Learn what this election can teach us about Marketing Messages

Your Message Determines The Outcome of Any Campaign

By Gary Murphy and Lars Lindtner

Whether a political campaign or a marketing campaign, the most important element is  your message. We have now reached the end of the U.S. Presidential election. Donald J. Trump beat Hillary R. Clinton and is the new president elect. Without getting to political, it is important to note and dissect the communication efforts behind the winner and learn from it.

Presidential elections can be used as an excellent case study in marketing on a large scale. A massive frequency of advertising and public speeches coupled with record breaking views on television (Nielson recorded a total of 84 million viewers during the first presidential debate) makes it easy to boil down the candidates’ methods. In fact, the large reach of the election makes it easy to eliminate factors of our analysis.

Because both candidates reached very high viewing numbers across television and the web, the notion of a lack of reach becomes irrelevant. In fact, it appears that the constant bombardment of messages across Social Media even reached a point of ineffectiveness; more than one third of U.S. Social Media users were worn out by the election on social media, according to a report from Pew Research Center. Needless to say, the channels were not the issue in the presidential election. Instead, the determining factor may have been the message.

Campaign messages had traditionally been very well crafted and this election was not an exception

Both major party candidates had very a solid message. Donald Trump's “Make America Great Again” resonated with a largely unsatisfied base of the American public. It also promised a possible better future. 

Hillary Clinton’s message “Stronger Together” served as a reminder that even though we are in a time of great divide, unity will help us triumph. Although more abstract it resonated with her very diverse base this message allowed her to win the popular vote.

I’m going to keep this short and focus on the Winner: Make America Great Again

Although Hillar Won the popular vote, the U.S. presidency is won state-by-state  using the elecotral college system. With this simple message, Mr. Trump's slogan proved very effective to win the necessary electoral college majority across the entire United States. In other words, his message drew  a direct line across almost every state. That message also resonated by drawing a line between the past and the future. Donald Trump effectively constructed a narrative that people could relate to. His voters could look to the past while dreaming of a better future. The message "Make America Great Again" in itself was an idea branded into the culture already. You've heard the phrase:  "the good old days", right? That branded message in the conscience of a nation was chrystallized in the slogan and helped catapult the idea of a better tomorrow by choosing a Trump administration.  By capitalizing on this feeling, Mr. Trump attracted traditional voters as well as first timers that not even the scientific pollsters could detect. 

With potential to reach eyeballs and ears across the world, it is important to not forget the most important part of any campaign - The Message!

Technological advances have provided an arsenal of channels and tools to spread a message across vast geological areas at lightning speed.  But keep in mind that without a well-thought-out  message directed to a particular audience, your arsenal of channels becomes irrelevant, and even costly. Bombarding your audience with the wrong message created a deficit rather than an advantage. 


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