What matters more than money? Relevance does. That your message resonates with the people whose ears it is falling on.
What really matters in a world where everyone wants to talk to the same number of finite viewers with finite viewing time, is that your message adds value to the lives of your readers and viewers. That it answers questions that roam in their heads, and it leaves them – even in the slightest measure – better off than they were before they fell upon it.
Donald Trump the Xbillion dollar man, figured that out early on in his campaign. The relevance of his message to the people that he addressed won him his life’s dream and a second address on Pennsylvania Avenue.
From the early days of the election primaries, he had zero endorsement from what used to be THE two major players in the election campaigning and winning game: Mainstream Media and the Political Party. Neither wanted him, and neither believed for a moment that he would win – not even Fox News back then!
So how did he swing this victory? You would think he charmed his way, bought people’s loyalty, overspent on technology. The reality is that the Clinton camp had spent 8x more than he did on software alone to rally voters. Yet when Trump got only as many votes as the last republican contender for the candidacy who lost to Obama, Hillary got significantly less votes than Obama did.
What Trump did is classic application of basic inbound marketing tenets. Define your buyer personas, listen to identify what matters to them, craft valuable relevant messaging that speaks to their needs, and go to them to deliver it to them on the platforms they frequent – or live on as the case may be these days.
Are you ever again going to laugh about Trump’s habits of tweeting at 4am?! I don’t think so. By focusing on the message – as opposed on the technology to deliver the message: the tricks, bells, and whistles that seem to blind everyone these days into thinking the means is the answer and want all and be all, he managed to transform the energy found with his audience groups into loyalty and votes. In fact, some reports have put the cost of the software that allowed Trump to identify his voter personas at as little as US$20/ month.
First there was uber and airbnb and deliveroo.. then came Trump. People are taking charge of how they want to be serviced. How I want my ride, where I want my stay, and whom I want for my president. In this environment of choice and transparency, the individual voice matters in how we adopt and consume what we do.
For your brand to be heard in the din of the thousands of identical messages and offerings, and to survive thousands of daily newcomers offering more of the same, or more seriously a newer, younger, leaner disruptor ringing your survival alarm bells, you need, like Trump knows so well, to secure your followers. Keep them on your side, nurture their loyalty, and stoke their love.