3 lessons for marketers from American election

Today we woke up to the new reality. The most powerful president in the world had been elected, first Republican president since 1998, first billionaire and first president who had not been even a politician – Donald Trump. What can we learn from this experience as marketers?

I am not getting involved in any political discussion. It is up to American citizens to decide who they want to see on the top, who do they believe and want to follow in their future. Certainly, there will be a lot implications for European situation, especially its economic situation. Populism is a great marketing strategy for election times but not necessary appropriate when it comes to building strong country. So, why had people listened to him, why did they choose a president who has no political experience or diplomacy skills, speaking common language like he was just sitting by a dinner table with a pint, talking to his mates?

Stay real and use warm approach

First and probably the most important advantage Donald Trump has – it is his authenticity. He had travelled around the country, meeting people, had talked to them, had performed appropriate research to find the relevant rhetoric for every state. He had acted like a billionaire Robin Hood who promised to take money from the richest and give them back to the poor, appealing to white collar workers and blue collars alike. It is like historic repetition from Brexit campaign when Nigel Farage gained control over poorer part of society by populistic approach, promising fisherman’s to have their money back, and ordinary people to have their country back from aggressors managing their country from Brussels, and utilizing British taxes in EU parliament. Two knights on galloping stallions.

What’s the difference? Trump’s diligence to notice at first. Donald Trump certainly gained control over young and elderly people who were traditionally reluctant to any sort of voting. He was very real and tapped social anger while performing his grassroot campaign. ITV television had used data gathering system to analyse Trump’s social media response and the app proved that he gained much more credibility in social media, while Hillary Clinton stayed far behind with using social media in her campaign. She skipped social minorities in her campaign too. Clearly that was a huge mistake.

Don’t ignore social minorities

Donald Trump had funded himself and his voice resonated with larger part of community. He reached Hispanics and African Americans, although was came up as abusive towards women. He is not a politician but this American election shows that people are fed up with politicians. They crave for real voices, for someone who grew up among them, who fulfilled their dreams and can act as a heroic figure. It shows how important is to understand minorities and respond to their concerns. That’s also real life proof that reaching young generation in social media and understanding their desires and language might be actually much more effective in political marketing than we expected. The politic as we know is at decline stage. Authenticity takes its toll in the form of cynicism and demagogy. Such arguments further strengthen the need for the study of authenticity and its value in human relationships, especially for leadership. It is no longer time of perfectly designed stories but for real voices. Warmer approach and listening to people’s desires seem to be much more effective than responding to the problems which are imaginary or the most important at current time.

Do what you said you are going to

The trend is widely noticeable in marketing world for at least 5 years. Due to digital revolution, simplicity and good understanding of target audience are the keys to success. The more approachable dialog could be established, the better outcome for the brand could be. The same principal applies to political marketing. Regardless of our political views, the American election is a lesson for us – marketers, who want to respond appropriately to the market demand. It is no longer about promising; it is more about showing your audience that you do what you said.


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