While I make a point of not writing too much that is politically motivated here, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t look to the world of politics to understand a lot about the world of business and vice versa.
As someone that has been involved at the very highest levels of national campaigns, I come at this with the eye of both a business person and a political consultant. So hopefully that weeds out the worst in knee jerk reactions that both are prone to.
So here are some things that we should learn from last night’s latest Super Tuesday!
1. Advertising and paid media aren’t as valuable as earned media:
Last night we saw another instance in which Donald Trump commanded the airwaves for almost an hour.
I’m not sure what he was actually talking about, but commanded all the major networks he did.
He did this because he had big wins in several states on the heels of a well publicized series of plans and attacks from the GOP establishment and other “conservative” voices that were attempting to stop his candidacy.
The fact is that bought media like ads, mailers, and other forms of paid media are becoming more and more ineffective because we are so inundated with demands for our time that all of this undifferentiated and noisy media just never cuts through.
And, it is easier and easier to tune this stuff out.
That’s why the minuscule amount that Donald Trump has spent on paid media, combined with the results he has achieved, and the way that the other candidates have run their candidates combine to point to several key takeaways for political strategists and marketers all around the world…
That’s the paid media isn’t as valuable as earned media and trying to stage manage your way to wins and acceptance isn’t going to be very fruitful for your candidate.
In business, this same thing applies…you need to pay attention to showing off your product, service, and expertise in a meaningful manner.
2. Message Matters:
I think I have been on record for quite some time talking about one huge fault of the Hillary Clinton message machine. Which to me is that she uses the word, “I” too often and that her whole campaign is about how important she is to keep things on the right track.
The fact about all of this is that in politics, as in life, as in business is that no one cares about you…they only care about what you are going to do for them.
That’s what is really meaningful about the continued success of Bernie Sanders.
He has a level of messaging consistency that is really amazing.
He consistently paints the portrait of the real challenge of rebuilding the American Middle Class on the amount of money in the political system and the impact that has on people’s ability to have their voices heard by their lawmakers.
Right or wrong? Something you believe or not?
Doesn’t matter, that message is consistent.
Couple that with Hillary Clinton’s tendency to jump on multiple sides of an issue in the same week, even if it is nuance; her stupid, needless, and false attack attempts; and it starts adding up to a message that really isn’t consistent and doesn’t cut through.
On the Republican side, again, Donald Trump is a master of messaging.
While he hasn’t been as consistent in his sticking to one single issue…he does make a tremendous effort to work the WALL into each and every speech and conversation that he gives.
Combine this focus on immigration and trade with his sharp knife of a comeback, and he has had his primary rivals on the defensive from the very start. And, because he has a bombastic public persona, he has made any candidate that has come after him look like a flip flopper or weak by having to chase him.
These were just a couple of immediate thoughts I had from watching the end of last night’s primary coverage.