It’s like the world came to a standstill. The morning was unexpectedly cloudy. The news that filtered through the airwaves wasn’t pleasant at all. Apparently, our favorite lady president was losing some hitherto blue states to the red brigade. The media christened devil was on the verge of turning tables. And sure enough, he did. Against insurmountable odds, Donald J. Trump won the American presidency! It was a rude shock. A big embarrassment to the media, opinion pollsters and Republican Party leaders who had effectively written him off. Here is our take on marketing lessons from this experience.
1. Triumph of new media over old traditional media.
The traditional media, both print and audio-visual did not care to hide their bias against the Trump presidency. Nothing was spared to humiliate the poor guy. Their daily headlines drilled the ignorance, arrogance and bigotry of Trump. Little did they know that Trump had long before cultivated an army of loyal followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. He had voraciously been attacking Obama’s policies on Twitter for the last eight years. With the obvious onslaught of the traditional media, he upped his social media activism. In the end, the tables were turned. The once all powerful media that used to set the agenda of the day was badly bruised. Beaten. Trump had the last laugh.
2. Clarity of Target.
There is nothing like universal appeal. Never try to please everybody. Just choose and concentrate on turning your followers into fanatics. Trump exemplified this very well. He was obviously hated by a sizeable proportion of the voters- a vocal one at that. He knew this and never even attempted to woo the haters to his side. Instead, he consolidated his loyal support by antagonizing his haters further. Ultimately, his followers turned fanatics would hear none of the evils being peddled against him. The more he was hated, the more energized his followers became. He ended up with the best turn out of voters. In marketing, chose your target market and with laser focus, make them loyal followers. Apple and Mercedes have built loyal enthusiasts overtime who would never listen to anything negative against their favorite brand.
3. Brand Like crazy.
It’s branding stupid. Trump is a brand. It stands for success. He has buildings, books, TV shows, signature ties, casinos, modelling agencies among others all under this brand. The Trump brand is an outstanding success. His show – ‘The Apprentice’ gripped the world with the catch phrase “you are fired”. Like him or not, Trump is a fierce competitor. A winner. Marketers must take a stand and build everlasting brands. When it comes to a tie, it’s the power of your brand that would break the ice.
4. Sex sells.
Unfortunately, and surprisingly, “Team Mafisi” is a global phenomenon. Sex sells. In public, many would recoil in disgust upon seeing nude pictures or talking explicitly about sex. In, private, they love the story line. Trump had tantalizing nude pictures with women and a lot of locker room banter splashed all over the social media. This was clearly distasteful in public but very entertaining in private. They loved what they saw. Many wished they could be in Trump’s position either as his mistresses or as the Mafisi himself. If you ever doubted the power of sex in selling, Trump is your answer. And you wonder why the local Radio station, Classic 105 is so successful with their morning adult talk.
5. Nothing like bad publicity.
The old adage that there is nothing like bad publicity was once again proven. Everything that makes more people know and talk about you adds value to your brand. Trumps nude photos and others with nude girls widely circulated in the media only gave him a “macho” image. His feared persona of firing people in his ‘Apprentice’ show under the “you are fired” banner made him to be revered. After eight years of Obama lullaby, America had a chance of a real man at the top.He will not talk rivals into submission but fire them if need be. They took the chance. In public relations, there is nothing like bad publicity. Every publicity gives you a mileage.
6. Emotional connection.
Speak the language of the customer. Speak to their hearts. Their fears, hopes and dreams. The American voter was hurting from insecurity and lack of jobs. They were obviously tired of the hope message which Obama had over sold. They wanted action. And that is what Trump brought. He would send away illegal immigrants, he would teach China a lesson and bring back the jobs and if need be, he would erect a wall between the US and Mexico. These were action words. His message of putting Americans first resonated well with the voters. He made it clear that America was for Americans and his work will be to Americans. He had little knowledge of foreign policy. But who cares about foreign policy.
Politics is local and the voters too. Marketers must craft messages that connect with their clients. Talk to their needs, fears and insecurities. That’s why the latter day “Panda Mbegu” pastors get it right. They address your immediate need or fear. You want a husband or wife?-no beating about the bush- there is a “seminar“ for singles. Want money? There is a wealth “service” and you are sick?.. Wait a healing “service” is coming up.
Article from African Market Media.
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