Among a stereotypically liberal youth population, Donald Trump is far from a popular figure.
Yet Trump has managed to use his own infamy to his advantage; his campaign is youth marketing genius. By attracting the attention of millennials and GenZ, he has practically monopolized the social media waves.
In what is perhaps the first election where social networks played perhaps a heavier role than mass media and the news in molding popular opinion, Donald Trump's youth marketing strategy can essentially be boiled down to his social media strategy.
I sat down with Connor Blakely, an entrepreneur, speaker, and brand marketer to get his insight on the three marketing lessons you can learn from Donald Trump's campaign.
1. Awareness is key
On the surface, it seems as though Trump has 0 empathy or humanity.
The hallmark of The Donald is his willingness to do anything and everything to get a reaction -- and somehow get away with it.
Believe or not Trump knows exactly what his public perception is, he reverse engineers what people think and say to put out content in the form of his opinions or interesting facts he knows will generate buzz.
Because of this, he consistently shows up in the Top 10 trending topics on both Facebook and Twitter; anyone with a remotely active social media presence feels almost suffocated by the barrage of political talk on their
After all, social media is an incubator for human interaction.
Knowing the perceptions of your brand and the value you can bring is a sure way to sift through the cutter of content that is social media.
2. Authenticity gets praise
Many would say Trumps ideas and opinions are outlandish. In fact, they are probably right.
The fact that Trump has publicly defended his ideas and opinions is one of his best qualities.
Millennials and GenZ are going to be the most educated generations to ever exist thus far.
With that said, young people have very good BS meters.
They see right through the normal political propaganda put out by candidates and can tell exactly what is, and what isn't authentic.
Whether what Trump says is insightful or not, he is authentic.
Authenticity is the main quality one must have to form a genuine relationship.
Authenticity is a simple, but often overlooked quality a brand must have. Find your brand voice and be authentic.
It is easier selling something to your friend rather than a stranger.
3. Simplicity sells
Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" lies behind every one of his proposals -- even the most xenophobic and far-fetched.
Every company I speak to, I always suggest becoming a practitioner of the Forrest Gump communication method, otherwise known as ¨gumping it.¨
This means keeping your underlying message as simple as possible so everyone can understand it.
While being able to tie it into everything you say and do.
Whether Trump wants to carpet bomb ISIS, wall off Mexico, or ban Muslims: it's all tied back to the simple safety benefit to you, the American voter.
And to the average, highly uninformed, far-from-secular citizen -- 1 in 5 Americans claim a family member has been abducted by aliens, can't identify the Pacific Ocean, and believe the Sun revolves around the earth -- all of that sounds pretty okay.
Trump went from being the subject of meme mockery to the GOP front-runner by taking advantage of the former.
He generated attention at all costs, and in doing so, reached far more potential voters than any other candidate could hope to.