Jeb Bush is out of the presidential campaign, and there are lessons to learn, as Chris Matyszczyk wrote in Inc. One flip side: Donald Trump continues to forge along.
His rise has been so dramatic that pundits who once laughed have had to put on serious faces and explain what changed -- in other words, why they weren't really wrong to scoff at first. But they were wrong. Trump has been successful, but not out of the blue. Here are seven things he's done that you might want to note if you, too, want your own slice of the huuuuge success pie one of these days.
Address what bothers your target market
Many people have been angry about politics as usual for a long time. Donald Trump (Bernie Sanders as well, for that matter) have talked about those issues. Yes, Trump may be bringing along people for other reasons as well, a number of which are distasteful. However, it was ignoring the central dissatisfaction that left the pundits confused. If a lot of people want a solution to a problem and they perceive that you might have it, they're going to be interested.
Repetition along convinces people
It's a virtual marketing truism that if you repeat something often enough, you'll convince people that you're right. The tactic has been used for good and evil for a long time. Ill-use doesn't negate the principle.
Underscore personal branding
Trump understands the power of a name and image. Often he makes his money from licensing his name, not from actually building and managing real estate developments. This is one reason why he continuously works hard to bolster his image, and if you're dealing with the public, perception counts for a lot.
Successful marketing is about emotion, not about intellect. People, and that includes you and me, buy based on emotional triggers. Sometimes the head comes into play, but far less than many think. Listen to Trump's use of words. He's setting up images, which are the language of emotion, employing emotional attacks to belittle opponents, pointing to fear of the "other," and otherwise courting the feelings of people.
When did Trump begin to plan his bid? Right after Romney lost in 2012. That apparently is when he first applied for a trademark on the phrase "Make America Great Again." That's right; this has been in the works for a good three to four years, even though it's been played as largely spontaneous. Know what you're going to do before you start doing it.
Cash doesn't buy results
According to a Politico story, in 2013 Trump said that a presidential bid wouldn't cost a lot of money. Campaign professionals thought he was nuts. Trump reportedly said, "I'm going to get in and all the polls are going to go crazy. I'm going to suck all the oxygen out of the room. I know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off of me." Know how messages get to your audience and never assume that more money will always help. (Not that money is unimportant, but a lot of failed candidates and companies have learned that you can't necessarily spend your way to success.)
Ignore the pontificators
Political professionals told Trump that he was nuts when he started. The press laughed. So far, Trump's had the last laugh. Even if he ultimately loses, he proved a point. Sometimes the experts know what they're talking about, but try to see if they actually do in your case or if they're just supporting their own prejudices.