What We've Learned from the Trump and Clinton Marketing Campaigns

As we all know, the presidential race that has raged on for many months has been contentious, dramatic, and even cringe-inducing at times. While we may dismiss it all as political hullabaloo, much of what we've seen was planned to some extent. At this point, one month away from the election, everything must be in place for the candidates. As marketers, what can we learn from what they've done thus far?

Emotions are Powerful

Trump's slogan demonstrates this lesson well. "Make American Great Again" isn't just a vision of some kind. It's also a means of appealing to our emotions. Whether it was intended to do so or not, it makes us think about what's gone wrong in our opinion. It forces us to consider what it means to Trump, as well. What's wrong with America now? What is his vision for America? The slogan forces us to familiarize ourselves with it, whatever we believe it is.

It's difficult to stay disengaged when that problem/solution proposition is thrown at us. Marketers know this. That's why we always talk about how our products and services will benefit the consumer, how good they will make you feel, how much easier life will be once you've purchased them, etc.

Don't Ask, Demand

Trump also appealed to our emotions in July, when has asked for donations in an email campaign, saying he was displeased to "see what’s happening to the greatest country on God’s green earth." He then asked for small donations to help him compete with his opponent. His requests for donations boosted his fundraising by 69%, according to the LA Times.

Likewise, a key component of the Clinton campaign is simply asking citizens to register and vote for her. She's done that numerous times during her rallies.

Of course, many of us believe the stakes are tremendously high in this election. Therefore, when these candidates ask for help, they're more likely to get it than we are likely to get it when we ask someone to purchase our products. However, foregoing a chance to ask for something is missing an opportunity. In fact, don't just ask. Demand. Neither the Trump nor Clinton websites say "Would you please contribute?" on their fundraising pages. There are no question marks. "Contribute," "Give to this important cause" and "Donate now" are calls to action that effectively put pressure on the target market.

Keep it Simple

According to a researcher, Clinton uses about 665 unique words in her speeches, while Trump uses around 480. This suggests that Clinton uses bigger, more advanced words in her speeches, which is fair to assume. While that might seem like a win for Clinton, its advantages are limited. She might seem smarter, sure. However, marketers know that shorter, simpler sentences are more effective than long, complex sentences that are loaded with advanced vocabulary. This may be one of the reasons Trump and Clinton are still fairly even in the polls, even though Clinton has raised far more funds than Trump has.

As a general rule, don't use many commas in your marketing text. Also, use simple words as opposed to more advanced ones. In other words, make it very easy to comprehend, regardless of who you're writing for.

To Conclude

Politicians market themselves just like businesses market their brands. Perhaps that's one reason that Americans are so strongly opinionated when it comes to elections. It's kind of like being a Ford person versus being a Chevy person, isn't it? We hope this article, being published at the height of the campaign season, has helped you learn a little bit about marketing. Follow us on Facebook and feel free to share other things you've learned.

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David Kalla