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This marketing law guarantees our next President will be….

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You’re probably wondering: “Why on earth is Phillip Blume injecting his voice into this messy election.. especially at this final moment when people are acting their ugliest? Doesn’t he have his character and a solid business reputation to protect?!”

True, I’m little more than a photographer, business coach and speaker. I’m certainly no political pundit! In fact, like many more Americans than ever before, I don’t feel I have “a horse in this race” at all. The sense of disenfranchisement this election cycle is real. Yet it hasn’t stopped me from observing the process with fascination, and the upcoming results may be easier to predict than some are saying…

(Join the waiting list for the Blumes’ upcoming 30 Days to Different online marketing course. As featured this month in Shutter Magazine at Barnes & Noble, free now…)

Actually I am a professionally trained journalist as well (which many people don’t realize), and I take an intense interest in politics. However, that experience hasn’t so much influenced my prediction about this election’s soon-to-be winner. Not nearly so much as my understanding of reliable laws of marketing has!

No, I’m not going to beat around the bush then completely fail to give you my prediction. Yes, you absolutely can make a strong prediction about the outcome of tomorrow’s election based on phillipblume_verticalmarketing laws. So why wait? Let’s just do this like ripping off a bandage…

I’m predicting, like it or not, that our next POTUS will be President “the” Donald J. Trump. Don’t believe me? (Don’t want to believe me?!) Here’s why I’m probably right….

 

Is the world wrong about Trump’s chances?

First, ask yourself this question: “With all the unprecedented, politically incorrect behavior from Donald Trump during this campaign, why in the world isn’t Hillary Clinton ahead of him by double digits?” A double-digit Clinton blowout over Trump has been predicted by many in the mainstream media for months. Yet they predicted the same in the Republican primaries, and Trump set records winning against all his rivals — even in states where no one saw it coming.

How could the media be so wrong? Of course many will accuse news sources of “wishful thinking” or liberal bias, but it goes well beyond that. For instance, how could even the polls be so off for so long? No one can deny, the polls are impossibly tight now. It’s anybody’s race. Still, after weighing the evidence, the New York Times and other outlets are currently giving Trump a meager 15% chance at election. Is it possible that journalists (though I as a journalist deeply respect the crucial purpose of their profession) just aren’t usually the best or brightest when it comes to marketing?…

 

Why the Polls Don’t Know Squat About Marketing…

Successful marketing is what it comes down to. And successful marketing is never determined by the amount of money you spend, no matter how massive that number may be. (Remember this in your own business, too!) If dollars spent equaled more effective marketing, the Hillary machine with its deep pockets would have thrashed Trump ages ago. Instead, Trump is getting unprecedented numbers of enthusiastic voters out of their homes and packed into arenas even before election day. If we look at these rallies as “sample groups” of the enthusiasm for Trump elsewhere in the country, this race indeed will be a sweep in the opposite direction from what formal polls previously predicted.

So what was so uniquely “YUGE” about the Trump campaign’s marketing strategy? It isn’t social media. Both Clinton and Trump have access to the same tools there; yet Trump’s Facebook LIVE broadcasts regularly receive five times more live viewers than Clinton’s broadcasts at the same time.

Was it his visual stunts? Perhaps the way he walked backlit through smoke onto the stage at the Republican National Convention, reminiscent of his powerful entrance each week on his reality TV show The Apprentice? But the show wasn’t that good. He led inexperienced business contestants to play games — neither fame nor dramatic backlighting (although as a photographer, I think backlighting is pretty great!) should engender confidence in viewers that he could lead a country.

Or maybe it’s the idea that “all publicity is good publicity.” Trump certainly has received more free media coverage than any candidate in history thanks to his ratings-spiking antics. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? On the other hand, since Trump lacks a political record, those same antics have also been his only major liabilities in the race — the sore spots that Clinton’s campaign has mercilessly poked and prodded at.

Therein lies the answer! The fact that the Clinton campaign has focused the bulk of its messaging at demonizing Trump will be its undoing. I don’t mean because negative advertising is less powerful (although it has been shown to pack very little punch). Rather, strong marketing is all about communicating a Vision. And whether you believe Hillary has a vision for our country or not, there is little argument that she has failed to communicate a clear Vision. Just ask her own supporters…

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Read Phillip Blume’s current article in Shutter Magazine, Building Your Tribe for photographers, online or at Barnes & Noble everywhere. Then sign up for 30 Days to Different, a free marketing challenge…

 

As seen in Clinton campaign emails recently published by WikiLeaks, Stan Greenberg (a top Democratic pollster and Hillary supporter) wrote this troubled commentary to John Podesta (Hillary’s embattled campaign Chairman):

“I think as you must that she’s put herself in a terrible box and in a position that maximizes her vulnerability.” The email went on to say, “She does not talk about what she is for,” as Trump does.

 

It Comes Down to Slogans.. and perceived Vision

While Hillary’s official slogan is “Stronger Together,” which resonates especially with groups who feel slighted by Trump’s comments (though I won’t be surprised if Trump does well as a Republican even among racial minorities; after all, marketing power is universal), perhaps the slogan getting more media play is “I’m With Her!” This says nothing about America or what Hillary is for; it focuses solely on the candidate and whether you stand by her personally. Regrettably for Clinton during this campaign, focus herself or her character turned out to be the last thing her campaign wants! She ranks as one of the least trusted presidential candidates in history.

Trump on the other hand, despite his seeming inability to stay on message, has at least remained focused on his slogan. He wears it emblazoned on his red baseball cap: “Make America Great Again.” Period. Simple.

You may not view it as an honest Vision of our country’s status currently. Clinton herself has continually argued in opposition to Trump that “America is already great!” Her appeals have been enthusiastic, but that could be the worst thing she could have chosen to say. Why?…

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

Marketing is not even about enthusiasm in the end. It’s about Vision. In other words, it’s about talking to people about how they feel. It’s about letting them know that you see things the way they do. You believe what they believe. If “consumers” identify with you as a business in these important ways, they will “buy” from you and (it’s well studied) even forgive businesses for repeated failures or moral shortcomings. Sound familiar?

For better or worse, American citizens have felt disenfranchised during the eight years of President Obama’s terms. And guess what. With the exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 (who won when running for his third term — no longer legal), no Democrat since 1836 has won the Presidency of the United States after already occupying the White House for two terms.

But, hey, the Cubs just won the World Series. So who knows?..

It all goes back to the uphill battle a party faces when trying to communicate Vision over “more of the same” — especially when communicating to a disillusioned electorate amidst the pendulum swing of a two party system. Just think about the power of Obama’s “Change!” message after eight years of President George W. Bush.

Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, her weak (perhaps even counterproductive!) messaging has been the equivalent of fighting the uphill battle on roller skates.

Don’t take my word for it. Professor Allan Lichtman at American University in Washington D.C. has accurately predicted every presidential election since I was born. I’m 33 years old; so you can do the math. Lichtman has a formula and processes a heckuva lot of data to reach his conclusions — but the trend shows that everything points back to whether Vision is portrayed through a campaign’s marketing. In a way, it comes down to the slogan — and whether a candidate makes his or her decisions in line with that “Vision slogan.” Marketing wins the day!

Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk does a good job of summarizing this principle, and how the Golden Circle of marketing (with Vision at its center) is indeed responsible for why some businesses succeed enormously — I’ll refrain from saying “bigly” — while other businesses with even better resources tend to struggle. Eileen and I elaborated on this idea in our own TEDx Talk, which you may enjoy as well.

Imagine if you planned your marketing strategy around this simple Law of Marketing, rather than throwing money at a “hit-or-miss,” trial-and-error advertising. Imagine how fruitful your efforts would be. We no longer even pay to advertise to our client base thanks to the effect of these principles.

30 Days to Different

In the coming days, I am hosting 30 Days to Different, a FREE thirty-day marketing challenge to help photographers turn their businesses into lean, mean, marketing machines. This course is not for everyone. It’s for you if you’re a small business owner or marketer — but it is uniquely focused on you if you are a self-employed photographer and entrepreneur.

The challenge is all about getting your life back so you can focus on what matters most! For us, that’s our family, adoption, volunteering locally, and our charity work with impoverished children overseas.

What would you focus on if your business was running smoothly, professionally, and profitably? I’m inviting you to sign up now for this free 30 Days to Different challenge, and I look forward to teaching you these same simple — but crucial — common sense marketing laws, which are responsible for our success and the success of our many students around the world.

So even if the election doesn’t work out how you hope, please remember — you are still responsible for your own direction and success! Take control over your business, and we’ll talk more with you very soon…

By the way, if my prediction pans out, it shows you what an amazing expert I am. If not, just remember — this election has been completely unpredictable. 😉

One thing we can all agree on: Go vote, friend!

  1. Dana says:

    Oooo. So very interesting!!! I think I agree with you on the outcome of tomorrow’s election if only based on your first point (although I agree with your following supporting points as well). Why isn’t there a greater gap in the numbers? Praying for you all tomorrow!!

  2. phillipblume says:

    Thanks, Dana! It’s always more fun talking politics with you and other Canadian friends: wonderful unique perspectives, and always mixed with cool phrases like “eh?” Hope to see y’all soon! 😉

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