Article

Kevin Adema
Kevin Adema 1 February 2017

Why Donald Trump is actually the King of Digital Marketing

Regardless of your political orientation or if you like Donald Trump or not, when you strategically look behind his campaign’s actions – especially his digital campaign actions – you’ll see that he might just be the King of Digital Marketing.

This is not a political post.

This is however a post about how the now President of the United States used new-world digital strategy to win the Whitehouse.

Regardless of your political orientation or if you like Donald Trump or not, when you strategically look behind his campaign’s actions – especially his digital campaign actions – you’ll see that he might just be the King of Digital Marketing.

As the campaign war waged on, mainstream media consistently commented on Trump’s marginal investments compared to his main competitor, Secretary Clinton. According to CNBC, by mid-October, Trump had spent less than 50% per electoral vote vs. Clinton. Moreover, Trump spent fractions in traditional media not only vs. Clinton but also other recent nominees (10% vs. Obama and 16% vs. Romney).

His actions definitely broke from past conventions.

His approach left many questioning his commitment.

Predictions consistently had him falling short.

But yet he won.

And he used digital to do it.

Simply: Trump completely understands the true power of digital, how it works and he did it brilliantly to become the 45th President of the United States.  

In their exemplary work: “The Data that Turned the World Upside Down” by Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus, they daftly unpack how Trump used Data, Customer profiling and Analytics to hyper pin-point his audiences and deliver perfectly timed and perfectly relevant messages.

A few highlights:

  • Despite the fact that the Democrats were entering the election on the “legacy of the first ‘social-media’ president…worked with cutting-edge big data analysts from Blue Labs and received support from Google and Dreamworks”, the approach to digital became the determining factor between winning and losing.
  • The winning framework approach rests on customer-centric profiling. By ignoring traditional profiling approaches of race and gender (for example) and rather, by identifying human-centric factors and motivators, “Trump’s team tested 175,000 different [digital] ad variations in order to find the right versions…in order to target the recipients in the optimal psychological way.”
  • “Up until now, campaigns have been organized based on demographic concepts ‘A really ridiculous idea. The idea that all women should receive the same message because of their gender – or all African Americans because of their race.’”
  • Trump simply used consumer’s actions based on real digital engagement (likes on Facebook for example) and delivered content that he KNEW was meaningful to the viewer.
  • The success of the campaign is based on a combination of three things: “OCEAN profiling [customer-centric based on the Big 5 human centric personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism], Big Data analysis and ad targeting…personalized advertising, aligned as accurately as possible to the personality of an individual consumer.”

Grassegger and Krogerus point out how traditional, status-quo marketing is dead and how children of today “will certainly never, ever understand this concept of mass communication.” Trump’s approach divided the US population into 32 personality types and based on digital insights, he knew which messages worked best and where.

The work also sheds light on a new study yet to be officially published but the preliminary results are alarming:

The effectiveness of human-centric targeting shows that marketers can attract up to 63% more clicks and up to 1,400 more conversions...

When

Matching brand and marketing messages to consumer’s personality / human-based characteristics.

 

The world has been turned upside down indeed.

In past articles and posts, we’ve been talking about the new strategies of digital, the new ways to develop customer profiles, the new ways to deliver content and the new ways to use analytics to realize success. Trump knew that traditional approaches towards marketing are dead, he knew that he had to identify constituents based on human-centric motivators and ignore traditional demographic profiles, he knew that through analytics he could understand his audience and speak to them with hyper-relevance.

His oval office proves this approach is right.

 

To watch the FREE 1-hour presentation on the new Fundamentals of Digital strategy, go here.

To enroll in the 5-part program where you’ll learn strategy, customer-centric profiling, digital content strategy and deployment and, uses of analytics for optimal campaign effectiveness, go here.

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