I am not a US political follower, so I cannot make an in-depth analysis or even comment about the next election in November. My shallow opinion is I am not Donald Trump’s fan, and I believe he shouldn’t be the US President.
When he was elected in 2016, I asked myself – “Really? Is this the best that Americans could do?” I also told myself at the time that he would be in the President for only one term. It would be a joke if he were elected for the second term.
I was confident that Trump wouldn’t win in the November election until I saw the below video. It is an excellent example of how marketing could be so powerful that it could change people’s minds.
My position now is if Trump won, it’s because of marketing.
What can (or should) marketing do?
Steve Jobs once said the role of marketing is to create demand, and the role of sales is to fulfill the demand. It is the best definition of marketing to date.
It is because the definition above clearly differentiates the difference between sales and marketing. And it also gives a guideline on how to run a successful and sustainable business.
Many companies put more weights in the sales component, which is a short term vision. When you focus on the sales function, it indicates that you want to bring in revenue as quickly as possible. Customers may or may not be ready to buy your products. A lot of persuasive techniques have to be used to change the customer’s mind.
There is also a misconception about marketing in some CEO’s minds. They think marketing (and branding) is time-consuming. And investing in brand building has an unmeasurable return. I used to work in a sales environment. The sales-driving force could drag the company for a period of time. However, the company had to go through several downsizing and cost-cutting exercises. It’s a clear sign that it’s not sustainable.
To my sales colleagues, I am not saying that your role is not important. I only try to make a point that your sales role should be the second step in the demand creation process. It would make your job far easier when the demand is already there. Many salespeople have to bend the facts and cross the honesty line, trying to close the sales simply because customers are not ready to commit.
A successful formula is simple:
marketing creates demand
+ sales fulfill the demand
= happy customers.
Marketing can change opinions.
Back to Trump’s recent video. There are two products here in November – Trump and Biden. From an outsider, I don’t feel comfortable with Trump’s leadership style so I lean towards Biden. I don’t necessarily think that Biden is a better choice. It’s just that I don’t think Trump should be a president.
My demand is placed on Biden. Until I saw the video.
My opinion about Trump is still the same. What change is I am now not so sure that I want to buy the Biden product. Trump’s marketing team did a good job creating questions about Biden’s ability to lead as a president. I am back to square one, not knowing which product to buy. And there are about two months or so to go.
My bet is Trump’s marketing team will use this opportunity to inject interesting information that could sway the undecided customers towards the Trump product.
The role of social media marketing
Have you heard about the rule of seven before? It is an old mantra that your prospective buyer needs to hear or see your marketing message at least seven times before they buy from you.
In the past, marketers had to invest a lot of money and time to ensure that customers saw their messages seven or more times. It could take four or more weeks to achieve it.
Thanks to social media. We can push our message to customers seven times in one day. And this is what Trump’s marketing team will do. They will push Trump’s messages out in social media targeting the people who are not sure which product to buy. It’s the same tactic his team used in 2016.
Biden’s challenge and his supporters are the polls might show that he is in a leading position. But those polls only measure results from the visible sources. My guess is the majority of the customers are still undecided. And the two month periods from now could make a lot of differences. I have yet to see Biden’s exciting marketing campaign and really hope he will have one.
My final thought…
Trump’s marketing team has proven that good marketing could create demand, and it wasn’t time-consuming. One creative piece of communication could change people’s opinions about things. Even in a situation that your customers like a competitor’s product more than yours. An effective marketing campaign could create questions and put customers back to a neutral position allowing you to inject new messages to change their minds.
All of these could happen because of the magic of great marketing.
Strategy in Bytes helps businesses create differentiation marketing strategies to drive growth and increase profitability.