What can we learn from Donald Trump’s marketing efforts?

By January 31, 2017 March 31st, 2017 Stories

Granted, we’re not all jumping for joy at Donald Trump’s recent rise to power. However, the shocking result of the US election campaign should not come as a surprise to seasoned marketers.

Whether you agree or disagree with Trump’s ideologies, there’s no denying the powerful and influential force behind his marketing campaign. His efforts attracted significant media attention and ultimately drove the bolshie businessman to win the 2016 US Election.

Very successful at generating headlines, Trump secured billions of dollars’ worth of free media coverage. His refusal to play by the rules of the political game and his willingness to offend others drummed up much support among disheartened Americans, who presumably felt forgotten about by the current political and economic system.

Now we’re not suggesting that all press coverage is good coverage. Quite the opposite in fact. However, in Trump’s case, his bold character and highly questionable opinions appear to have worked in his favour in his campaign for presidency.

The point here is not whether you like or dislike Donald Trump. It’s understanding that he knew his target audience and worked diligently to engage with them. This in turn led to his election triumph.

So what can we learn from Donald Trump as marketers?

In clearly defining a target audience, a campaign automatically becomes more effective in achieving its objectives. Businesses should identify exactly who and where their customers are and the best ways of reaching them, resulting in a much greater return on marketing investment.

Regardless of whether you’re an avid Trump fan, you may find yourself begrudgingly admiring the consistency of his brand message. A brand should stand for something. Trump has never altered; he’s just talking politics now rather than business deals. A marketer’s lesson here is to be unswerving in his/her attempts to engage with a target audience. Have a message and stick to it across all channels.

Creating key messages that appeal to your target audience is essential. Ask most people about Trump’s campaign catchphrase, and they will probably be able to repeat it. Make America Great Again.

Trump identified his potential fan base and worked meticulously to capture their attention. In the same vein, it’s increasingly important for a businesses marketing efforts to become ultra-targeted in order to stay ahead of the competition. The best marketing campaigns have a particular prospect in mind and will work tirelessly to engage with them.

Social media played a significant role in Trump’s marketing endeavours, presenting a convenient method of getting in front of and interacting with Hilary Clinton sceptics.

Creating a social media strategy is an important step for any business. An affordable platform for customer service, advertising, research, relationship building and much, much more, social media really is a no brainer.

Trump is also not one to shy away from confrontation and is certainly not afraid of being different.  As a business, you should offer something wholly different to your competitors.

Most political candidates are well rehearsed, refined and extremely professional. Trump stepped away from this industry norm and provided the public with an alternative to the traditional political leader,

Too many businesses focus on the mainstream, without considering their unique selling points and what they could potentially offer customers that’s unlike the opposition.

Whether Trump is successful in delivering his ideas for change is beside the point. While personally, you may not agree with his political stance, you can’t knock his business acumen, and truth be told –  he’d probably make a great marketer.

What matters here is, he had an idea, he was passionate about it, and he stuck to his guns. Something business owners and marketers should strive to do themselves when executing a strategic marketing campaign.

This content was originally published in Topic UK in January 2017.