Trump Marketing: How He Used Direct Response to Win the Election

Trump Marketing: How He Used Direct Response to Win the Election

I have been in the advertising and direct marketing business for over 40 years as an owner of an ad agency and winner of 79 awards.

I have clients all over the world, and I have made them very rich with our successful campaigns.

Some of them have even become multi-millionaires.

So, I can tell you based on my expertise how Trump was able to pull of a victory which seemed near impossible.

Here are the final results for Election Day, 2016:

States

Won

Electoral

Votes Won

Avg. Margin

 of Victory

in Winning States

Popular Vote Total Popular Vote Excluding California
Trump:  30 Trump:  306 Trump:  56% Trump:  62,958,211 Trump:

58,474,401

Clinton:  20 Clinton:  232 Clinton:  53.5% Clinton:  65,818,318 Clinton:

57,064,530

Trump: +10 Trump:  +68 Trump:  +2.5 points Trump:  -2.8 MN Trump:  +1.4 MN

 

Trump proved the establishment and the pollsters wrong:

  1. The polls, the media, the pundits missed the election outcome so widely, that they had to engage in serious soul-searching about their profession and their skills.
  2. President Trump did so well, he provided positive coattails for down-ticket races. He not only helped Republicans maintain majorities in Congress, he bolstered Republicans in statehouses across the country, and even helped Republicans win elected office in otherwise blue states.
  3. Trump also unlocked new regions for GOP, particularly the Rust Belt, and even one an electoral vote in New England (Maine). Republicans had not won electoral votes in these states in at least 30 years.
  4. The GOP data strategy was far better than Democrats. They went after working-class voters who had been harmed and dismissed so often by the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party. Even blue sections of otherwise red states finally went Republican for the first time in decades.
  5. Check out the specifics on how Republicans expanded their national presence in state and local offices, too:
  • In 2009, Democrats controled 29 Governorships & 27 State Legislatures
  • In 2017, Democrats only control 18 governorhships and 5 state legislatures.

Keep in mind the following statistics:

  • 18% of voters didn’t like Trump or Clinton. Trump won by 20 points (49% to 29%)
  • 14% of voters felt that neither candidate qualified. Trump by 54 points (69% to 15%)
  • 5% of voters both qualified Trump by 48 point (70% to 22%)
  • 14% of voters thought neither candidate had the right temperament. Trump by 59 points (71%-12%)
  • 69% though both had the right temperament. Trump by 58 points (77-19%)

Trump focused on the character of Hillary Clinton, but also won on the issues.

Here are the top four issues which drove voters to the polls for Trump, even if they did not like or trust him:

  • Immigration
  • Trade
  • The Supreme Court
  • Obamacare

 

As for Hillary Clinton, the only advantage she offered was that … she was a woman. Female Democrats voters rejected that argument in large numbers.

Massive email dumps from Wikileaks confirmed that Hillary Clinton was:

  • A liar
  • Untrustworthy
  • Connected to elitists while pretending to care about working people
  • Racist, or at least prejudiced

The Wikileaks emails also exposed DNC collusion with Hillary Clinton to ensure her nomination over Bernie Sanders. This brazen cheating pushed millions away from Clinton altogether.

Trump’s effective messaging and targeted marketing overcame a fundraising and campaign spending disadvantage against Hillary Clinton, too:

Other factors explain Trump’s incredible upset:

Trump received at least an extra billion dollars’ worth of earned media compared to Hillary Clinton, who barely drew crowds over 100 people.

Notice also that in spite of a slight increase in campaign spending overall, compared to last year:

  • More funding went into Cable TV and direct mail
  • Digital marketing increased
  • But broadcast media decreased
  • What’s the lesson?

Trump relied on a more data-driven, direct marketing approach to target voters and get them to the polls.

Conclusion:

  1. Trump had better messaging.
  2. He dominated the media better than Clinton.
  3. He presented a stronger, more well-known brand than his opponent.
  4. He spent more of his money on targeted campaign marketing.
  5. He resonated on key issues which the vast majority of Americans cared about.
  6. He campaigned in states not won by a Republican in 30 years because of a direct campaign focusing on working people, including many who had not voted before or voted very rarely in key elections.

What do you think? Email me at craig@cdmginc.com.

One Response

  1. J.D. Shields
    | Reply

    SHAME Craig Huey! The “information” you write above is extremely slanted and opinionated. You fail on many accounts to state a disclaimer that the information is your personal opinions and NOT factual. I myself not being of the Republican party or Democratic party see the extremes.

    When information is “leaked” it is NOT factual as it has never been proven to be factual, yet you make opinionated claims (like Fox News group) that something is a lie or factual, you thereby show extreme bias.

    Whether people or even more importantly those who actually voted considered the farce that was called a campaign (by either candidate) for over three and half years was nothing but a bad example of two children slinging mud in a playground.

    The use of a candidate’s name as in Donald Trump in writing about his campaign does not raise his title to “President Trump” but should be correctly just, Mr.Trump.

    Your bias as a marketer to all marketers needs a better position of neutrality. Consider the facts and not just innuendos labeled as “facts.” This type of imbalanced positioning goes both for Trump data and Clinton data in this overt political posting.

    As someone who has been in this industry for 45 years I find this overt political message to not be helpful other than to stoke fires of political retribution for those who prefer this Fox News or National Enquirer type of stealth story telling.

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