As much to warn you, this article has no political claim! We will rather study the marketing strategy of the two candidates for this 2016 election: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

There is indeed much to learn from their campaigns. We can learn from their successes, but also from their failures. The fact is that what applies to politics can easily be applied across the enterprise.

In this article, we offer 7 marketing lessons to learn from this American election.

Reading time: 8 minutes.

# 1. Think your marketing strategy from your customer knowledge

An audience is never made up of a single visitor segment. In theory, there are as many visitor segments as there are customer issues. It is only after performing a fine segmentation that you will know what messages to send to satisfy your visitors.

A politician must know everything about his audience and use any support to move forward.

Example: Texas being a fundamentally republican state, it would be counterproductive for the Democratic candidate to concentrate her efforts there.

This map shared by the Washington Post indicates the historical political inclination of each state (The Democratic States in blue and the Republicans in red).

As in the marketing world, “One size fits all” no longer works in politics. Citizens, we all have different aspirations, needs and problems. However, it is impossible to make a speech that is positively perceived by all.

Businesses face the same problem.

To convert your visitors, you must deliver appropriate messages (while keeping the heart of your message, of course). As in politics, you also need to decide where you will go to develop your operations.

# 2. Take advantage of all acquisition channels

Social networks are a first choice channel. The rules of the game have now changed for more than a decade: the opinion of the masses has now been heard and can spread very quickly.

For example, in the last presidential debate, Donald Trump (again) slipped. He interrupted his opponent by calling it “nasty woman“. A few hours were enough to see #NastyWoman invade social networks and a few days to federate a real community.

This campaign also stood out with investments in social media reaching more than $ 1 billion according to eMarketer’s estimates (almost 7 times higher than they were in 2012 and almost 50 times higher than the money spent in 2008!). If election seasonality drives these waves of investment, corporate marketing spending on social media is increasing more steadily.

Note that a visitor does not necessarily end up on your site because they interacted with you on social networks. They may also have clicked in one of your emails, found you on Google, or even clicked on an advertisement.

In order to ensure the reading and adoption of your messages, you must contextualize the visit experience according to the source of acquisition.

# 3. To be understood, your message must be simple

In company, you have to assume that the maturity of your audience is uneven. If a mature visitor can understand the technical characteristics of your service / product, this is not necessarily the case for a first visitor. It is very interesting to equip yourself with a personalization solution to adapt your speech to the needs and expectations of its different visitor segments.

You probably associate Barack Obama with the slogan: “Yes we can”. Simple and efficient, he spoke of a collective improvement in American society, which adhered to it in majority. This year, Donald Trump has bet on 4 heavy words: Make America Great Again. It’s not surprising to see the crowds lashing behind the candidate: it is simple to understand.

Le Parisien tells us that the words used by Donald Trump correspond to the level of understanding of an Anglo-Saxon child aged 9 to 10. This strategy allows all Americans to understand his speeches.

# 4. Manage marketing pressure

Good management of marketing pressure is essential to ensure a quality experience for your customers. A study shows, for example, that a message must be repeated between 6 and 20 times for it to be correctly assimilated, depending on the target audience. The contact possibilities are numerous and you could:

  • Display a pop-in after a few pages visited if the visitor has not converted;
  • Use your home page to welcome new visitors;
  • Send emails intended to bring the visitor back to the site (basket reminder, news in the most visited product category, etc.);
  • Use your content to spread a strong message and build your expertise (the reader must find the main axes of your marketing strategy);
  • Etc.

After more than a year of campaigning, candidates had to tell, justify and repeat their plan over and over. They regularly mention the subjects that worry many American voters: violence, immigration, foreign trade and terrorism.

It’s redundant … but it works.

With a good web personalization solution, you can configure the duration, frequency, intensity, scenario and / or priority of your personalized experiences to control the marketing pressure according to what best suits your visitors.

# 5. Produce original and qualitative content

I recently wrote that your content is one of your main selling points. This is in fact what allows you to retain your visitors by establishing a relationship of trust. On this point, two watchwords are to remember:

  • Produce qualitative content : who will be interested in your content if it is poor? The Internet is very wide, your visitors will find better elsewhere if you do not focus on quality;
  • Produce original content : this is what makes your content desirable. It also seems obvious to me to remember that plagiarism must be banned at all costs. You lose credibility and your competitors will benefit.

If it is advisable to draw inspiration from the best and your competitors to build your content strategy, do not sink into plagiarism.

When carrying out your content strategy, you should try to highlight your strengths. What are the elements that differentiate you from your competitors? Why are you better? From there, you will be better able to design a navigation experience optimized for your visitors.

That said, this is not a rule followed by everyone. This short video is indeed the perfect example of what not to do: Melania Trump, in 2016, delivered almost word for word the speech of Michelle Obama in 2008.

# 6. Only promise what you can deliver

Don’t overdo it. If you promise more to your customers and prospects than you can really give them, you could be wasting time, money and customers.

Example: If you identify that price is an important decision factor for your customers, promotion can be a great short-term way to increase your sales. That said, a large promotion also reduces your margins. A promotion too much can even make you lose money, even if you increase your sales volume.

The speeches of a politician in the field also feed on the needs of citizens. Various solutions to these problems are sometimes achievable … and sometimes not. A far-fetched solution risks drawing media anger and causing misunderstanding among voters.

Donald Trump never tires of repeating that he will build a wall at the expense of Mexico if he is elected president of the United States on November 8. This is one of the most controversial elements of this 2016 campaign. Why ? If we put aside ethical issues, it is a utopian project that all the experts criticize.

# 7. Measure your results continuously …

… And act accordingly

What works today may not work tomorrow. Keeping an eye on your campaign performance is essential, regardless of the nature of your conversions. It can be downloading a resource, purchasing a product, or subscribing to your newsletter.

If any of these indicators fall precipitously, you should be able to act immediately to correct them. What did you do before this fall?

In politics, it is the polls that guide candidates on the good conduct of their campaign. If only of symbolic value, the polls reveal the evolution of public opinion. For example, the 9/11 loss of consciousness and the mysteries about Hillary Clinton’s health have helped Donald Trump’s popularity.


Democrat teams had to focus their strategy on the transparency and good health of their candidate to go up in the polls.

Analyzing the results of your marketing strategy is essential. It is only by measuring your results that you will be able to understand the repercussions of your communication actions.

#Bonus. A / B testing: fine tuning good ergonomic practices

As the latest barometer that we were able to conduct with consulting firm Converteo reveals, optimizing the user experience is no longer an option. 93% of marketers indeed consider it to be essential.

Already in 2008, Barack Obama’s teams were aware of the challenges of optimizing the navigation experience. To optimize their campaign site conversions, they decided to conduct an A / B test with 6 variants:

It turns out that the latest version (where Barack Obama is surrounded by his family) has raised over $ 60 million more in donations than the other variants tested.

In fact, the most significant variations sometimes come from very slight optimizations. This is a point that we find in application at IKKS. The brand experienced a 16.5% increase in the click rate on its “I-code” tab by implementing an A / B test.


These few tips should help you build a solid and lasting marketing strategy. You must make suresend simple messages adapted to the different visitor segments that make up your audience. Also, it is important to realize that your content is one of your strongest selling points. You could use it as an important commercial lever by showing originality. Finally, the trivial A / B test conducted by Barack Obama’s teams shows that optimizing the user experience can greatly improve a site’s conversion rate.

Article originally published on Conversion Matters (Kameleoon)