What the trump campaign can teach you about marketing your company23 Feb 2016 | 6 mins reading time
Have you ever heard the phrase life imitating art?
Despite all the fierce polarization around Donald Trump’s campaign. Whether you think he is going to make America great again, whether you think he poses a bigger threat to the US than terrorism does, or whether you kind of just objectively enjoy the chaos like it was an episode of SouthPark, there is one thing that is clear.
Donald Trump’s campaign is a work of art.
What Trump has effectively done is take his already well-known media persona, and use it to catapult him into a presidential race.
What started off for most people as somewhat of a joke has quickly turned into a legitimate movement. And as of February 22nd, 2016, Donald Trump is the dominant Republican presidential candidate across a number of states
As an experienced businessman, Trump is a master persuader. He understands from firsthand experience far better than the rest of the candidates how people make decisions, and uses this to his advantage. Many people probably forgot that Trump wrote a best-selling book on negotiation The Art of the Deal
He is basically the magic weight loss pill version of politics -and he is selling his ideas by the boatload.
Here are some ways that Donald Trump is leveraging his knowledge of sales to persuade the public.
The effectiveness of appealing to primal emotions
There are many rules to follow if you want to make the most of your marketing and sales. However, if there was one golden rule that needs to be followed above all else it would probably be this; sell to emotions.
Decisions, whether they be voting or purchases, are governed firstly by feelings, and then later rationalized by facts and figures.
Trump follows this by touching on hot topic issues with polarizing ideas and language in order to elicit an emotional response in his viewers.
Here are a few examples
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their bestThey’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
It’s going to get worse and worse, you’re going to have more world trade centers.
We’re going to start winning so much that you’re going to get used to winning, instead of getting used to losing we’re going to always win again.
Anger, fear, and greed are three of the most effective emotions to target in any marketing strategy. However, there is something else Donald does well.
He uses positive emotion.
Presidential campaigns and political issues are at their core very tense situations. Trump knows this and uses humor in his rallies to break up the tension and distract from any questions he doesn’t want to address. People often laugh their way through his sermons and debates and forget the actual arguments that are being made.
The value of a unique selling proposition (USP)
A USP is an important part of selling any product.
Donald Trump’s USP is twofold, and these two are repeated again and again, by both himself and the media, so as to make it clear to the voters.
Firstly, it is his authenticity. The American public is so used to cookie cutter politicians that someone who speaks their mind is seen as special and unforgettable. Voters generally crave authenticity because they get so little of it.
Trump’s second USP is the commitment to dominance. Of his fellow candidates, of the polls, of other countries, and of perceived wars. The American public post 9-11 have been indoctrinated with fear, and he promises to fill this emotional need with his commitment to strength and toughness.
Memorable branding is vital
Branding is another cornerstone of any sales and marketing strategy. It defines how memorable you are, how unique you are, and also provides motivation for your team.
In this case, Donald Trump’s team is not just his staff, it’s his voters as well. Though he is polarizing, once he has you on his side, you’re very clear on the fact that you are a Trump fan.
Trump’s brand has been brought over from his already well known public persona. Because the average American remembers his character on The Apprentice, he is immediately the most memorable candidate.
There is a cognitive bias in psychology known as the bizarreness effect whereby the most bizarre piece of information is often remembered by the brain.
This is why a lot of the questions in Republican debates have been geared towards Trump. The public and the media are focused on him, and the election is becoming largely about him. His bizarreness makes him the spectacle.
Combine this all with the fact that Trump is a completely fearless self-promoter and you have a recipe for a very potent and memorable brand.
If you can make your product or service bizarre in some way, it will be memorable and the first to come to mind when consumers look for a solution to their problems.
He uses the contrast effect
The contrast effect is a simple psychological principle whereby our minds look favorably upon one thing because of its contrast against another.
Most people, including many of his voters, agree that Donald Trump isn’t the ideal presidential candidate, but what he has done effectively is make himself look strong against his opponents.
The traditional political etiquette requires that you downplay others’ strengths and highlight their weaknesses but in a somewhat respectful and controlled manner. Because Trump operates outside of these paradigms he ruthlessly criticizes his opposing candidates to the point that the public believes he is the better option.
His constant labeling of Jeb Bush as weak is an example of this. And because opponents/ competitors are not used to the ways in which he is playing the political game, they are caught off guard, often flustered, and their reactions can actually reinforce his point.
Part of Trump’s charm is that he knowingly went into this campaign with the public believing he was a bit of a joke. Now that he has begun to convince some voters, others who start to support him in small ways are quickly converted because of momentum from the contrast effect.
Trump’s campaign is a masterclass in sales psychology and persuasion and in that way a work of art.
As it currently stands he actually has a good chance of winning the election, and it is his commitment to basic psychological principles that will allow him to do so.
The takeaway here is real that there is power in marketing and sales strategies.
If a reality T.V star, who is initially appeared to have little chance, can become a legitimate candidate and maybe even run the most powerful country on earth, these principles can surely help you and your product and service defy your own expectations.
Tags: trump and marketing