5 lessons you can learn from Donald Trump about Marketing

June 20, 2016 - 6 minutes read


Marketing lessons learnt from Donald Trump campaign


Campaigns are marketing, candidates are brands and Trump is one of the most iconic brands from the Republican party. Whether you agree with his politics or not there is a lot to learn from the way he campaigned this past year. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from his campaign:

Stand out

Donald Trump is as iconic as they come. He’s built a brand around himself and an image of being a brash and successful businessman. Trump is entertaining, funny and controversial. He’s always grabbing media attention and the statements he makes seem so out there that they could only be a media stunt.

Marketing lesson: Don’t be afraid to really stand for something as a brand, even if it’s controversial. Too many companies try to be blandly inoffensive in a failed attempt to be “mainstream” and appeal to “everyone.” It’s better to be memorable, even if you lose some customers who don’t “get it,” as long as you keep appealing to the niche market of customers who love you the most.

Address deep rooted needs

Trump’s campaign focuses on peoples needs or specifically their fears. A growing fear among Americans is the increase in illegal immigrants. Immigrants hurting their economy and taking away their jobs is the central theme of Trump’s campaign. Losing your job is a very deep rooted fear that everyone has. When faced with certain kinds of threats like immigration people immediately support a candidate that resonates their fears and offers solutions that may not be PC but in their minds, necessary.

Marketing lesson: Understanding your consumer and figuring out what drives them and what compels them to make a decision is the most important . This can be the decider in defining your marketing campaign.

Flaunt your success

Donald Trump always talks about his success as a businessman, Take this for example :

“I went to the Wharton School of Finance, I was a great student. … I go out, I make a tremendous fortune. I write a book called The Art of the Deal, the No. 1 selling business book of all time, at least I think, but I’m pretty sure it is. And certainly a big monster, the No. 1 bestseller. I do The Apprentice, a tremendous success, one of the most successful shows.”

By constantly reminding the public of his successes he removes their doubts of his capabilities as a leader. Whether the fact is true or not, it takes a discerning voter to want to research and then disqualify these statements.

Marketing lesson: Highlight your achievements at every opportunity. It will boost your image and your customers will feel more confident when they make purchases or spend money on your product.

Simplify your answers

Trump has simple solutions for everything. Illegal immigrants? Build a wall? How do  you pay for the wall ? Get Mexico to pay!  These are thrilling ideas to many voters, especially when a candidate like Trump articulates them with such authority.

“People like the idea that deep down, the world is simple; that they can grasp it and that politicians can’t,” John Hibbing, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska, told Wonkblog. “That’s certainly a message that I think Trump is radiating.”

Marketing lesson: Remember to bring out the simplicity in your solution. Make them easy to comprehend even it means hiding the complexity under layers. Understanding what you offer and the problems you solve on a higher level are more important than confusing a potential customer with details that they may not comprehend. Simplifying your answers also makes you come across as more authentic.

Use Social media

Donald Trump has exploded on social media, particularly Twitter. His tweets are mostly inflammatory  and he makes sure he’s tweeting as soon as a controversy sprouts. This gives him huge free media advantage that drives attendance at his rallies. Messages mentioning Trump are more frequently negative than those about any other candidates but while the sentiment is mostly negative, Donald Trump has a bigger organic reach than his competitors.

Marketing lesson: Don’t ignore the power of social media. You may be expected to make 140 characters as entertaining as possible to grab attention but when you do it’s great. Don’t use social media as just another PR channel. Take advantage of the fact that you can have a direct conversation with millions of potential customers. Speak about what you believe in, be entertaining, start conversations and be current.

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