Heather Fletcher, my colleague at Target Marketing (sister publication of Total Retail), wrote a very interesting article yesterday that examined how President-elect Trump won the election by leveraging some tried-and-true marketing strategies — namely, data modeling, multivariate testing and targeted social media marketing. (Click here to read the full article.) Heather's article got me to thinking: What lessons can retailers learn from Trump's surprising victory — at least according to the majority of polls leading up to Election Day — and how can they apply them to their businesses?
Total Retail's Take: What I find most interesting from Trump's victory is how he and his campaign team leveraged data to target the states most critical to him finding a path to winning the Electoral College vote. As Brad Parscale, digital director for the Trump campaign, noted, "we never fought for the popular vote." This strategy entailed the campaign team creating data models that analyzed the election in multiple directions, then simulating daily elections based on those data models to find Trump's path to 270 electoral votes. Retailers can follow the same strategy and theory. Not every consumer is going to love your brand and its products — if they've ever even heard of it, which is a whole other matter — just as not every voter is going to be a fan of a political candidate. The key is to identify who your brand's best customers are, then determine common characteristics and behaviors of those customers to create models of look-alike prospects. You can then target those look-alike prospects with personalized messaging and offers, which have proven to generate higher conversion rates. It's a customer acquisition strategy built to win, much like Trump's campaign put together.