Today I'm going to explain how Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election despite having, what many consider, his controversial and, some would say, inflammatory views regarding competitors, Muslims, woman, illegal immigrants, and critics.
After all, this is the greatest marketing blog in the world, and Trump is demonstrated some phenomenal marketing certainly worth examining.
Trump's former competitor Jeb Bush, for example, with all of his political credentials and $35 million in campaign dollars spent, is getting crushed by Trump, who has no political experience and has spent a bit less than $1.4 million in campaign spending.
Hillary Clinton outspent Trump 2:1, and still, Trump was successful.
Grab some coffee and let's examine why:
1) Trump was already Popular
Thanks to his dominant branding of real-estate, a reality show, beauty pageants, high-end lifestyle goods, and America's love of capitalism,
Trump has been a household name since the 80s.
As I always say, "Marketing is getting people to know, like and trust you in the interest of improving their condition."
Therefore, the first goal of marketing is always getting people to know you -- maximizing your popularity -- which Trump has done in spades compared to his competition.
2) People Believe Trump Solves Problems
What Trump is great at is identifying the country's problems, and simplifying their causes by pointing to one of many of his reasons, such as: Poor vetting of immigrant Muslims, unfair trade practices by China and some countries' self-serving support of illegal immigration as the problem.
His message is nearly always very simple, and very catchy.
Also, as a result of his long, successful history in business and media, many people have come to believe that "everything Trump touches turns to gold", and that is why many people want Trump to apply that same "golden touch" to America as a whole.
Speaking of success, while some people view his companies' past bankruptcies as a negative, Trump supporters see this as a positive, seeing Trump as the perfect choice to restructure America's $18 trillion in debt, as he has successfully done with his own companies in the past.
This is how the Trump campaign has ingeniously turned a negative into a positive.
3) Trump Tapped into a New Base
With Trump's popularity already soaring straight from his announcement as a candidate, combined with his anti-politician, pro-middle class stances, Trump is attracting a whole new base of Democrats who never voted Republican, and Republicans sick of the Republican Establishment's broken promises.
Being an outsider has several positives, and for a man as well-known and prolific as Trump, he's truly stirred a wave of political fervor that can't be silenced, and won't be stopped.
In fact, by an overwhelming 77 percent to 22 percent margin, Republican registered voters say they prefer an outsider candidate who will change how things are done, rather than someone with experience in Washington who can get things done.
When I hear liberals saying Trump's too conservative and conservatives saying Trump's too liberal, I wonder if these political experts realize that's causing people to believe Trump's finding the middle everyone seems to celebrate, yet no one seems to truly support.
4) Trump's Brashness is Perceived as Honest Decisiveness
The fact of the matter is, when you're ready to give speeches with no teleprompter, and deliver potentially inflammatory and controversial statements without worrying about results that might hurt your popularity, it is seen as courageous honesty, which again, only strengthens and widens his base, as this is traditionally anti-political, which many people, especially those who do not have strong partisan leanings, are loving.
For example, despite his recent and unprecedented remarks concerning not allowing Muslim immigrants into country until we can improve our vetting system, Trump's poll numbers actually increased, to the media's shock.
That should be no surprise since according to a recent PEW Research poll, people prefer honesty and decisiveness over compassion. But then again, compassion to who, Americans, or immigrants?
5) Trump Didn't Slow Down
The biggest reason just about any team or politician seems to lose after having a commanding lead is they stop doing what got them there in the first place.
We certainly saw it after the 2nd debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, but we're not seeing it now with Trump.
Instead of pulling back his flamboyance and argumentative comments, he's increasing them, both in quantity and in the degree of media-response-driven controversy.
6) Trump Never Pulled Back
Again, his sincerity can probably best be proven by the fact that he doesn't take back what he says.
In fact, he doesn't even dial back even a little. Instead, he exhibits a sense of unprecedented courage and conviction, which, again, only acts to strengthen his base.
It is clear Trump subscribes to the idea that the best defense is a great offense.
While President Obama was using a terrorist shooting to push for more gun control, Trump took the political football and pushed for not allowing Muslims into the country until the government's immigration vetting process is improved. As a result, the gun control issue got lost, and Trump's popularity soared.
7) Trump Minimized Scrutiny
Speaking of never pulling back, Trump attacks those who attack him with unapologetic venom that acts to minimize others from doing the same.
Compilation of Trump's attacks (Part 1):
Even Ted Cruz, who recently made some mild criticisms of Trump as a candidate, was on the receiving end of Trump's criticism, resulting in Cruz pulling back and almost apologizing to Trump, while blaming the media for making his comments seem harsher than they actually were.
8) Negative Attention has Positive Results
Have you ever heard of, "There is no such thing as bad publicity?" Now you're going to learn why.
The bottom line is the more people speak about Trump, for good or bad, the more of a positive effect it has on his popularity and the overall effectiveness of his campaign.
I know that sounds impossible, but listen up: With regard to the media bashing Trump for his stances toward temporarily not allowing Muslims into this country, Terror Management Theory stipulates that we all have deep-seated fears, such as fears of terrorism, that cause us to do things we wouldn't normally do.
The reaction to these fears is most often an emotional response, such as smoking, eating unhealthy food, wasting money, or in this situation, electing a person you are told is "bad" but nevertheless, you perceive as someone able to protect you.
So with the media constantly showing us headlines about recent attacks, combined with ways in which Trump believes he can prevent these attacks (whether you normally agree with or not), it combines in many people's minds to form an emotional inclination in the way we may be prepared to act to prevent external harm.
I'm not saying Trump is actually wrong, I'm simply saying even if people don't support his views, all of this negative attention only works to help him for the most part.
9) Trump's Extreme Views Created Extreme Loyalty
As I always say, "be loved or be hated, just don't be forgotten." Trump has become loved, and hated, but certainly not forgotten like much of his competition.
But that's not even all of it. As a result of the dozen or so political contretemps Trump has endured and prevailed upon to date, there seems to be two major forces in in the Republican Primary today: 1) An advocacy for Trump, 2) An advocacy against Trump.
Because of this, support for any of Trump's competitors is diluted, and therefore there is no capable vessel to defeat Trump, only toothless third-person criticism and Facebook rhetoric.
Well, none of that wins a race!
Also, let's not forget one of my biggest laws of marketing which is: "Always do the opposite of your number #1 competitor."
Now, because of the ceremonial dance most politicians do to get elected, you can easily bundle all of Trump's competitors into one sack of political correctness and a refusal to break Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment.
Trump has done this and more.
Trump has been a huge stark contrast to his competitors the way mouthwash Listerine led the market for years claiming to make your breath smell like a hospital until Scope came onto the scene as the "good-tasting mouthwash that kills germs."
I bet Listerine executives needed a hospital bed after seeing that one!
Compilation of Trump's attacks (Part 2):
The bottom line is if you can't appear to be better at something, be different. As a result, you'll absorb new or dissatisfied markets while cashing in revenue, or votes.
10) People Love Him, Period
What anyone can deduce from the endless coverage Trump has received in recent months is the fact that people love him, or love to hate him. Either way, they love hearing about him.
When I was a boy, I was awestruck by how much coverage the History Channel gave to Hitler and the Nazis. What I realized was people loved learning about such an evil force, event if they hate it.
Now I am NOT comparing Trump to the Nazis in any way, shape or form (see Godwin's Law); however, others are, and they are not unlike the people watching the History Channel's coverage of the Nazis simply because they find it entertaining or enriching in some way.
And many people do love Trump, hence why his reality show was such a global success, and why he is surging in the polls despite what the Republican elite, the media and other strong forces want, or try to influence.
Based on my analysis above, I predict that Donald Trump will be our next President.
If you don't like Trump, you must understand that in business, it's not always the best product that prevails, but rather, the product with the best marketing.Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.