In case you haven’t noticed (and who hasn’t with all those political ads) the presidential primary season is swinging into high gear. From debates to caucuses to early state primaries the presidential election seems to be the topic of conversation these days. And more often than not, those talks are dominated by what people think about two candidates in particular: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
No matter where you are on the political spectrum (conservative, liberal, independent, libertarian, etc.) those two presidential aspirants are capturing most of the headlines. At the time of this writing, both are leading in the early voting state polls. And whether you like them or think they are totally nuts, there are actually several things marketers can learn from both candidates.
Here are four lessons from the Sanders and Trump campaigns marketers should implement:
- Communicate what is real and authentic—Most pundits speculate that the reason for Sanders’ and Trump’s popularity is they are themselves. They are who they are. They are also not traditional politicians. Each will say whatever is on their mind. While your marketing messages can’t just say anything, they should be genuine. People today crave authenticity—from their politicians and their brands. Are you delivering that authenticity with your brand?
- Tap into emotion—If you have ever watched a Sanders or Trump speech you know they get fired up and excited. Whether you love them or hate them, you must recognize their passion. Make your marketing emotional. Tell stories and show how your products and services benefit someone rather than just emphasize a boring feature. Are you delivering passion with your brand?
- Remember patience—When both Trump and Sanders entered the race for president, most political pundits scoffed and gave neither any chance. And for the first few months it took each candidate awhile to gain transaction. But they kept communicating their messages; they were patient. And now both are leading their respective party’s polls. It’s the same way with marketing: it takes steady patience and a long-view. Don’t give up after one failed promotion. Stay consistent with your marketing. Are you staying patient with your brand?
- Leverage your brand advocates—Both Trump and Sanders have legions of followers. They each draw crowds not by the hundreds but by the thousands. Then they turn those audiences into raving fans. Each campaign apparently has a strong “ground game” as political experts say. You must search for and then use people who love your products and services. Turn them into cheerleaders for you. It’s much better to have someone else talking about and promoting your organization. Are you using testimonials and advocates with your brand?
Of course, it’s entirely possible that neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump becomes president. But no matter what the eventual outcome, marketers can learn and implement some valuable lessons from each.