|By John Ryan||
|October 14, 2011 03:00 PM EDT||
It is difficult to ignore Herman Cain’s charisma. Everyone I have spoken to seems to find the Republican presidential candidate likeable. The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO certainly comes across as someone who knows a lot more than how to sell pizza. In last night’s debate in New Hampshire, he leaned on his 999 taxation message that received commentary from the other candidates. If you are unaware of what 999 means, it’s 9% income tax, 9% corporate tax and 9% sales tax. The 999 plan also translates into good marketing.
An island of simplicity in an ocean of complexity is often appreciated. Corporations feel that regulations are strangling their businesses, they don’t know what to do with all of their data and their responsive communications challenges are daunting. Consumers feel their heads are spinning in a multi-layered world that seems to move faster than they can comprehend and they welcome policy that is memorable. It gives them something to discuss around the water cooler that can be universally understood.
The other GOP candidates didn’t seem to think 999 was good policy and the frontrunner (Mitt Romney) emphasized that although simple answers often sound good, this problem was too complicated. Regardless of whether the plan is good policy, a simple message can be an effective marketing strategy. What Cain is communicating is that the voter will benefit from a simple and fair tax structure. Compare those benefits to the downside of what many feel is a complicated and unjust tax system. If I were a candidate, I would try to communicate simple messages that allowed a quick grasp of the benefits. Herman Cain may not win the nomination, but all business leaders can all learn from his marketing acumen about complex topics.
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