Regardless of your political leanings (because that’s not what this episode is about), in Episode 12 of Marketing Podcast Weekly, your hosts Rob Booker and Jason Pyles examine “The Donald Trump Method of Marketing.” No matter how you feel about the man, we think everyone can at least agree that his messaging attracts attention.
We discuss the importance of conflict and the effectiveness of choosing an enemy, even if that enemy is merely conventional wisdom or the traditional way of doing things. We also provide other provocative advice that will help you to market in an attention-grabbing manner.
Marketing Podcast Weekly brings you strategies for marketing, especially for those marketing in the retail trading industry, so join us!
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Rob Booker: Mr. Pyles.
Jason Pyles: Hey, good morning, Rob.
Rob Booker: What’s happening in the world of marketing?
Jason Pyles: Oh, my goodness. All kind of stuff, Rob. You know how it is.
Rob Booker: I love it when you say, “All kinds of stuff,” because that really actually could just mean anything.
Jason Pyles: Seriously. I mean, that’s how it is.
Rob Booker: So I have some interesting thoughts today.
Jason Pyles: Okay.
Rob Booker: That are only interesting to me.
Jason Pyles: Okay, well, we’ll see about that. I usually think they’re interesting, too.
Rob Booker: All right. So I thought we would talk about like the Donald Trump method of marketing your product.
Jason Pyles: I’d love to hear that, what that method is. That’s great.
Rob Booker: I don’t know if you’ve heard this, and not expecting that this had reached your ears, or whatever, you’d pay attention. But Donald Trump the reality television star is President of the United States.
Jason Pyles: I know. It’s been a surprising development, I think.
Rob Booker: Exactly, so I just found this out. Didn’t believe it at first, but yesterday, it was confirmed. I did find it on Twitter to be true.
Jason Pyles: Yes.
Rob Booker: He has essentially now destroyed or left for dead pretty much every political opponent he had along the way, and I thought that we could either lament the debasing of conversation, or whatever you want to call it, or we could moan about it, or complain about it, or we could be excited about it. Or, we could just break it down and that’s what I thought we would do.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, I would love to analyze this.
Rob Booker: Okay, I think that one thing that many online marketers in particular miss, is that conflict is important, and that there are a lot of sociological studies that will show that when you engage in conflict, it brings a certain group of people together. And a lack of conflict leads to an incoherent, or disconnected, or even disloyal to each other kind of society.
And the first thing that Donald Trump did, that I want every online marketer to understand, is that when you pick an enemy, you are automatically ahead of every other marketer in the business. Now you and I are both generally in our personal relationships, avoiders of conflict.
Jason Pyles: Oh, yes.
Rob Booker: All right. It’s not my strong suit. It never has been. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but I don’t like to engage in conflict or pick a fight, and then … And especially with people that I know are good people.
Jason Pyles: Oh, yeah. For sure.
Rob Booker: However, when marketing, like when running for president, it’s the negative advertising and it’s the negative stuff that’s going to get attention. And I know it’s not the preferred method of thinking about things, and so you don’t have to personalize it, although that’s going to be more successful, but you have to pick an enemy. So in the … Let’s just remind ourselves, that when running for president, Donald Trump made Hillary Clinton the enemy.
I mean, he just made her the enemy, and we’ll talk more specifically about how he did it in a moment, but he made her the enemy, and then he just was unrelenting in his criticism of her. You can call it dishonest, you can call it whatever you want to call it, doesn’t matter. He never relented. He never let his guard down and he never apologized for it.
Jason Pyles: That’s true.
Rob Booker: In marketing, let’s say that you’re marketing your … I don’t know. A dog-walking service or I don’t know. Like a class on how to put your make-up on better, or a dating class, or whatever, especially if it’s like a dating class. Let’s say it’s how to succeed with the ladies, or the men, or whatever.
Jason Pyles: Okay.
Rob Booker: You got to pick an enemy, and the enemy in this case, would be standard, traditional, ways of doing things. The conventional wisdom. You just have to come out in this day and age and you have to just punch conventional wisdom in the mouth. You have to just, like Donald Trump went after Hillary over emails or whatever, you have to come out swinging at the traditional way at doing things. Now you don’t have to pick a specific enemy. Although that would be even better, because it would draw the attention of someone who might be more well-known in your community. I don’t necessarily love doing that, and I don’t even do that myself, but you have to pick an enemy.
In the world of online dating, for example, if you are giving advice to men, you could just come out swinging against traditional pick-up artist, like slimy, disgusting, weirdo tactics where you’re trying to trick women into coming home with you, or whatever. You could just come out and you could just say, “That’s disgusting. It’s a shortcut that doesn’t lead to happiness. It doesn’t work.” And you can just be brutal in your criticism of that traditional method. I’ve done that in the world of trading, because I honestly believe that traditional methods of day trading, or day trading the markets is a complete scam.
And that what it does is it leaves people with way less money than they started, and it hurts people, and it needs to be stopped. As often as I can, I just go on the attack and I say, “If somebody comes to you and says I’m going to teach you to day trade,” that you just punch them in the mouth. They’re a liar. They can’t teach you to do it.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob Booker: It’s proven that it doesn’t work and there are better ways of thinking about the world of trading, and you can be successful, but if it was so easy, and this so and so that’s sitting next to his Ferrari, and driving around, and showing off his model girlfriend, and writing big checks to charity, or whatever. If that were so easy, and if his method were so simple, and whatever, there’d be a lot more people that were doing it, and there aren’t because most people still lose money anyway. And I picked an enemy, and by picking an enemy, I’ve taken a side.
By taking a side, people know where I stand. And because they know where I stand, they can trust me to be consistent. Now they may know where I stand on an issue and they may disagree with it, but at least you’ll hear people say, “At least I respect that.” When Donald Trump ran for president, they said, “Well, I don’t agree with everything he says, but at least he tells it like it is.”
Jason Pyles: Yeah. Everybody says that. I heard a lot of people say that.
Rob Booker: He could literally say, “I invented the paper clip,” and people go, “Well, at least he’s taking a stand for inventors of paper clips.” Like, whatever. It could be absolutely ridiculous. One of the problems, I know people listening to this, you might have a political leaning, but I don’t care about your political beliefs. I love you anyway, and please don’t make this into a political thing. But I mean, it’s widely considered that it was impossible to figure out where Hillary Clinton stood on anything.
I mean, she was for stuff, she was against stuff, she was … It almost felt like she was taking your pulse before she told you what she thought about your pulse. I mean, she never told you what she thought apparently unless she already knew what you thought, and then she’d turn around and tell somebody else what they wanted to hear. And you could say Donald Trump did that, as well. Fine. Whatever. He just did a better job of appearing to stand for something, and I know that just really angers some people, and it really makes you mad, but I can’t change the facts.
That he came out and … All of my neighbors in Arizona, they were like, “Well, man. He’s just going to tell it like it is, and he’s going to clean up, and he’s going to fire a bunch of people,” and he created this enemy, which was traditional Washington, and Hillary Clinton, and he just decimated that enemy. And if you want to do better in online marketing, that’s what you got to do. You got to pick an enemy and you can never relent.
You can’t say, “Well, this week, we’re just going to be positive. This week, we’re going to be loving and positive. We’re all going to come together in a holy circle of love, even with the people that are enemies. We’re going to do a joint webinar with all of the, whatever.” You’re not going to do that. That’s not going to happen. You just have to come out swinging against methods that don’t work or solutions that have been sold to people that are too expensive, or advice that actually will get people the opposite result that they’re searching for.
Jason Pyles: Yes.
Rob Booker: All right. Number two. You have to be creative about the way that you talk about what you can achieve and what your opponent, or your competitors cannot. Once again, I know it’s uncomfortable to talk about competitors, and beating the competition. I know it’s uncomfortable, and so you can just disregard this episode, and you can listen to our next episode, which will be about how to not do well in business, but have lots of friends. So you can be poor with all your friends or whatever.
I don’t know. You have to find creative ways of speaking about it. Donald Trump comes up with nicknames. He called Ted Cruz Lying Ted. I think he had a name for, he called like Mark Rubio like Small Hands Rubio, or whatever it was. And he called … Do you remember what he called Hillary Clinton?
Jason Pyles: Oh, my goodness. Probably a number of things, as I recall, like honestly.
Rob Booker: He called her Crooked Hillary.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, something like that.
Rob Booker: And then it never … The first day I heard him say that was in March of 2016. I said, “He’s absolutely going to win the election.” And I did a radio show on Business AM radio around the United States, and I said, “Donald Trump is 100% going to win the election, because his language has captured the imagination of everyone,” and he labeled her and now she’s never going to get, she’s never going to lose that. She still hasn’t lost that label.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, and he’s actually still doing the name calling thing, with like Rocket Man and so forth.
Rob Booker: Yeah. That’s exactly right. He literally takes control of the conversation by capturing the imagination of his audience, by using creative language to describe the opposite. So in the world of online dating, for example, you could call them slimy pick-up artists, or disgusting pick-up artists, or find a name, or whatever. That’s 100% going to capture the attention of more people and they are going to remember your way of communicating the message and naming the competition. Okay, once again, I know we don’t want to hurt anybody, and we don’t want anybody to not be able to feed their families, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
On the other hand, you can speak against a solution that doesn’t work instead of directing it towards a person, and that may be the more civil way of doing it, but you got to do it nonetheless. You have to name the competition or the anti-solution and you need to give it a terrible name. Now the other thing that you need to do is give whatever you’re going to do a positive name. You can do it in a number of different ways. You can also speak of yourself or your supporters in that same way, but it’s so much more important to name the competition, and to outright pick a battle, and give it some imaginary language, in other words.
The third thing and last thing that you have to remember, is that there is a core base of supporters that you’re going to have. You need to outright do the best job in the world at pandering to, or speaking to, or providing solutions for, or speaking to, or locking arms with those people. And in politics, they call it your base. In marketing, we would call it your ideal customer avatar. Now by locking arms with a certain group of people and I won’t try to describe it.
I don’t want to get anybody all riled up, but by locking arms with a certain type of person, Donald Trump secured a base of individuals that would support him even when he said things that went counter to what those people believed. In fact, when he would say things that apparently went against his true base’s beliefs, they would say, “Well, he’s just saying that because he has to.” They literally let him off the hook.
Jason Pyles: Yeah.
Rob Booker: And he had a core group of supporters, and he once said, he’s famous for saying, “I could go out on Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and my supporters would not abandon me.”
Jason Pyles: Well, and in fact, we saw an example of that, when that whole … I don’t know. What was it? The TMZ video footage came out, and he said that comment that … I mean, honestly. I thought, “Okay. Well, this is over now.”
Rob Booker: Yeah.
Jason Pyles: And it seemed like the next day, I mean, he just kept on trucking.
Rob Booker: There was another example of why it was inevitable that he would win the election. That he had a base of supporters, and let’s say it’s only 25 or 30% of the total number of voters. That base of supporters were absolutely 100% behind him, and there would be nothing that could take them away. Whereas, Hillary supporters, having been labeled as crooked and associated with a solution that didn’t work, she couldn’t get anybody’s undying support in that same way.
There were a lot of people that said, “Well, I’m going to support her even though.” And there was a lot of even though. Now I know she had a firm, she had a group of supporters that were dedicated, but I’m saying that we haven’t seen anything like what Donald Trump did.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob Booker: We just haven’t seen that. What he did was, he never took his eye off the ball, which was he didn’t suddenly try to start reaching out to others. He never did that. And that may be the downfall that he has. But he got his first term because he never lost sight of who supported him the most. When you looked around and you saw people supporting him that much, there was a large secondary group of people that said, “Well, that group of people, that’s my neighbor, or that guy can’t be an idiot, I mean, so I’m going to secretly support Donald Trump. I’m not going to publicly do it, but I’m secretly going to lend him my support at the ballot box.” And that’s what happened to a lot of people. They said they weren’t going to vote for him.
Jason Pyles: Yes.
Rob Booker: And then they went and did it anyway.
Jason Pyles: Yes.
Rob Booker: He didn’t seem like the safe choice, so there was a group of people that wouldn’t admit it. But the group of people who did support him were so vocal, and so defiant, and so expressive, that it lent a certain amount of inevitability or credibility to him. In the same way that when Barrack Obama ran for his first term, he picked an opponent, George Bush and Dick Cheney. He absolutely outright picked an opponent. He creatively named it as the politicians that serve only the wealthy and he did a great job of labeling them, as well.
Then he got a core group, his core group of supporters were young people, and they came out in large numbers, and he pulled it off. I mean, he pulled off the almost impossible, which Donald Trump did. You can go back to even Bill Clinton and the same kind of thing happened, but time and time again in politics, this kind of thing occurs.
You pick an enemy, you describe it with creative language, and you focus on your core group. And as a marketer online, if you’re doing dating advice, you find a core group, and you speak to that core group of people, and you don’t worry about whether the language that you use in supporting or providing solutions to that core group, you don’t worry about if that language offends, or disappoints, or whatever other people.
You focus on your core group and that core group are going to be your evangelists. Now eventually, once you have that core group, you can become less extreme over time and appeal to a larger group of people over time. But you first have to absolutely grab onto and not lose that core group, your ideal customer avatar. Then you’re good to go. You can expand from there.
Jason Pyles: Yeah.
Rob Booker: But a lot of people try to sell to everyone, or try to appeal to everyone, and that’s just a giant mistake.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, I mean the way you just described that, Rob, reminds me a little bit of Taylor Swift’s approach. I mean, because she started out in the country genre of music, and then she ended up, it turned out, because you would … It would appear that from her music that maybe country isn’t where her heart was, and that was just kind of her launch into it, and then once she got some footing there, then she branched out to where she wanted to go, and widened it. But I had a question for you about this, Rob. Maybe you were getting to this, but what about Donald Trump’s use of social media? Twitter in particular?
Rob Booker: Well, it’s just a distribution mechanism for the message that goes out to your core group of supporters, that uses language that is colorful. So it’s just a distribution method.
Jason Pyles: Yeah.
Rob Booker: Obama was really … He had a great Facebook team, and so they used Facebook social media. And he didn’t … Obama wasn’t a reality television star, let’s say. So not a lot of attention is paid anymore to the social media strategy that he employed. However, it was just as effective, if not more so, in doing the job that it was meant to do. Donald Trump, Twitter and Donald Trump just go hand-in-hand now and it’s just a much bigger story, but it’s not necessarily more effective than Obama’s Facebook strategy. It’s just a distribution mechanism.
Jason Pyles: I mean, it’s every morning when I’m driving to work, I hear on the radio, they report on what his Tweet was from that morning.
Rob Booker: Yeah, yeah. I mean, right. Yeah, absolutely. He, this morning, for example, he had a whole other rant. I don’t know if he schedules them out, or what it is, but he’s just … Here. “So nice being with republican senator today. Multiple standing ovations. Most are great people who want big tax cuts and success for US.” “Most are great people.” In the next Tweet, he calls himself a victim. I mean, he uses very colorful language. He just comes right out and just tries to punch all of his opponents in the mouth, for sure.
Jason Pyles: Yeah, he’s provocative on purpose, I think. Yes.
Rob Booker: Yes. Yeah. On purpose. With a purpose. And a lot of people say, “He’s a complete moron,” or whatever he says. I think that it misses whatever he is, personally, and truly at his core, whatever that is, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s the president and whatever else. Whatever he actually is, he appears to his supporters to never relent in working hard for what they want. And his distribution mechanism for communicating directly with those people is Twitter.
Jason Pyles: Yes, yes.
Rob Booker: Until they shut him off.
Jason Pyles: Right.
Rob Booker: I would predict that if Donald Trump banned … It was banned from Twitter, Twitter would go bankrupt. They would just fail, completely fail as a company.
Jason Pyles: Oh, really. Oh, that’s interesting. So do you think that’s why they haven’t … Because a lot of people on Twitter call for him to be banned and kicked off.
Rob Booker: And he would want that. And you, as a marketer, and me as a marketer, we want someone to call for our dismissal from the organizations that people usually are members of in our industry. We want to be kicked out of a conference that is held for people in our industry. We want that. We want to pick an enemy. We want to oppose the status quo if we’re trying to break into the market. And you might think that, “Oh, my gosh. This is just troublemaking, and this is just offensive, and Donald Trump just made it famous.”
No. This is, time and time again, this is the strategy, and you don’t have to do it with the same vitriol and vulgarity that maybe Donald Trump has done at times. You don’t have to choose that, but you still have to pick an enemy. And you still have to go up against the status quo. I mean, whoever made any money basically … Whoever made any money saying, “Hey, I’m part of the status quo. I’m just another version of the status quo. What do you think about that?”
Jason Pyles: Yeah, it’s like how many people buy vanilla ice cream? I don’t know. Maybe, but vanilla’s boring, right?
Rob Booker: Yeah, well, if you were releasing a new ice cream, you say, “We’re making vanilla, too. Its great vanilla. Vanilla’s great. We love vanilla. It’s so delicious. It’s so white and delicious. It’s great. All the other ice creams are great, too. Ours is kind of like all the other ones. We’re good, too, though. We’re really good, but we don’t like to say we’re better than anybody, because we don’t want to be … We don’t want to upset anyone.”
You want to go to a vanilla ice cream conference, or the ice cream conference of America and say, “Traditional vanilla ice cream is garbage. It’s garbage. You might as well just literally eat garbage. And it’s been garbage for a long time, and people have just taken for granted that anyone will buy the traditional flavor of vanilla, using garbage ingredients. And this is disgusting. And today I’m calling for an investigation into the ice cream making practices of the traditional vanilla ice cream makers.”
“And by the way, I make a better vanilla ice cream. It’s actually … Some people say it’s the best vanilla ice cream they’ve ever had. And I did hear from one prominent chef that is on TV all the time, and she said, I’m not going to name any names, but she said it was the best vanilla ice cream in the world, and that’s all she eats for dinner.” I mean, and then you just go on and on about how … I know it doesn’t sound, that’s not very tasteful, but … That’s like a pun.
Jason Pyles: Right. I liked it.
Rob Booker: But that’s just … You don’t have to become a jerk to everybody. That’s not necessarily what you have to do, but you do have to pick an enemy, and the enemy should be the status quo, and you’re trying to tear off a piece of the current market, and have them follow you along. Or, introduce yourself to a whole brand new piece of the market that no one ever thought about.
Jason Pyles: I bet, Rob, I bet if Donald Trump got kicked off Twitter, he’d start calling it fake social media, and then you could say, “They have fake vanilla ice cream,” and that might do it. That might do it.
Rob Booker: Absolutely agree. It’s just fake ice cream. Wow, that’s so true. Anyway, I don’t if this episode’s going to rile up any people, or get them motivated to comment, but we’d love to hear from you. How can people leave us a comment, Jason?
Jason Pyles: Well, we would absolutely love it if people could email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear their comments.
Rob Booker: And what do you got going on in the movie podcast world?
Jason Pyles: Oh, my goodness. Okay, so we just had our meet-up, so we got the coverage coming out from that, and so that was really fun. We interviewed a director, Chris Peckover, and so if you want to hear a Q&A with a cool director, check that out. And then we got our Halloween-type coverage, stuff like that. Moviepodcastweekly.com.
Rob Booker: Take a listen, everybody. It’s totally worth it. I know all of you, seriously, enjoy the melodious tones of Jason Pyles’ voice, so that’s where you get more of it. And we’ll see you next week on Marketing Podcast Weekly. I’m Rob Booker. On behalf of the producer, have the best week ever.