What your digital marketing campaign can learn from Donald Trump’s

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, iProspect's Catherine Rewha examines whether the US president's arguably backwards rhetoric was promoted in a forward-thinking way.

Remember Obama? Legend.

Remember Bernie Sanders? Another legend.

Remember Donald Trump?

Yeah. You know him because somehow this guy won the 2016 US presidential election. Against all odds, against the faith in others to just do the right thing and against the misogyny, racism, and classism (all of the ‘isms’). He won.

But how did he do it? Data, baby.

I needed that to sound smooth, but for a better understanding of it; his campaign team leveraged real-time data from social listening, search trends and multi-screen behaviours to understand who was neither for him or for Hilary. They then worked quickly to speak to the “convertibles” through audience segmentation, matched with dynamic, bespoke social platform messaging.

Recognising the negative sentiment online and in TV ratings whenever Trump’s face appeared, they decided not to put his face into any individual’s personal newsfeeds but instead, featured “everyday Americans” that matched the audience group that they were targeting.

Basically, Clementine is a 25-year-old white woman that is married with two kids, works part-time, middle-class, not politically engaged but is concerned about terrorism and job security.

She is scrolling through her feed when a video pops up that features a woman who appears just like her talking, about how the Republican party is going to make America great again by putting racist sanctions on passports and building a wall so foreigners can’t steal her job.

So, naturally, our mate Clem is like “Hey, this lady is like me. We have the same problems in life and she has found a way out with the Republican party. This must be the way out.” Trump 1, Hilary 0.

Apparently, the Trump camp was going one hundy with Facebook’s audience data and ran somewhere between 40,000 to 50,000 variations of its ads. If that ain’t a definition of the age of the audience of one, then I don’t know what is.

The interesting thing about this campaign strategy was that the Trump team were able to reach these “convertibles” without any threat of competition from the Hilary camp. Hilary was preaching to the converted: she was talking to her legion of fans and consistent Democrat voters via $200m worth of TV ads.

Some people in the ad game will always be about mass reach, but what’s the point of reaching people if you aren’t even reaching the right people? I hate to be that guy, but Trump’s team and their digital-first campaign strategy were clever enough to figure that out.

Now, remember John Howard?

In 2004, he made an amendment to the Marriage Act stipulating that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Come 2017, we’re about to about to vote on whether we make this law inclusive for people of all sexualities or not, but not without a heap of advertising from the yes and no sides.

As a mixed-race kid growing up in the deep suburbs of Melbourne, I’ve learned that you can’t preach to the converted in this country. You can’t even get us to stop celebrating this country on a day that marks the start of the Indigenous genocide and so, this free vote on equality is going to sit with the fence-sitters.

iProspect’s Catherine Rewha

According to a 2015 HILDA survey, the fence-sitters are likely to be heterosexual men, over 40, somewhat religious, didn’t finish high-school, from non-English speaking backgrounds, low-income earners and from regional areas.

I don’t want to say anything good about Trump, but if we can learn anything from that horrible victory and the way that it was won, those ‘My son can wear a dress. Somebody, please think of my son and the gender norms that we have unconsciously subscribed to’ TV ads are the least of our problems.

Catherine Rewha is a digital planner at iProspect

This article is part of the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program. See more from the program by clicking on the banner below.



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