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Five marketing lessons to learn from Trump

Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America is doing nothing if not gaining more media attention than any other President in history. America has taken front stage in the crazy politics game and the world is on the edge of its seat watching every move intently.

For the most part, initial reaction has been shock, awe and laughter. But steady on. A leader is not a true leader if they can’t learn from the wins and mistakes of others. So what have you, dear business leader, learnt from the 45th President? These are solid lessons to pick up that will stand you in good stead in 2017.

Don’t redefine your end user

Unless you’re a start-up with minimal data to back up your business model, you will have a defined end user that will deliver revenue right now. Whether you think you are pivoting or adding services to attract a different end user, ignore your current one at your peril. It equals quick loss of revenue, simple. During the campaign, the Trump team had one end user in mind, middle American, Anglo-Saxon, male. It had done the research that targeting that demographic would win them an election if they turned up to vote. The messaging might have alienated many others, and Trump could have softened his tone and played defence, but he didn’t and that demographic did end up voting.

Establish your message and stick to it

Knowing your end user is one thing, making your brand appeal to them is a different game. Understand what messages they want to hear and what they will respond to, then execute. Remember that it is a multi-staged process. You may find a good message, like building a great big wall. But deliver that message flawlessly. Don’t change the price, don’t change the build method, and don’t get angry and defensive if your customers call BS. If you have done the research and proper product building, the chances of a customer or client finding a hole is minimal.

Don’t be impulsive with real-time marketing

Social media’s real-time connection to an audience has created a style of marketing that brands were arguably not ready for when it came to the fore. Now there is no excuse, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more are all marketing gold. But step away from the ‘post’ button or at least assess properly who has access to it. Take the time to understand what your end user wants and develop a proper relationship with them. Your brand could be baited, abused and threatened with ‘fake news’ but with a solid message and a good strategy you won’t be swayed.

Repeat, repeat and repeat again

Once you have found a good message, repeat and relax, repeat and relax. Your end user will continue to revisit your offering if it is a good one and new customers/clients will enter the fray. It also ensures that if the right people didn’t hear your message the first time, they will eventually hear it on the second, third or fourth call. Just make sure that message doesn’t contain any fake news…

Empower your employees

Whether they are in-store, telesales consultants, account managers or directors—employees must be on the same page you are. There is no excuse for not having your employees contradict the company messaging and then having to scramble to explain what the hell just went on. It’s worse when you have to do it in front of a media scrum you have already put off side from previous comments and claims. Spend the time educating your employees properly and sticking to your business messaging yourself. As a business leader, you have no excuse for going off-piste either.

The world is learning from President Trump. No matter what you think of him as a person or a leader, his methodology of leadership is a fascinating case study that can be applied across industries and should be used an example for both good and bad for decades, if not centuries to come.

About the author

Five marketing lessons to learn from TrumpNick Bell is the Founder & MD of WME Group, a digital marketing agency he started in 2008, which now employs over 450 people worldwide in seven countries. Bell was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2016 and debuted on the BRW Young Rich List.


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Nick Bell

Nick Bell

Nick Bell is a five x AFR young rich-lister and founder of 12 global digital agencies including First Page Digital, Lisnic and Removify.

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