Marketing genius? Four marketing lessons from Trump

Blog by November 29, 2016

shutterstock_495245665Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a marketing genius. From his social media presence to his domination of the media here’s four things that marketers can learn from the ‘Donald’.

1. Create conversation on social media
It’s not enough to just be present on social media, as Bill Press suggests, Trump kept his Twitter energised. He reacted to news in real time sparking conversation on all social media platforms. Yes, Trump’s comments and campaign were often provocative but he showed how important it is to engage with your audience.

2. Make slogans great again
What the hell, I’ll say it, the Trump brand is solid. His supporters know what he stands for and it was all due to a simple slogan. Admittedly not as simple as Obama’s ‘Hope’ campaign. However, Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ was a lot more memorable than Hilary Clinton’s ‘Stronger Together’. Trump showed marketers the importance of a targeted clear slogan.

What helped the slogan even more was Trump’s love of campaign collateral. His campaign spent more than $15 million (USD) on campaign collateral including over $3.2 million on ‘Make America Great Again’ hats!

3. Know your market
Trump’s campaign confirmed to marketers how important knowing your target market is. He knew and understood his target market. He knew how to reach them and for me this was Trump’s greatest strength during the campaign.

Forbes summed up this strength perfectly, “Trump understands the most fundamental underpinning of marketing, whether of the old or new variety: Know your customers, what they care about, what will make them act.”

4. Get free media
Alright, this one isn’t so easy to replicate. Trump’s ability to create free media coverage was a huge advantage. He used social media and public appearances to relay his message and the media couldn’t get enough of it. Yes, a large proportion of the media attention may have been negative but he got his message out to more eyes and ears than anyone else.

According to Marketing Mag by November 2016 he generated about $5 billion (USD) in free media. To put that in perspective MediaQuant estitmates that Clinton spent $28 million on bought medias and generated $746 million in earned media. Trump however bought around $10 million and earned $1.9 billion!

So, there’s four things us marketers can take away from Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump’s entire strategy led to him earning a lot of free media and I think it’s safe to say this is what gave him the greatest advantage. All good marketing strategies start somewhere – at Threesides Marketing we can get you marketing strategy and planning in place so you can effectively reach your target market.