So emotions are high right now and everyone is a little anxious. I get it, the election was VERY INTENSE. I wanted to take a step back and analyze some of the very INTERESTING marketing strategies that might help explain how Trump won the election. I think a post-mortem analysis to help drive future decisions is always the rational thing to do the day after an election, NO? Okay, I might be alone BUT my goal is to challenge you to think about the MARKETING aspect of the election, not who was right or wrong or who should have won or shouldn’t have won, K?
1. Challenge the Status Quo
Trump knew that people were sick of politicians and sick of the establishment, so he used that as part of his marketing strategy to position himself as “the man of the people” despite being a billionaire himself. Strange and odd, yet somehow it worked?? He was completely in his own lane – did what we wanted, despite being advised against it from his campaign managers, and didn’t really identify with other republicans within his own party. He pissed off a lot of people by doing the complete OPPOSITE of what is expected of a presidential candidate.
Yet.. zigg’ing while everyone else zagged worked for him.
Takeaway: Stray from what was has always worked and instead take chances, experiment and don’t be afraid to be your authentic self even when others are telling you NO.
2. Have a Growth Hacker Mindset
This was the most interesting tactic to me. While Hillary spent a lot of time in battleground states trying to win over undecided voters, Trump did the opposite (of course). In a very unconventional way, he focused on people who were already highly interested, loyal and fanatical about his campaign and activated them instead.
Trump held massive rallies that helped create an army of immensely loyal and passionate voters to help grow the Trump voter base. These rallies helped him “go viral” and reach even more people.
“The end goal of every growth hacker is to build a self-perpetuating marketing machine that reaches millions by itself.” – Ryan Holiday
Takeaway: Take care of your existing customers and they will take care of you. Focus less on customer acquisition and focus more on customer retention. Your super fans will spread the word organically and help your business go viral.
3. Share your Worldview
According to Seth Godin, ultimately everyone wants the same outcome in life: to be promoted, popular, healthy, wealthy and wise. People want to be told a story that fits with what they believe.
Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” did EXACTLY that and played into people’s worldviews and beliefs. The slogan communicated a vision of the world that does not yet exist, but could exist if he were nominated as president. It’s actually a play on one of Reagan’s campaign motto’s from 1980: “Let’s Make America Great Again.” Interesting.
Obama was able to evoke the same emotional connection with voters with his slogans “Hope” in 2008 and “Forward” in 2012 which both gave a clear vision of the future.
I actually really liked Hillary’s slogan “I’m with Her” for the female empowerment aspect BUT it didn’t speak to a vision of the future and rather stated a present action.
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” – Simon Sinek
Takeaway: Align your story with people’s beliefs and values. Communicate your story as a vision of the future that you hope to create.
So what do you think about these strategies? There were SO many marketing lessons from this election, but I wanted to focus on my top 3 takeaways. Would love to chat in comments! xo Annie