I am a marketer. In fact, in July 2015 my book, Inside the Disney Marketing Machine was released. I know marketing. But never have I seen marketing expertise taken to greater heights than what Donald Trump has employed vs. his opponents, particularly the tactics being utilized with his current headline grabbing feud with Fox News and the Iowa debate. To me, it’s less about watching a presidential candidate battle than having a ringside seat to the “Marketing X Games.”
I am not advocating for the candidate here. I’m just pointing out how important marketing is to any business, product, place, person, or idea. There are those who consider marketing a thin line item in their budgets that gets little attention when it should be at the top of their budget’s food chain. The Trump maneuverings should open every business person’s eyes to that. Trump has pulled more rabbits out of a hat to gain attention than Houdini.
While the other candidates are following the “rules of the marketing road” so to speak, Trump takes a turn off the highway and opens his own lane. While the rest of the pack are spending millions on costly TV ads and radio spots, Trump spends no money, and zigs when everyone expects him to zag. He tweets and everybody jumps. By doing so he captures all the eyeballs. He’s been doing this from the beginning, in my opinion one of the reasons why he’s leading the race.
As far as the Fox News Iowa debate, he’s wiped all the other candidates off the front pages for days by not appearing on their session. It is marketing to “X Games” heights, whether you agree with Trump’s moves or not. Viewed exclusively through a marketing (and not political) lens, the steps taken are brilliant. The marketing icing on the cake was when Trump announced that he was holding his own Iowa event to benefit military veterans that will be held on the same night and at the same time as the Fox News debate. Oh, and it is being broadcast worldwide on Fox News’ biggest rival, CNN.
Which one will you be watching?