Over the last 18 to 24 months most of us have been exposed to probably more political campaigning and spin that we care to admit to ourselves.
While what has become in recent months nearly non-stop advertising and promotion of candidates grates on many nerves, these political campaigns offer great insight into what works with marketing any product or service.
Here are the seven lessons I took away from the 2012 presidential elections:
Consistency counts. The more you say it, the more people are apt to hear it. People may listen or see a marketing message 5, 10, 20 or 100 times before it clicks. It has to hit them when they are open to it. There’s no way to penetrate that which isn’t ready for the information you are offering.
Keep it simple. Both major presidential campaigns simplified their campaign message into a few carefully chosen words. Why? It’s easy to say, easy to remember, and thus people can share it more easily. Is your appeal to people simple?
Find an audience. The presidential candidates went after swing states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado and Florida because that’s where their message needed to be heard. Every company faces the same challenge. Where are the people who want or need what you have to offer? The best marketing message in the world will fail if it doesn’t reach the people who want or need what is being offered?
Put the time in. Politicians work 18 to 20 hour days in the weeks leading up to the election. President Barack Obama’s voice was noticeably hoarse on the day before the presidential election because he had shouted to so many people in so many places. The candidates do what’s necessary to appeal to potential voters. Do you put the time in, reaching people on their terms and times, even if it doesn’t adhere to a 9 am to 5 pm work day?
Make it emotional. This year’s campaigns in nearly all races really tugged at people’s hearts. It was intentional. The one true way to get to people is to appeal to their emotions. Rationality appears to disappear when people’s emotions are played upon. It may not be right, but it’s a reality. Does your first statement about your business to someone elicit an emotional response? Which emotion? Is that the right one?
Evaluate and revise often. Politicians look at poll numbers and respond. Businesses have the same capabilities if they watch their sales, Google Analytics and other numbers. Are you watching to see if there’s any change from your marketing actions? For instance, I look to see if traffic to my website increases after I speak or attend a marketing event. It should and it usually does. When it doesn’t, I question whether it was me or the event that caused the unexpected result. How about you?
Remain optimistic at all times. Politicians never give up the fight. Optimism is a mighty powerful force. Are you optimistic about your business, or are you playing the blame game? It isn’t the economy, interest rates or other outside factors because businesses in every sector are succeeding. If you don’t think you can, you never will.
As frustrating as this election was or wasn’t for you, at least some lessons emerged from the long campaign.
If you would like to discuss how to better implement any of these seven lessons in your business, feel free to contact me. I offer a free introductory evaluation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.