Unless you live under a rock you have probably heard about Donald Trump and know that he is currently running to be the President of the United States.
When Donald Trump first announced that he was planning to run for president no one really took him seriously. He was loud, brash and somewhat unrefined, but as time went on people started to realise that Trump actually had far more power and appeal and was actually making a considerable dent in the polls and in the debates.
Since he began his presidential campaign, Trump has constantly in the media and has received more press than any other candidate. He is also currently one of the leading front-runners for the Republican party.
How can this be considering that Trump has no former experience in politics? Many people believe it is because of his killer marketing campaign.
This is not about getting into politics, but rather it is about looking at Trump’s campaign and assessing why it has been so beneficial to get him where he is today. By breaking down his campaign and looking at his strategies, your business can also emulate some of his ideas and turn your brand into one that also wins at the polls.
In fact, many analysts and marketing experts that have been following Trump’s campaign feel that while has been very aggressive, there is no denying that he is by far the most well-known, most talked about and most reported candidate in the running.
Let’s take a look at 10 of Trump’s marketing strategies that have helped him to achieve this-
1. He Knows His Audience
Donald Trump has very carefully selected the crowd that he is marketing to. You may argue that this would be the same for any Republican candidate, however, Trump has gone that one step further and targeted a select group of Republican voters. He has done this by looking at the main frustrations of the Republican voters and then giving those frustrations a voice.
When Trump speaks during his debates he also does not try to pander to the emotions of everyone and everything. Instead, he knows what he wants, he voices his opinion and he doesn’t care whether he is loved or hated for it. This mentality is exactly what speaks to his target audience.
Your brand can adopt a similar mentality by becoming very clear over who your target audience is. Once you have established your target audience, do not get caught up into trying to pander to other target audiences or take into consideration other users. Instead, know your audience, stick to your mission and do not try to please everyone as this will dilute your results.
It can be far more powerful to target a smaller audience that is more suitable for your brand than to target a bigger audience that may not respond.
2. He Knows His Brand
Donald Trump has made billions creating his empire and partly why his presidential campaign has been so successful is because he knows what it takes to take an idea and turn it into a brand.
Along with running for President, Trump is also a real estate developer, TV host, author and all-round business man. He has created his enterprise by knowing who he is, what his strengths are and how to build a brand around those factors.
Donald Trump may not have a resume of a future president, but he knows how to focus on his strengths and has built his campaign around that. This has allowed voters to feel confident in him and what he is promising them.
Your business can do the same by really owning what it is that you stand for and knowing what your strengths are. Think about your brand and make a list of your top three or four strengths, then work on building your campaign around those strengths.
When you do, not only is your brand going to appear more powerful but it will instantly communicate to customers exactly what your business stands for and what they can expect. It will also help to create confidence and trust in the minds of your consumers.
3. He Knows How to Get People Talking
Hopefully you want to get people talking about your brand in a positive way, however Trump may be proof that any talk, including negative talk, may be good talk.
Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has come out with some outlandish and outrageous statements that no presidential campaign has ever dared to say before. However, there is a strong correlation between the press reporting on Donald Trump’s audacious comments and a rise in his performance in the polls.
The reason for this is believed to be that Trump’s core supporters are respecting him for speaking his truth and therefore feel compelled to show more support every time he does so. In fact, it seems that the more outrageous Trump gets, the more people start coming out of the wood work in order to support him.
While this tactic won’t help you to approach the mainstream, it will help you to find your tribe and your most loyal supporters.
“Love him or hate him, Donald Trumps polarising character and opinions are gaining him serious attention on social media channels. The number one predictor in virality on social media is how angry an article makes the reader…with this being the case Donald Trump’s polarising opinions garner him some serious eye balls on Social Media” Sabri Suby, Head Of Growth & Founder King Kong
In order to get more people talking about your brand, it is important that your brand has something worth talking about. It doesn’t have to be something everyone will talk about, but as long as your target audience can get talking about it then your work is pretty much done.
Reach out to your target audience by letting them know how you can help, make comments surrounding things that are not working, slam outdated practices and make a statement about what needs to be changed about your industry. Don’t be afraid to make bold comments as often these comments are going to get your industry talking.
The more you can create a buzz in your industry, the more customers you are likely to have. Remember, in creating a buzz you may not get everyone liking you, but it will help you to find your tribe.
4. He Doesn’t Seek Approval
Many presidential candidates will have focus groups where they will test out some of their theories and ideas to see how the audience responds. As you can probably guess, Trump does not have a focus group.
Trump appears to say what he wants, when he wants, however he probably also has a team guiding him along the way at this point in the game.
Either way, another reason people have responded to Donald Trump is that he speaks his mind and does not try to sugar-coat his ideas by appealing to many people. His unrehearsed, unpolished demeanour also helps to add to his appeal as people are hanging on, just waiting to see what outrageous comments he will say next.
He doesn’t need the approval of the public or even the majority of the public, he has a cause, he believes in it and that is enough for him.
Your brand can adopt a similar mentality by believing in your products and services without feeling the need to ask 1000 different people if they like it or if they have any other ideas.
Of course, while market research can be helpful, eventually you just have to bite the bullet and run with your own idea. You could spend a lifetime trying to create a product that suits everyones ideas and needs, but sometimes you just have to run with your idea and see what happens, the results may just surprise you.
5. He Uses Controversy to His Advantage
Controversy has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest advantages on the campaign trail so far. He has worked on taking sensitive issues and thrusting them into the lime light in order to get a reaction out of people and to generate press.
While a lot of what he has said has landed him in hot water and has contributed to deals being lost between some pretty big business partners including NBC, Macy’s, Serta, Univision and more, Trump has taken all of this controversy and used it to add fuel to his fire.
His controversial comments have helped to stir up debates, get politicians talking and has given audiences around the world something to talk about. In a roundabout way, even though his comments lost him a few deals, he may stand to win the biggest deal of his career in becoming President.
While we don’t recommend that your brand starts throwing around controversial comments for the sake of it, stirring up a bit of a debate amongst your fans and followers may help to get them thinking about your brand, products and services in a different way. It may even encourage your followers to feel that they need or would benefit from your products or services.
Another strategy to consider is that if your business ever did come under some controversy, instead of denying it or trying to cover it up, try owning it and standing by your company’s statements. Alternatively, you may want to use the controversial comments as press for a new product or service that provides a solution.
6. He is Active on Social Media
To date, Donald Trump has over 6.2 million followers on Twitter which is considerably more than any of the other politicians running in the presidential campaign. In fact, Trump has a social following that is nearly 10 times larger than any of the other main candidates.
Looking at his Twitter feed, Trump is also a regular updater and seems to share a lot of thoughts, triumphs and stats about his process and what he is up to. In fact, the tweets the Donald Trump shares are straight forward, clearly highlight his position on what he stands for and are very easy to follow.
He is also faster than any other candidate to update his status and reports on events in real time as much as possible.
Trump has also been able to use his Twitter account to get out of trouble and to ease any negative backlash that he would have otherwise received. He has also used it to make comments towards other candidates that are often not responded to till much later when the damage has already been done.
For brands and marketers, the take away from this strategy is to not just have social media accounts but to regularly update them in real time. Social media is definitely a “right now” technology and in order to stay relevant and get people talking, your tweets and posts need to centered around real time events as much as possible.
Just the same, installing social share buttons on your website will allow you to track when your audience is responding with your content and how you can cater to more of your audience.
Social media has definitely been a powerful tool for Donald Trump during his campaign, proving that your business also stands to gain a lot by having a strong social following.
7. He Knows How to Build Momentum
Donald Trump may not be president yet, but if you watch his campaign so far from start to finish, you will see that he has followed a pretty interesting formula.
In the beginning of his campaign Trump needed to build momentum so out he came with his outrageous statements and buzz worthy comments. Then he needed to build recognition by getting the public to talk about him and now he is in the phase of building experience and trust.
To summarise this, Donald Trump seems to have followed this journey during his campaign:
- Building Momentum
- Building Recognition
- Building Experience
- Building Trust
It is this formula that Trump hopes is going to win him the title of President. Whether it succeeds or not is a different story, however there are many ways that your brand can use it to help grow your business.
In fact, this strategy is perfect to adopt for your businesses product launches, marketing campaigns and more. In fact, this strategy can really be your step by step pathway to gaining more customers and boosting revenue.
First you need to build momentum behind your products and services and get your brand recognised. You can do this by getting involved in social media, getting active in your local community, starting a blog or webinar series or advertising your product.
After the momentum and recognition has started to build, it is time to work on developing a solid experience for your customers. When your customers do knock on your door or sign up to be a part of your community, work on giving them a top notch experience that is going to help them to trust you and fall in love with your brand.
8. He Has Built Himself into Celebrity Status
Sure, Donald Trump did have his own TV show called ‘The Apprentice’ but his campaign has managed to boost his status and has turned him into somewhat of a celebrity.
There are a few things that help to support Donald Trump’s celebrity status including, the people that he knows, the money that he has and the power that he has in his particular industry. Of course, all the press on television has also helped.
While your brand does not have to go out and start spending big dollars on TV shows, marketing and press in order to adopt a “celebrity status”, it may be beneficial to simply align your business with some big leaders in your industry.
To do this, all you need to do is go to networking events, snap some pictures and tweet and comment thoughts and popular phrases by leaders in your industry. You can also follow your favourite leaders on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, and respond or write back to their comments. If you manage to get a retweet or response from the industry leader, advertise it on your social pages.
While you don’t need to go overboard with this, having a few mentions and links to leaders in your field can definitely help to promote the awareness of your business and can build trust.
People are naturally trusting when they see a celebrity endorse a product or service and sometimes these effects can be the same if you simply have a social media mention from a celebrity.
9. He Has A Catchy Slogan
“Make America Great Again” is the slogan Donald Trump is parading all over his campaign, he even has a hashtag, T-shirts, hats and other promotional materials with his slogan.
Unlike other Presidential candidates, Trump’s slogan is catchy, powerful and is delivered with a strong conviction. He knows that his slogan is part of how his audience will relate to him and summarises exactly what he stands for.
Trump’s promotional slogan is also catchy and easily remembered by audiences, in fact no other presidential candidate has come up with a slogan that has been as popular as Trump’s.
Does your brand have a slogan?
If you look at big brands from all around the world, they often have a slogan that is just as identifiable as the brand itself.
For example, McDonald’s has “I’m lovin’ it”, Apple has “Think Different” and Nike has “Just Do It.” All of these slogans help to build the energy and feeling of the brand and help to communicate what the brand stands for.
If your brand does not have a slogan, coming up with one to use on your marketing and advertising campaigns may provide huge benefits. To come up with a slogan, ensure that it is short and sweet, catchy, memorable and highlights what separates your brand from others.
Once you have come up with a great slogan, use it as a hashtag, in your blog, in your tweets and in your marketing material. It may take some time for your slogan to catch on, but over time and with persistent use, people will soon learn to recognise it.
10. He Knows How to Guard His Brand
Even though it may not seem this way at times, Donald Trump is very selective over where he chooses to build his brand.
“If I were to put Trump on everything that came my way- from potato chips to paper clips, the power of my name would be diluted. I am very demanding and selective about where that name goes. And I always try to make sure the letters are in gold.- Donald Trump
Just in the same way, if you run a financial firm, advertising on Snapchat may not be the best medium for your business, unless your are specifically approaching the millennial market.
Knowing where to put your brand name and where to focus your attention when it comes to marketing is really important as it helps your brand to be reached by the people that actually matter.
When you start advertising your name or brand on products that are not aligned with your overall mission, it decreases the perceived value of your business and jeopardises your brand.
While getting out there is important, being mindful of where you start planting your seeds is just as important. Like Trump rightly points out, if you start putting your brand name all over the internet without worrying about the quality of what you are doing, you could dilute your brand power.
Think about what market you are going after when it comes to promoting your brand and then stick with it, as this will be far more beneficial and cost effective in the long run.
While many people may not agree with some of the comments or style of his campaign, Donald Trump has definitely made heads turn.
Part of his success can truly be contributed to his marketing strategy and just how he has gone about creating a strong following of loyal fans and social media followers.
While it remains to be seen what will happen on election day, there is no mistaking that Donald Trump, the man with very little experience, the brash mouth and the billionaire lifestyle could very well hold one of the most powerful positions in the world thanks to his clever marketing campaign.