One Non-Profit Leader Shares Lessons Marketing Leaders Can Learn from Donald Trump’s Surprise Election Victory

A lot of Americans are reportedly going thorough the five stages of grief following the results of this year’s US presidential elections, and while it may take a minute to get to a state of acceptance, the fact remains that Donald Trump is the president-elect. To say that the country was blindsided by his win is an understatement. The world can either move beyond over-analyzing this event or seek to focus on the future. A DC based non-profit leader shares her thoughts on lessons to learn from Trump’s victory.

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Like it or not, like him or not, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. His campaign and the rhetoric was divisive to some and offensive to many. But it was successful. And it provides some key lessons for nonprofit marketers.

Tap into people’s emotions. People across the country are angry. They’re frustrated. They’re pissed off. And they blame the government for it. Trump was able to use those emotions as fuel to get voters to the polls.

Speak their language. Talk to the folks you’re trying to win over in words they use in their daily (and private) conversations. What did a lot of his supporters say about Trump throughout the campaign? They said, “I like him because he tells it like it is!” Why? Because the candidate was speaking their language.

Keep your message simple. Trump’s message was “Make America Great Again.” What that actually means is open to interpretation, but you can’t argue that the message is short, simple and easy to remember.

Find great partners. Trump has no political experience, so he picked a running mate who did. I even heard some people say they didn’t vote Donald Trump for president, they voted Mike Pence for vice president. Find great partners who complement your work and bring value to your organization.

I never thought I’d tell anyone to be more like Donald Trump, but in this case, nonprofit marketers would be wise to take a page or two from his playbook. After all, “what do you have to lose?”

Rae Oglesby is a freelance writer & journalist. Follow her on Twitter.

Image: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais