The folks at WOM agency MotiveQuest are on to a very interesting experiment. They’re using their proprietary online promoter score that measures online conversation to predict the the 2008 Presidential Election outcome.
From a purely branding perspective, this is a great way for MotiveQuest to “walk the walk.” Through their BrandAdvocacy08 website, MotiveQuest will prove to the world that their methodology works and can even predict such major events as the election’s winner.
In terms of the public affairs, measuring online WOM is something that electeds, candidates and organizations should be doing. There’s a lot of conversation happening out there pertaining to people and issues. Organizations first must understand the conversation and listen to what’s happening. Next, they have to find the right way to get involved.
If anything, Obama’s campaign has spurred WOM from his supporters and has built a solid community around his candidacy. For McCain, his WOM never took off and there hasn’t been a real community to coalesce around him. I think McCain will look back in a couple of years and resent the different directions his campaign people pushed him to go. His brand became foreign to himself and he was clearly uncomfortable with John McCain, the candidate. Had he been true to his own brand, I think the online communities would have formed in a major way around McCain the candidate because it would have been clear he stands for something.