What Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Can Teach Us About Marketing

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Love him or hate him, the Republican presidential candidate has hired some marketing geniuses to work on his campaign. To those familiar with its workings, it’s quite obvious that the PR machine has been churning at high speed ever since the Donald announced his candidacy. That being said, there are a few very particular actions that can be learned from what he has done to stay on the forefront.

  1.    Study what’s worked:

Media pundit Glenn Beck played a clip some time ago from the impressive 2008 Obama campaign, side-by-side with several of Trump’s early speeches. They were surprisingly similar in the verbiage. Why is that? The Obama campaign was successful because it did something that has never been done before: went straight to the American people.  Even as a sitting president, Obama sends emails out from his campaign email address to keep supporters up to date on things such as the timing of a State of the Union Address.

Trump and his team have the favorable position of watching how this occurred and the way that Obama campaigned and are applying many of the same tactics. That in and of itself is a very smart action; they found a blueprint and followed it. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, if you know what works, then repeat it.

  1.    Be relatable to your audience:

Trump’s hair has always been a big media button. Is it a toupee? A large comb over or just his self-expression? For years the issue was raised in the media and never addressed.

On a recent episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon asked Trump something that has been on the minds of America for years, that of touching Trump’s hair. After a bit of back and forth, which was most likely scripted, he agreed and allowed Fallon to mess up his hair.

It seems like a simple thing, but Trump did something very simple and actually made himself somewhat more relatable to his audience. The ability to be relatable is something that most politicians are atrocious at, but once again, something that Obama excelled at in 2008.

  1.    Know Your Audience’s Buttons: “Make America Great Again.”

With some very tough economic years, between two presidents, Trump knew to win the nomination for the Republican Party, and swing over blue collar Democrats, he had to hit the conservative core.

The slogan “Make America Great Again,” is a marketing concept that many can get behind and implies bringing America back to its booming economics when America was a nation more of industry.

The point here is that the slogan is easily understandable and repeatable, so in the media blitz even some that were on the fence came into agreement with it.  In any marketing campaign, having a succinct purpose is important, confusing the customer can have very poor results.

  1.    Polarize Your Audience:

Donald Trump is one of the single most polarizing characters in American History.  He will say whatever he is feeling, and never go back on it. He takes some difficult and sometimes bordering on offensive stances. The interesting thing about it, is that once he makes a statement, he does not seem to back down.

To really have an effect, you have to polarize people in some way, then they have to take a stance on what you are saying. This is something that some entrepreneurs are afraid to do, but if you aren’t at least a little bit controversial then there is nothing to have an opinion on; the populous loves to have an opinion.

  1.    Be a Publicity Hound:

The Trump policy: no publicity is bad publicity. I’m not quite sure how they do it, but this is something that a lot of entrepreneurs can learn from. Whether he is defending himself or just doing something a bit off the wall, Trump knows that media coverage equals eyes and ears. After he has the attention, it’s then the job of his press team to help him spin it. With the 24-hour media cycle that we live in now, its how he’s managed to stay relevant

Many entrepreneurs can look at what the Trump campaign has done and learn a thing or two about running a successful awareness campaign. From the outsider’s point of view it appears that the PR machine has found the right actions to help him to win the nomination, now its up to the voting public to decide on the outcome of the marketing campaign.

Jeremy Slate is the founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast which helps entrepreneurs live the lives they know they were meant to. He studied literature at Oxford University, specializes in using Online social networking to build and offline relationship, and was ranked #1 in iTunes New and Noteworthy. It is because of Jeremy’s success in podcasting that he was able to accomplish 10,000 downloads of his podcast in the first month. Jeremy is also an online marketing expert for Greater New York firm, ClearImages Design.
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