When Donald Trump announced his candidacy, most people laughed. He would never be the Republican nominee anyway. Now some opinion polls are predicting he’s gonna win the next election. Is it Hillary’s fault? Why is she losing that race when she had a clear head start? Instead of going through which candidate is the best choice, I’m gonna have a look at their communication strategies and the important lessons we can draw from them.

How an election is won…

Wrongly, rational people assume that the majority of voters look at the different manifestoes and decide what they think is best for them. Wrongly, we assume the decision to cast a vote for one candidate above the other is the result of constructive thinking. Wrongly, we assume people actually know what they’re voting for….

Winning an election the result of publicity, communication and smart marketing, nothing else. At this game, Hillary is losing. She is giving all the publicity to her opponent. She turns the attention of voters away from her and on her opponent. And finally, she clearly hasn’t got a very good grasp of her audience…

Marketing is about empathy for your audience first. And Trump does that way better than Hillary. Now of course, they don’t have the same audience, but Trump keeps agitating the problems of the average Republican tax payer. He doesn’t offer any viable  solution but he speaks to the problems and he fools them into believing he actually cares about them…

An election is never won on rational grounds. Democracy is about appealing to the masses and touching them emotionally, not “power to the people.” It’s more about giving a slave the whip for his own flogging than asking for his opinion. Ultimately, an election is won on emotions.

The problem with “facts”

During the debate, people were hoping that Trump would get “fact checked” but even if that had been the case, it wouldn’t have made any difference. People likely to vote for Trump don’t even believe in facts and figures so he can say whatever he likes. And fighting him on facts is the best way to lose.

As smirky as she looks on camera, Hillary doesn’t showcase the same boldness and confidence that Trump exhibits. I think he actually believes in what he’s saying, even when he’s lying. Trump’s greatest strength has been his ability to create raving fans: people who will interpret as truth anything he’s said, just because he’s said it. Hillary has been unable to do that…

The main reason Hillary has been unable to convince the undecided is precisely because she hasn’t developed that core of raving fans. Most people who are going to vote for her are going to vote for “anyone but Trump” rather than her, and that’s not a very bright prospect…

The importance of attitude…

This is undoubtedly gonna be the most controversial part of this article but I’m gonna talk about Hillary’s attitude… I didn’t watch the whole debate because I don’t have the patience for that but I’ve seen enough to see how much of a gap Hillary has created with her audience…

Don’t get me wrong, she threw some nice punches out there and against such an opponent it’s really hard to make a point, but she should have dropped the condescendance and the smirk. And even if Trump is way more hatable than she is, they have a different audience, and she’s not appealing to anyone by trying to look superior.

Trump doesn’t use big words, he has no experience and he even celebrates that. Hillary talks about nothing but her experience, and that’s her curse. By doing so she creates a gap with her audience and doesn’t meet people where they’re at.

Curiously enough, there is a huge gap between Trump and his audience too but he manages to meet them where they’re at by stating problems and digging into their pains rather than throwing figures for the sake of it. He doesn’t use big words, he sticks to very simple language that his voters will understand.

What that means for your business…

A lot of people are trying to campaign against Trump. We’re having celebrities shooting videos against him. Hillary’s campaign are more against Trump than about how miraculous her policies will be. There is basically not much to fight for except “preventing the unknown.”

In my very humble opinion, the only one who has campaigned right for Hillary is Barack Obama. The video below shows exactly what should have been done a long time ago. Notice how he doesn’t talk about Trump, but about what he has built, and what is at stake. There is something to believe in. There is something worse fighting for.
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fajplusenglish%2Fvideos%2F800533326754843%2F&show_text=0&width=560
What that means for your business is that you never want to provide publicity to your competition. Focus on you and what value you can provide to people. Focus on your big why and spread a compelling message that shows your values. Know your audience and make sure to appear as the ONLY solution for them.

Wrap-up

The outcome of this election may prove me completely wrong. However, the simple fact that Trump is even able to challenge Hillary calls for some thinking about the art of marketing. Obviously I’m not encouraging anyone to resort to lying, hate and deceit to get their way, but make sure your audience understands you and sees hope in you.

And if you want some help in the art of defining your audience and crafting a compelling message ethically, you can learn more about my coaching here.