Did you hear that? It’s the collective sigh of relief heard across the nation that the 2018 election cycle is over. Hopefully, we have a few months before the back street brawl begins for 2020.
But there are a few things business owners can learn from politicians and their campaigns and that is the way in which they market.
Marketing is identifying a need or a problem that a consumer has and explaining why your product or service is the best solution to that problem.
Both politicians and business owners have to identify problems constituents and clients have. Both have to be able to present the benefits they offer and explain why they are the best out of all the possible choices. (However, unlike politicians, you as a business owner have to actually deliver. Your business will quickly go down the tubes if you don’t.)
Having a Marketing Mindset
When I was an undergraduate, my advertising professor taught us always to be looking at advertising. Look at a piece and ask these questions.
- Is this effective?
- What is my response?
- What is the call to action and is it clear?
- What are the elements of the piece (image, fonts, colors, etc.)
- Do I have a clear sense of the company and their brand through this ad?
He taught us to break it down into the details and analyze what made it work or what caused it to be a flop. If you are responsible for promoting a company, you have to always be looking and learning.
essages you have been sending.
What Politics Does Right
Many marketing pieces came across my desk in the past year since the campaign for the primaries began. There were some that I really had to wonder if they even thought about the message they were sending. Others probably didn’t do much more than create name awareness. But the point is almost all of them were out promoting themselves and they knew that just sitting back and relying on a party affiliation was not going to carry them through.
There are many things that could be said about this election cycle, but there are two things I want to point out.
Ignore Social Media at Your Peril
The first is, did you realize how prominent a role social media played in campaigning? Facebook Live was a cornerstone of a good portion of Beto O’Rourke’s campaigning. Dan Crenshaw also frequently made use of Facebook Live and beat out Kathaleen Wall and her professionally designed ad spots and the deluge of mailers that must have taken a small forest to print. (They were pretty though, her design firm did a nice job on them.)
When it comes to influencing and winning people to your side, social media is not something that can be ignored.
The second is the huge sway content marketing had on the race. If you live in the Houston area, I’m sure you received one or more of the slate mailers designed as “newsletters.” The mailer has articles and editorials, some from “experts” in the field and some from candidates themselves, all in support of specific political positions. Intermixed are overt ads, just as you would see in a regular magazine, except they are all political.
Included in the newsletter is a slate of recommendation for candidates, and many people who receive them take them into the polling location and vote from them.
What are they doing here?
The newsletters define the problem. The problem may not actually be a problem, their experts may not actually be experts, and they may not be presenting the facts correctly . . . But they are framing the issues.
Because they have framed the issues, they are in the perfect position to present their recommended candidates as the best solution for that problem.
This is the essence of content marketing. Not the deception of course, but the engagement and the presentation of the information. If you provide a service, you want to frame the decision-making process, line out the question people should ask and the qualities or features they should look for. Then you can show how you meet those criteria.
Marketing is about relationship and relationships require communication.
As we finish out this year, take some time to review the messages you have been sending.
Want to Get Started?
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