Lessons From Iowa for Small Business Owners



We have just witnessed the battles for dominance of the Republican and Democratic mindset at the Iowa Caucus. The Iowa Caucus is not just another Caucus. It is considered to be of tremendous significance in helping to determine the ultimate outcome of candidates challenging for the Presidency of the United States. Hence, its’ importance and why the eyes of the political classes, the media circus and the faithful followers attach such significance to the result.


What has that got to do with Small Business? It has a fair deal of built-in lessons for anyone and everyone interested in the multi-million world of advertising and marketing. It presents opportunity to analyse what Branding, Marketing, Competition, Positioning is all about. It is presents incisive insights to the influence of the media and a glimpse, at least, at what forces and agendas are leading or behind the drive to influence, in the case of Iowa, the minds of the voting public.


The identical tools, tactics and strategies are at play in influencing how we chose our services and products in the market place. Additionally, now, we have the increasing use of technology, TV., Cinema, Smartphone, Cyberspace, all additional and speedier methods of conveying powerful messages, incessantly invading and distracting our mental space.

Our conversations are dominated by accounts of what we have just seen or heard on the Internet, through Social Media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and, of course, Radio and Television.


Messages, messages, messages – constant, incessant, injections of ideas and thoughts into our brain-cells – subtly insinuating how best we ought to respond in order to be ahead of our contemporaries in whatever way we feel a need to compete. Even the urge to compete is built into the process – offering a, “Call to Action”. These are scientifically and specifically structured so as to trigger a psychological and, or emotional response from the targeted public. We are being conditioned to respond in a given way and, frequently, within a time specific frame-work so as to add urgency to our response.

Return on Investment

The point about the Iowa Caucus is that, in spite of the millions of dollars invested by the leading candidates on both sides, the message did not land in the way it was meant to land. in the minds of the targeted audience and, consequently the multi-million-dollar investment in preparing and delivering the message did not yield the anticipated result.

Lessons for Small Business

The lesson for Small Business Owners is relatively easy to absorb. It is critically important to have a clear sense of what unique, distinguishable value you wish to offer to your potential followers. In the case of business, we normally refer to leads, prospects, customers or clients. What product or service is your business offering and what makes it different from the competition? General, sweeping, platitudes describing your service or offer will not necessarily penetrate sufficiently to generate the particular response you need. It requires careful thought and consideration in the preparation, presentation and delivery of your message in order to ensure that it is directed at the particular, rather than the general, target audience from which you wish to generate a response; it must contain something of unique and distinguishable value. Finally, your message must have something of importance to say. You must say it well and say it often.

If you are engaging someone or agency to assist you in constructing, presenting or delivering your message, you will be more assured of a good return on your investment if you ensure they understand what it is you wish to convey and possess the requisite knowledge, understanding, skill and capacity to prepare and present it so as to obtain optimum benefit.

Source by Michael Ringrose

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