Whether or not you like him, Donald Trump is one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. Whether it’s in the board room or the campaign trail, success leaves clues. This is simply a study of how you can gain massive amounts of attention for your brand like he has. A political campaign is just a big sales and marketing campaign, and there is a lot entrepreneurs can learn from it if they pay attention.
In the most crowded, competitive Republican race perhaps ever, Donald Trump seemingly dominates the news cycle non-stop. In a crowded marketplace, how do you trump the competition and render them irrelevant?
Here are four strategies Trump uses that you can employ in your business.
- Marketing first
He recognizes that he is in the business of marketing first, and everything else second. For example: The domain name JebBush.com is owned by Donald Trump and redirects users to DonaldJTrump.com.
Have you adopted the mindset that you are a marketer first and then are in the business of whatever product or service your brand provides? If you haven’t, you’d better. Because you could have the greatest product in the world but if no one knows about you — you’re sunk.
- Speaking in sound-bytes
If you listen carefully to Trump’s campaign speeches, television and radio interviews, you will hear a marketer more so than a candidate. Trump speaks in highly quotable and tweetable sound bites, not a lot of political mumbo jumbo or technical jargon. He keeps his message on simple, specific points. He’s polarizing, speaks abruptly and at a level his audience can easily understand.
The average reading level in the U.S. is seventh grade. Do you communicate with your audience at a level they can easily understand, or do you use a lot of industry jargon to try to sound like an expert? Find a balance.
Marketing is about gaining “mindshare,” and Trump has been receiving 54 percent of the media coverage of the Republican race. That’s six times the coverage of the second place candidate.
I would argue that in some cases, he manufactures it to his advantage. As opposed to most of his competitors, Trump uses real-time marketing not traditional advertising. His twitter presence and level of real-time engagement with followers has led him to receive hours of free media attention.
Take a long, hard look at your social-media posts. Are they simple online advertisements, or are you using real-time marketing and creating a dialogue? The former is essentially spam, the latter has a proven return on investment.
- Brand you
Trump knows how to build a personal brand and has near universal name recognition. In a recent USA Today survey, 98 percent of Americans report recognizing the Trump name. It stands to reason with a social-media following exponentially greater than many of his competitors.
The game of politics has changed — the days of simply fundraising and buying television and radio commercials are gone. The game has changed in similar fashion in business. Long gone are the days of simply hanging up a shingle and placing a few print or radio ads to drive people to your doorstep.
Traditional advertising is expensive and ineffective. Real-time social-media marketing is a free and an incredibly powerful tool at any entrepreneur’s disposal. Social media drives how consumers follow brands and businesses as well.
So today, it’s not what you know or who you know, as the old saying goes. In today’s marketplace, who knows you trumps everything else. The best way to maximize who knows you is to give your audience multiple means to connect the dots to your brand. Remember where the attention goes, the money flows. Someone’s going to get the attention — so why not you?
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