There are many reasons why we pay so much attention to political campaigns.  One, of course, is that our future is at stake.  But for those of us in business, what politicians do and don’t do presents in-the-trenches marketing lessons for us.  Campaign after campaign, here are the best practices of the winners:

They are in it all the way. There’s no faking it.  Voters can smell that a mile away.  In THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, Edith Zimmerman reports that a observer of Joe Kennedy III’s campaign for Congress says that the candidate doesn’t seem to be having fun.  If that’s true, that his heart isn’t in it, even the Kennedy msytique won’t pull in the votes.

In our own businesses, whether it’s baking gourmet cupcakes or teaching teenagers to drive, the law of consumer attraction demands passion.  Anything less intense pushes consumers away.

They listen. Usually they start up the conversation with a question.  In Manhattan, the former mayor Ed Koch used to ask, “How am I doing?”

We are always seeking feedback.  That’s what social media, special events, and giving interviews to the HARTFORD COURANT are all about.  More than promoting ourselves, we are inviting people in.

They are ready to move onto a Plan B, all the way to Z. Planning is just that: Planning.  When we get out on the field and play the game there are plenty of surprises.  All they know is what they’re doing isn’t working.  So they experiment to find what might work.  It could be Plan B, Plan C, or Plan D.

A client hired us to showcase the new model car in a Boston Hotel.  The car didn’t fit into the elevator.  It was Plan E which finally worked.

Until election day, we should all be taking advantage of the lessons the next winners and losers are teaching us.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations for Marketing, Partnerships, Public Relations, Special Events, and Social Media,, 203-404-4868.