Trump – Marketer of the Year

This morning at 3am I was watching President-Elect Donald Trump march onto the stage. Pundits for months have talked about how it would not happen. People have satirized his policies and values, and focused on his often inane, sometimes repugnant comments. Has America lost its mind? I left the office yesterday saying I won’t be shocked if Trump wins because as a marketer he has been brilliant. He ran his entire election on a singular insight and he stuck to it — “Make America Great Again “. He understood that Americans grew up believing they were the Super Power. Cowboys and Indians. Comic book super heroes and villains. Captain America was a story of an American soldier fighting the evil German enemy — super heroes represented the triumph of good over evil, with many of them having flaws. Trump has his flaws but he also provided a message of hope, saying we will be great again. Americans want to be winners again. They are not happy with the reality they wake up to every morning and they want change.

Why choose you? Why buy your product? It is never about the functional benefits — it is always about the insight. We debate the content of articles while consumers only remember the headlines. Trump understood this. We tell clients to spend the time on “braining up”. Do your homework. Have a strategy based on insights and then communicate it, in the right media, to the right audience where it will resonate and you are more likely to get a return on your efforts and investments. Trump understood this. Try to outsmart instead of outspend. Use earned media through content and stunts to get free exposure of your message by the media. It is what we preach and practice. Donald was a master at this from day one.

So while America has voted him President of the United States, we should be awarding him Marketer of the Year.

Trump is also a master of public relations. We always say to keep to three central messages, no matter what anybody asks. He never bothered with the details. He always went to his three central themes:

  • Are you happy? No
  • Do you want change? Yes
  • Don’t you want a world that is safer and there are more job opportunities? Yes
    If so, vote for me.

Upon reflection, the American people will come to understand that Trump was not only elected by the people but also by the media. They were overly obsessed with readers and viewers ignoring the substance of what the man had to say. There were other candidates with valuable messages who never got any air time. It was a form of short-term capitalistic values that focus on results for the quarter, rather than what is good for a company – or in this case, a country – in the long term.

Howard Lichtman
Parter, Co-Founder, Ethnicity Marketing + Advertising

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