Marketing à la Trump: no thank you !

Marketing the Trump way: no thank you !

With Donald Trump elected President of the United States, I’ve seen a number of posts and articles claiming that one of the reason for Trump’s successful election was that he run a better marketing campaign than Clinton. Even my eminent colleague John A. Quelch from Harvard Business School wrote a quick article which I do not consider to be his most excellent

I must say that I don’t agree at all with these views for the following reasons.

  1. Marketing is not about sales, it’s about customer satisfaction. At this point, the most we can say is that Trump convinced a number of citizens to cast a vote for him. This is most similar with a buying process. Not at all a “consumption” process. We will judge President Trump marketing performance when he will run for a second term. At that time, we will see if his current supporters are happy and satisfied with his policy or not.
  1. Trump did not win the highest market share. Let’s point out that Trump was not the best seller. He didn’t win the majority of voters. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2,000,000 votes. Actually, she got more market share than her competitor but she lost the election due to the Electoral College system so specific to the USA.
  1. Marketing is not about any kind of false promises to get people to buy your stuff. This sounds more like the hard selling techniques used by door to door salesmen of the past. They would confuse naïve people with beautiful speeches in order to load them with useless products and then disappear forever from the neighborhood. Look at Donald Trump speech style and attitude: it’s exactly that !
  1. Ethical marketing communication practice forbids to denigrate competitors. In most countries of the world, it is specified in the law or at least in the codes of ethics of the marketing and communication profession. Nowhere now can responsible marketing people lie about competitors, about product integrity or about brand promises. In the case of Trump, that’s exactly what he did all along his campaign. In the most disgusting ways.

These facts are leading me to reject the simple fact that Trump so called marketing is any good marketing.

In any case, I don’t want that kind of attitude, the Trump attitude, to even be assimilated with the marketing discipline, a discipline that some of us, professors and practicioners, want to rehabilitate in the eyes of the public. Claiming that candidate Trump and his clique were good marketers just makes me vomit. Period !

Be inspired ! trmp_skywriting-800x430.jpg




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