November 16, 2006
Political Campaign as Marketing Campaign
Ruble Hord Ruble Hord has been the top sales guy for the Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. He is also an early adopter in doing good and doing well.
(Yep, that’s his real name: Ruble, as in Russian currency. And Hord rhymes with Lord, jokes Hord.)
He ran for elective office a few years ago. He spent $240,000. Of his own money. Real after-tax dollars.
Sometime later, after his concession speech, I asked him about his public spirit, his private money.
Ruble, do you feel bad about spending that much money?
No, he says.
No? Here it comes, I thought, now he would turn philosophical.
He is almost smiling. No, There was no way I could lose…
Excuse me? I’m lost. This is not unusual.
I really thought I could win and serve, he explains. But in losing the race I might win…
And, incidentally, make a buck.
I’m an insurance salesman, says Ruble who has his home phone number listed in the phone book. I want people to know about me.
They certainly do now, I venture.
The money spent was the cheapest marketing I could buy, says Ruble. Even in losing, all was not lost.
Even though he didn’t plan on losing the political race, he was still a winner. Ruble Hord is a master salesman and a master marketer.
Your Business Blogger has always thought that lawyers were natural political candidates because lawyers, well, knew law, I supposed.
But no. Lawyers, as small business owners being well ahead of the trend, would run for office. The political campaign is little different from a marketing campaign. Lawyers and insurance salesmen would either pick up votes.
Business owners have a passion for making a difference in their neighborhoods. Running for office might be another avenue to serve.
To serve the citizens. To serve your customers.
Management Training Tip: If you really want to learn how to sell intangibles — to sell “air” — take a seminar on political campaigns. This is the most challenging product to peddle: Yourself.
Thank you (foot)notes:Ruble Hord, served as Chair, 2006, for the Alexis de Tocqueville, Society. More at the jump.
Ruble Hord contracted with Northwestern Mutual Life in 1980 and has been associated with The Todd Organization since 1982.
He received his degree in Business and Public Administration from George Mason University and pursued Estate and Pension Trust Banking before entering the life insurance business.
Ruble has led NML several times over the past 25 years and is ranked third in Northwestern Sales since its founding in 1857.