Just a heads up – This is not a political note. I’m not worried about which political ‘team’ you’re on.
(Ideally we wouldn’t have teams and could deal with issues based on merit, but that’s an email for another time…)
But even if you don’t like a certain politician or political party, you can still learn from sharp minds in that arena.
Hence my message today, about a fascinating podcast episode I listened to (and re-listened to) earlier this week.
It’s an interview on one of Mike Cernovich’s podcasts with political operative Ali Alexander.
The reason I found this fascinating is that we see so much external commentary on politicians and campaigns, but we rarely (never?) get to go “behind the scenes” to see the actual mindset and strategy behind building a winning political campaign.
If the topic interests you at all, this episode is worth a listen.
Ali talks about the different “stages” of marketing that a campaign must go through, the different types of budget allocations they have, and how Trump changed the game (love it or hate it, it’s true) on how political campaigns operate in the modern era.
(Hat Tip to Obama because he was the original ‘digital marketing’ campaigner, though the digital/social media landscape is light years different than it was even 8 years ago when the guy ran for reelection)
But even if you don’t take the time to listen to the episode, here’s one takeaway to consider:
Ali described the big idea behind crafting a winning campaign, and it’s really a numbers game.
“You have to build a coalition of voter groups that represents 50% plus 1. That’s it. You do that and you win.”
And he went on to talk about the different voter groups, demographics, etc that candidates try to court and win, and how they go about it.
After thinking on this a while, my mind went to marketing strategy.
Marketers spend a ton of time and energy trying to cook up big campaigns, slogans, offers and eye-catching creative to attract customers/clients/patients.
But what if we thought about marketing the same way political operatives thought about campaign architecture? – Build a coalition of support from different groups.
So rather than trying to build a big watered-down campaign that has a little bit of benefit for everyone, go all-in on specific groups and sculpt unique messages to those:
- Weekend warriors
- Moms with young kids
- Business executives
- Recreational golfers who want to improve their game
- College students
- First responders
And the list goes on.
You might be thinking, “Well Troy, we actually already do this.” In a way, you’re right.
For example, it’s typical to say around graduation time, “Hey, we should add a couple lines to our radio spots about getting LASIK as a graduation gift.”
That’s great. But if you look at how operatives craft the political campaign (at least a good one), it goes beyond just a couple of copy points.
- What matters to college students?
- How will our campaign benefit them?
- What policies can we highlight for college students to show them to vote for us?
- What language can we use to show them we understand them?
You want to do the same thing with your marketing. Your offer. Your copy. Your targeting. Your imagery. Your website.
Political campaigns are won by creating a coalition of different groups who believe in a candidate and will get on board with her and her mission.
Your practice wins the same way.
Because even though you aren’t running for public office, your patients are still voting… with their dollars… on whether or not you’re a “candidate” with “policies” that will benefit them.
Representative Joe Shmoe is the candidate for farmers. For working moms. For small businesses. For <fill-in-the-blank>.
Which groups are you the “candidate” for?
How can you make sure they know it?