Although some experts predicted the victory of President Donald J. Trump on the last election in the US, it was unexpected for many people including myself. As many others, I have decided to run a soft research, analyze, and understand why and how Trump won. Even though it feels like that the victory of Donald J. Trump was unexpected and shocking, there is a formula of this success – Trump Marketing.
Trump Marketing by definition is understanding your target audience, developing a specific and clear campaign messaging that will differentiate you from the competitors, and using the most modern communication mediums to maximize the reach.
There are 5 main ingredients of Trump Marketing formula that will increase the chance of any marketing campaign to be as successful and as efficient as President Trump’s electoral campaign. These techniques include but not limited to understanding your audience, differentiating yourself, developing a specific message, being consistent, and using the most modern tools to communicate.
Understand Your Audience
Before developing a campaign it is crucial to understand the target audience you aim to deliver the value. Understanding the needs and wants of your customers, developing a product or service with expected quality, and delivering it at the best select touch-points will lead to substantial results.
Entrepreneurial background and long-term relationship with customers helped Trump to understand the American audience better than other politicians. He knew that the segment of Americans he works with is angry about certain things and he used this sensitivity with mastery.
If you choose to do Trum Marketing you will need to answer a few questions about your audience, such as “what is an average profile of your audience?”, “what does an average customer need?”, “what are the expectations?”, “what does trigger your customers to engage?”, and of course “what are the decision making behaviors?”.
When it comes to positioning your product or service in the market, it is almost all about differentiation. Work on your competitive advantage to occupy a specific place in minds of your customers. Customers should be able to distinguish easily between you and your competitors.
You should probably answer the question “what makes you different?” in one sentence. If you can’t answer, I would suggest you work on your product and rethink your difference.
Trump did a phenomenal job with his campaign positioning. If you create the perceptual map for the last US electoral campaigns, you will need to put Trump in a very specific and differentiated place. It is easy to come up with multiple reasons that makes Trump different compared to his competitors.
Develop a Specific Message
What is that you want your audience do? Call them to action. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” message clearly calls Americans to work with him to bring to life the America they all want. Although this campaign slogan was used by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton before, Donald J. Trump decided to use this specific campaign message which is very clear, brandable, and is a call-to-action.
It is important that you have a very specific message of your campaign that calls your customers to action and creates buzz. Words and phrases are powerful. Your slogan or motto is an integral part of your campaign’s appeal. After you develop a successful campaign message, all of your tactical activities should work around the main message. Strong message will also help you with content marketing and social media presence.Trump used the hashtag #MAGA as an abbreviation to his campaign message which made it easy to share and follow content on internet and social media. When you think about the competitors you will probably realize that you cannot recall their messages and slogans. After his election he started to use GreatAgain.gov to keep his voters and Americans updated as an ultimatum to his message.
Although it feels like consistency is more relevant to political marketing mainly, it is quite important for any type of product or service as well. While it is more about consistency of the product quality and promise in business, it is about consistency of messaging in politics. Consistency will help you to build trust and loyalty.
Despite Trump’s controversial messages and speeches, he has never apologized or changed his point. He kept using the same promises until the end no matter how much resistance he faced from many groups. He has won in the end, because he stood behind his messaging. It should be the same for any business. Create a message, stand behind your promises, deliver what is expected and you will see tremendous results.
Use Modern Tools to Communicate
Means of communication change and evolve in time. Even though there are many various mediums to communicate with your customers, the most efficient communication channel might vary from one audience to another. Understanding your target audience, their communication and decision-making behaviors matter when it comes to choosing the best channel to reach them.
Trump used his owned and earned media very efficiently which lead to tremendous results in engagement. Using Twitter and other social media accounts made him look organic, helped him to be immediate, reach more audience, engage and create inbound communication at very low cost. You could even see him live tweeting while on presidential debate.
Choosing the most efficient mediums of communication will reduce the cost required to achieve desired reach. It can be paid media, owned media, or earned media depending on the product you are marketing, your target audience, and etc.
There can be many other reasons to Trump’s success. One of them could be the brandability of the “Trump character”. He is like a Coca-Cola bottle without a label. It is very likely that you will recognize a Coca-Cola bottle even without a label, right? Trump is just like that. With his hair style, body shape, face, style of speaking, even some specific words he insists on using, and more make it easy to brand him up.One of the dimensions could be a successful use of “love-or-hate” messaging. It is very likely that you can find a minimum number of neutral people when it comes to Trump; people either love him or hate him. Which in the end, makes both parties to engage, talk more, and eventually become a messenger of his campaign.
I think Trump is one of the most phenomenal marketers of modern world. He is a marketing mastermind! What other marketing techniques you think could have potentially helped him to win big?