I love marketing because it’s like having super powers. It’s the closest thing to mind control us muggles will ever experience, and it’s up to us to decide to use those powers for good or evil.
Regardless of our opinions of how evil, good, or excusable Trump’s incentives and actions have been, not a single one of us can deny that he’s pretty damn good at tapping into the minds of people and getting them to behave in his favor.
He executed a well laid plan with excellence, and any marketer who doesn’t observe and learn from it is doing themselves a disservice.
I’m not alone in saying I sure as hell wouldn’t work with him, but we can all learn from him.
Choose The Target Audience That Will Show Up For Game Day
The Number One key element between running as a republican or democrat: republicans historically have a higher voting turn out. So I don’t care who you are, when you run left you’re automatically setting yourself up to have to work harder than your opponent to get people off of Facebook and to the polls.
Frankly, judging by the past three primary elections this point is especially valid if you are a white male, which is only the tip of the iceberg he offered up on the podiums throughout his campaign.
Which brings me to my next point: people don’t buy products, they buy solutions. He knew that his target audience (republicans) would buy the solutions he’s selling.
Lesson: Choose the target audience that is more likely to actually show up and buy into what you’re selling on game day.
Polarity is Crucial to Visibility
As a president I hope Trump becomes much more well rounded, but as a marketer this worked for him and every massively successful business on the market.
He didn’t gain popularity as a candidate because he sought to make everyone happy.
He gained popularity as a candidate in doing the exact opposite: he actively sought to make those who stand in opposition of his target audience unhappy and proudly announced his lack of fucks when met with said resentment.
He tapped into everything his audience was feeling victimized by, named his opposition the antagonist, and ran with that point of view as hard, loud, and proudly as he could, sparking controversy across not only the nation but the entire world.
And he did so with such bravado that people couldn’t help but talk about it.
It worked. He dominated headlines. He dominated social media. He dominated conversations throughout his entire campaign. He even helped control the conversations by planting ammunition in every interview and speech he gave. No matter how those conversations turned out, one fact remained: everyone has something to say about Donald Trump.
He broke the theory and proved, more than anyone ever has, that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
Where you tap into polar opposite viewpoints you create discussion and debate. Debate begets controversy, and controversy creates an audience that is bound to grow and take seats on one side of the aisle or another.
He could surely have been much more civil about accomplishing this, but make no mistake that in the classical sense this is how word of mouth marketing is born.
Don’t Just Appeal to Them. Vindicate Them.
After gaining popularity you have to create more and deeper loyalty in your target audience. This is what many marketers refer to as your “1,000 true fans”.
Trump relentlessly sought to gain as many “true fans” as he possibly could in the time frame he was given.
Because Trump understands that there’s a difference between those who say “I like that sweater” and those who say “I’m buying that sweater”.
He took a group of people who had concerns and issues he understood thoroughly. He vindicated those concerns by going to bat for them, he offered himself up as the solution, and he took the first step in crusading for them before they even knew he was an option for pain relief.
They crusaded for him in return.
Don’t just appeal to your prospects’ pain points. Be their ride or die. Promise to relieve that pain, and fight for it. The harder you fight for them, the harder they fight for you.
Be wildly focused in choosing the right target audience. This is the foundation of your success. You make the wrong move here and you’re effectively setting yourself up for failure before you even start.
Inspire people to converse and debate by creating polarity. While you’re making some love you, you should also be actively turning others off so there’s something about your brand that people can’t help but talk about.
Vindicate the concerns of your audience. Understand them so thoroughly that you can tell them you know exactly how they feel, how deep their pain is, and offer yourself up as their champion with conviction and purpose. Crusade for them, and they will crusade for you.