Donald Trump. Yes, the figure more commonly known for his rants and hair-do than political policies. His political traction has left onlookers in disbelief. As many of us already know, politics is more than just policy. Rather, it's a lot about how you market yourself. So, what can small business owners learn from Donald Trump about marketing?
1. Know your audience
Love him or hate him, Trump knows who he’s talking to. Small businesses that have done their homework -- gone out there, met with customers and understand their motivations -- are the ones that get engagement.
2. Deliver a simple and strong message
Confusing the marketing message is a common mistake many small business owners make. Just because a business understands what it's trying to say, it doesn’t mean customers will. Trump communicates simple messages that resonate with his audience.
Too often, marketers try to get tricky with their communications. The result - usually money wasted without a clear value proposition.
3. Never underestimate branding and promotion
It’s clear that Trump is his own brand. He’s created and developed it over the years. As most marketers know, developing a strong brand takes time, money and the right marketing mix. It also means that, like Trump, small businesses need to be bold, out there and zig when the rest choose to zag. If a business doesn't have a point of difference with its promotions, then they’re just one of the pack.
4. Know your medium
Marketing channels don’t all perform the same. Television is obviously a great channel to get a brand out there. Let’s be realistic, an ad campaign, like the ones Trump produces, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Small businesses simply don’t have that kind of money. We find that email marketing is still one of the best and highest performing marketing channels. Better yet, a small business database is seen as a valuable asset to would-be buyers.
5. Go BIG or go "Guerrilla"
Known for his lavish events and seemingly cheesy promotion, Trump loves things done BIG. But that’s often hard to achieve if you’re a small business punching blows with the big guys. A common term thrown about amongst marketers is “Guerrilla Marketing”. Guerrilla marketing is all about utilising the resources you have at your disposal to create market awareness. That doesn’t mean you should go hire a helicopter and fly your brand around town – you need a solid plan and approach.
*Pro tip – does your product have many uses? Start thinking of inventive ways it can be used. Develop that into content, videos and images or set it up where people can see it.
Questions to ask before starting your marketing campaign
- What am I trying to achieve?
- What’s my budget?
- What resources do I have available?
- How do I want my audience to react?
- Is this feasible?
- Did I achieve my intended reaction?