Thursday, September 13, 2012

R O I on R O I

Return On Investment on Resources, Organization and Image!

A Presidential Campaign is a management issue. To be effective and successful, it would take efficient planning, organization, leadership, and control. It is more specifically a marketing, production, human resource, legal, and investment management problem.

To analyze it we normally look at the 4 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, and Position/Place) of Marketing, the 4 Ms  (Manpower, Machinery/Method, Materials, and Measurement), the 4 Hs (Head, Heart, Hand, and Health) of Human Resources, the 4 Cs (Criminal, Civil, Commercial/Consumer, and Cyber) of Legal, and most importantly, the 4 Rs (Return, Revenue, Reduction (Cost), and Resale/Replacement) of Investment Management.

As I had written in a grad school paper, oral presentation, and lectures in various seminars and conferences, I call it the 4s of BM (Business Management/Benjamin Maynigo).

I usually ended my presentation by saying, “May the 4s be with you.”

For lack of space, I will not discuss in detail the current U.S. Presidential Campaign according to the 4s mentioned above but will focus on three areas that still touch on the 4s. These areas are Resources, Organization, and Image (ROI). They are interdependent. Each one feeds the other to be successful.


A winning Presidential Campaign needs sufficient resources. You need it to build an efficient and effective Organization and to create a very favorable and electable presidential Image. It is necessary to recruit, train and maintain the “best and the brightest” manpower; to purchase the right machinery, equipment and tools required for the campaign; to produce and/or buy the campaign materials; to fund infomercials, buy TV timeslots, and to fund research and response teams.

This is why campaign fund-raising is a battle in itself.  This is true in the current U.S. Presidential Campaign.

Bill Allison, Editorial Director at the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing transparency in government reported the following; “In aggregate, Obama's reelection vehicles have raised $134 million more than those of Romney to date. We previously noted that in order to catch Obama, Romney had a high mountain to climb. Before August's numbers were announced, we calculated that the GOP nominee would need to raise, in each of the remaining months before the election, $44 million more than his rival. Since Obama raised about $2 million more than Romney in August, the challenge got that much more daunting - in September and October, he'll need to outpace Obama by an average of $67 million.”

In the same report, Allison also noted, “Through April, Obama and Democratic groups supporting his re-election bid have raised nearly $450 million during the election cycle and have more than $150 million in the bank. Romney and Republicans backing him have collected more than $400 million during the same stretch and have about $80 million at their disposal. Romney raised $15 million this week during three days of fundraising in New York.

Gone is the 10-to-1 cash advantage that Obama held at the end of March.”

With the judicial interpretation that Free Speech includes expressing your preference through money, the birth and proliferation of well-funded Super PACs have given the phrase, “money talks” greater meaning and significance.


“Organization determines everything,” Lenin once said. A successful Presidential Campaign must have a smart, strong, efficient, effective and competent organization. It is needed to help develop resources; to sell a winning presidential Image; to reach the targeted voters and deliver them to the voting booth; and to manage political gatherings such as conventions, campaign stops, caucuses, and the like. It takes efficient planning, leadership and control to run this type of organization functionally and structurally.

In the 2008 presidential elections, Obama’s success was achieved with the support of smart campaign managers, labor unions, black, Hispanic, women, liberal groups, and a substantial number of young volunteers conducting voter registration, making phone calls, and even raising funds.

In this year’s campaign, Obama expects to obtain a similar organizational support from the same groups.

The 3 Rs (Republicans, Romney and Ryan) would be relying on the extreme conservatives, the tea party members, the evangelicals, pro-lifers and the Republican faithful for its organizational support that would perform the campaign tasks.

Organization, indeed, is likewise a battleground in this campaign.


In 2008, an inexperienced Obama was running under conditions of a collapsing economy and in the midst of two wars. His drumbeaters projected an image of a future President who brought Hope and Change. That Image successfully penetrated the hearts and minds of the American electorate, thus making him President of the United States.

He is now an incumbent asking to be re-elected to continue and finish what he started. As promised, he ended the war in IRAQ. He claims that American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan as the War ends by 2014. He gave the orders to kill Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden. He was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. The Arab Spring has started bringing democracy in certain countries where dictators were supreme.

He stopped the downward spiraling of a collapsing economy. He saved the auto industry, keeping General Motors alive and well. The unemployment rate has been going down from its peak at 10.7 percent in October 2009 to 8.1 percent in August 2012. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose from 6,500 when he first started to 13,300 today. That’s more than double, thus – saving the 401 Ks of many employees and retirees. The inflation rate remains low – 2.4 percent, and the Prime Interest rate is only 3.5 percent. We now have universal healthcare.

On its face, this should present an image of a strong Commander-in-Chief and an effective President in Foreign Affairs as well as an efficient and effective Economic Manager.

But we continue to have budget deficits and our sovereign debts have substantially increased. The unemployment rate is still too high!

This brings Romney and Ryan to the rescue! Romney is projecting the Image of a successful businessman as reflected in his stint in Bain Capital; a good government official based on his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts; and a sound manager as proven when he ran the successful Winter Olympics in Utah.

For this, he assures the electorate that he could turn the economy around and lower unemployment rate further and closer to full employment. His choice of Ryan as his running mate also reinforces their determination to lower the budget deficit and the country’s debt knowing how Ryan’s budget and tax plans address the issue.

The question remains, if you invest your time, effort, and money in developing or contributing to Obama or Romney’s Resources, Organization, and Image (ROI), what would be the Return On Investment (ROI)?

What is the ROI on ROI?

It is a legitimate and compelling question to ask.

1 comment:

  1. I'd add an M for "Mouth", as an object of fine oratory (Obama), or an object in which to insert undiplomatic, elitest foot (Romney).