Regardless of your political affiliation, one thing everyone – the pundits, current and former candidates, and the general population – agrees on is this is an atypical presidential election year. No two are the same, but this one is an extreme outlier.
It’s different for a lot of reasons, but one relates directly to marketing. In the Republican primary, there were candidates flush with cash, experience and name recognition, three factors that often play a major role in success. Yet they dropped like flies. Heck, Jeb Bush had $150 million and complete name recognition and didn’t crack the top five. Why is that? One major reason is they stuck to messages that work in most elections rather than adapting to this election.
In past election cycles, many of the candidates could have plausibly made it all the way to the White House. But every one failed to realize this wasn’t the year for, as one candidate put it, “boundless optimism,” discussions about practical experience or intricate details about the ins and outs of policies.
No amount of money or exposure makes the wrong message with the wrong timing resonate.
If you have a website or a social media presence, buy any sort of advertisements, sponsor local events, have your logo on vehicles or talk to people about your business, you’re engaged in marketing. And when it comes to marketing, nothing is more powerful than the right message – even if you don’t have the funds, staff or experience to amplify it as well as you’d like.
Don’t get me wrong, investing in formal marketing like a great website goes a long way. But no matter what you do, make sure it’s the right message at the right time.
And on a related note, consider attending the course “Stop Marketing Like It’s 1999!” at the NPCA 51st Annual Convention, Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 in Austin, Texas. Registration will open in early June.
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA
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