketing Messages: “They” or “We?”
McCain’s Brand Disconnect
Will A Rich Young Latina Who Buys Diapers at Wal-Mart Buy McCain?
Our Target: The Stupid People

P.S. Full disclosure. I subscribe to The New York Times, seven days a week.  Thoughtful writing. Facts checked. A limited amount of exclamation points.  Differing opinions given. Quality journalism.

In Marketing Troubleshooting, Social Media Reality Checks

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