How Trump Won

Yesterday during his press conference, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to bring jobs to the states whose voters helped him win. He talked about car manufacturing jobs that will remain in the U.S. once he takes office in a few days and the companies that won’t be offshoring work because of his intervention.

Each day, the Trump campaign ran “40,000 to 50,000 variants of its ads, testing how they performed in different formats, with subtitles and without, and static versus video, among other small differences. On the day of the third presidential debate in October, the team ran 175,000 variations,” Wired reports.

In addition, Trump himself was interacting with supporters on social media. Surrounded by fake news or not, Trump was putting his own message out there directly. It was a priceless earned media strategy.

“Facebook proved to be a powerful way for Trump’s team to hone the campaign’s message with the kind of enormous sample sizes you can’t get with traditional polling,” reads the article that goes on to quote Gary Coby, director of advertising at the Republican National Committee, who worked on Trump’s campaign.

“They have an advantage of a platform that has users that are conditioned to click and engage and give you feedback,” Coby tells Wired. “Their platform’s built to inform you about what people like and dislike.”

Even TV commercials were informed by data, Ad Age reports on Dec. 14.

“The data also informed development of ad creative and how it was aimed,” reads Ad Age. “In the final weeks, ads such as one called ‘Deals,’ with a tougher, masculine tone portraying Mr. Trump as a strong leader who would renegotiate ‘bad trade deals pushed by the Clintons’ ran in smaller Rust Belt cities. In Toledo, ‘Deals’ showed up during ‘NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,’ a pickup truck racing series, in the hopes of reaching male HRC Change voters.”

One with a “softer tone” targeted women likely to vote for Clinton, emphasizing to Milwaukee’s female voters watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that Trump could rebuild America with childcare tax reduction and paid maternity leave, for instance.

On Dec. 5, the SSM Blog explores five voter personas that the Trump campaign targeted in a post that Parscale later retweeted. “Trump is Not a Politician” wanted a Washington outsider; “I Am Looking for a Candidate that Will Tell it ‘Like it is’ ” sought an unpredictable candidate; “Trump is a Successful Businessman” thought he could create jobs; “Trump Wants to Build a Wall” believed they were being economically and otherwise displaced; and “Trump Believes That America is Off-Track” were concerned that America was fundamentally broken.

“The Lesson for Marketers: Your brand should not appeal to everybody,” the post concludes.

What do you think, marketers?

Please respond in the comments section below

Author: Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

12 thoughts on “How Trump Won”

  1. Great article, but disturbing, too. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive” comes to mind when so many thousands of messages are tested and the body politic is sliced ‘n diced into so many narrow segments just to manipulate a win. Another quote echoes faintly: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    1. The data story is nice, but really, Trump hit his opponent’s, and the mainstream media’s blind spot better than anyone in recent memory. Trump was a whiz at winning this election, but with a 37% approval rating as of yesterday, how will he use data to build on that?

    2. We’re talking at Target Marketing about how condescending the ‘pinking’ of marketing can be, so it was interesting to see the Trump campaign specifically target women with a ‘softer’ ad. (Speaking of segmentation)

  2. A very good read and you are right…you have to accept that your brand will not appeal to everyone. Accept the diverse tastes of your audience and embrace it. If you want to sway your opposition you have to validate their preferences. Without that validation you cannot effectively establish a dialogue or get that audience to even listen to you. All that you can ask is to let them hear you out…and if it don’tr work in your favor then so be it. But you plant that seed by being able to have a dialogue in the 1st place.

      1. Absolutely! It strengthened his reach/impac with his own voting base and, in effect, helped ‘rally the troops’ come voting day. And for those who were on the fence the variations of tweaked ads his team put out helped sway a few more votes his way. Flip-side, for those vehemently opposed to him the social media touches cemented their view(s) of him. He is a polarizing figure no doubt.

  3. My fave line “only need one layer of approval – Trump” this is also very important and what I think will make him good for the country. Trumps MO is to make sure he puts the best people in the right position and let them do their job without a bunch of red tape. He is building a great team.

  4. When JFK ran for POTUS back in 1960, a book came out shortly thereafter entitled “The 480.” The 480 were the different categories to which to fashion particular pitches. Trump was brilliant in hitting the hot topics and in defining his opponents: Crooked Hillary, Little Marco and Ugly Carly. He used concrete visions: build a wall and drain the swamp, for example. Of course, he won’t do any of that, but should he care? He won.

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