Marketing Lessons from Donald Trump’s Job Application



June 16, 2015 –


In bidding for the White House in 2016, will Donald Trump have learned his lessons from four years ago?

There’s an old adage about publicity – that any publicity is good – especially, to build a celebrity brand. To a certain extent that’s true. But it depends on your objective, timing, whether or not you’re digging a too-deep hole for yourself, and the quality of your follow-up strategies.

There are best practices to consider.

In his lack of follow-through for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump’s PR campaign raise some eye-opening questions. What was he thinking? Did he really want to be president?  Was this just another PR gimmick just to stay in the headlines?

Yes, I have to believe it was a spurious attempt in presidential aspirations because it’s clearly wasn’t the way to win a major marketing campaign.

To be sure, I’d love to see a president with the preferred management credentials – successful experience in meeting a payroll – a true entrepreneur. Other skills are needed, yes, but we need a person who truly understands what’s needed for economic development and the creation of jobs.

To win the nation’s highest-office, a person needs to submit a winning job application to voters – value propositions for voters to hire him.

Mr. Trump’s obviously smart, and tenacious. That’s how you create luck in the business world.

Indeed, Mr. Trump has created a huge brand. But PR thought leaders probably understand the true motive behind all his marketing simulations.

What comes to mind? Just to hype his TV shows – The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice — for ratings? To hype his real estate projects? My answer is yes to both questions.

Bad messaging: Regarding his attacks on liberals from Rosie O’Donnell to President Obama? Other than his fights with liberals and flamboyant bragging, what does he offer voters in value propositions? Very little if anything.

Marketing lessons

For the sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment these have been bonafide presidential efforts in 2012 and 2016. But a better resume loaded with value propositions is needed. Otherwise, Mr. Trump will again learn voters are not into him.

They’re very skeptical about the economy and related public policy. That’s where they want the focus — not flamboyant fights with public figures.

So, if it were a serious presidential campaign, his presentation could use some work because he’d learn that Americans want him for a different job than the presidency. He’s simply didn’t use best practices in marketing.

In fact, marketing campaigns fail for these 14 reasons:

    1. Inadequate analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
    2. Drawing incorrect conclusions from the analysis (leading to ineffective overall strategic planning)
    3. Unrealistic budgeting
    4. Ineffective testing of ideas and messaging
    5. Arrogance – over confidence
    6. Poor coordination with centers of influence
    7. Not developing effective teamwork and communication among stakeholders
    8. Targeting the wrong market
    9. Lack of job descriptions – who will do what and when?
    10. Wrong people in many key positions
    11. Poor positioning in attributes and benefit statements
    12. Ineffective allocation of promotional funds – wrong mediums preventing top-of-mind awareness in customers, or voters
    13. Unproductive evaluation of the campaign and return on investment
    14. Unsuccessful responses to negative surprises and failure to capitalize on opportunities

So we’ve had fun watching the charade. But be careful not to mirror his marketing strategies, if you want to be serious about winning in a tepid economy. We need economic development and job creation.

Meantime, Mr. Trump might not be serious, but he’s quite the original.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles on marketing:

Internet Marketing Lessons from Santorum’s Failed Campaign — Rick Santorum is running for the nation’s highest office again in 2016. Without even considering his political views, the former senator from Pennsylvania doesn’t have a prayer unless he makes some marketing changes. Unintentionally, Mr. Santorum’s unsuccessful presidential campaign — with inadequate branding — provided business with Internet marketing lessons.

Create Buzz to Win Your Major Marketing Campaign — In major marketing campaigns – in business or politics – there’s nothing more frustrating than losing. But a lack of funds or a small war chest is not the salient reason for defeat. It isn’t necessarily how much you spend. There are many reasons for marketing failure of a campaign. Failure leaves everyone connected with your marketing campaign in a quandary.

Action Steps To Get Top Results From Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution.

8 Ways to Get Transparency from Your Retargeting Campaign — If you’re a major advertiser, you probably use behavioral remarketing or retargeting strategies. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you. Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users. But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers.

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile Apps — Consumer and enterprise penchants for mobile technology have skyrocketed but we’ve only scratched the surface in developing quality, application solutions. Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. That includes competitiveness in the marketplace; efficiency; enterprise and consumer relationships; and revenue – better yet, profits would be more ideal.

“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”
– Will Rogers

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.