What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

When it comes to marketing, brands can learn a lesson or two from political campaigns.

Be human, trustworthy and transparent

Don’t forget to show some personality! It’s important and necessary to get your message across, but it should be done in a way that makes the audience feel at ease and comfortable with your brand. Just like no one wants to vote for someone that they cannot trust, people don’t want to do business with brands that they deem untrustworthy.

From the start of both a marketing and a political campaign, the goal and messaging needs to be defined.  If messaging isn’t defined from the beginning, it leaves your intent and meaning up to interpretation.  Identify what you’re trying to communicate and be active in advertising that message.

Video is still effective

Video is an extremely effective tool, especially for search engine optimization. It’s much more likely for your audience to remember a video than it is for them to remember a simple text message. Video, especially online, has seen a growth in spending over the last few years. In fact, it’s estimated that candidates will allocate 30 percent of their advertising budget to online media sources this year!

Promote your message on multiple channels

Political messages have been invading your television, radio, mail and social media feed for the last few months. Promoting messages across multiple platforms and channels is something that politicians have become very good at. From mail pieces to radio and television commercials, and now social media, politicians are everywhere.

In order to win a political campaign, a politician’s goal is to get their message in front of as many people as they possibly can. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are growing in popularity among political candidates. These aren’t the only social options though. Candidates can consider more ways to increase their content by using sites like Slideshare, YouTube, or Google+, too.

Social Media

While promoting your message across multiple platforms is important, social media can be a double-edged sword. Social media is a great tool because such a large population is on these platforms. It extends your reach and your ability to have a conversation with your target audience. Those factors are great for any candidate and brand!

But the bad news is that things on social media can change in a second. Social media is a two-way conversation, and followers are bound to post, share and comment on the content you publish—both positively and negatively.


Politics may not be your favorite topic, but political ads and campaigns can teach us some great tactics about marketing. What have been your key takeaways from a marketing standpoint this election year? Join the conversation on our Facebook page! And if your business could use some help with your marketing efforts, visit our website!

Growing with the region

Policom Ranking

Over the past few years, the Quad Cities region has boomed with activity. From downtown developments, to large scale industrial expansions and residential spurs to the promise of high-speed rail service, the Quad Cities is certainly not lacking in growth.

At TAG, we are proud to call the Quad Cities home. Doing business in a community that embraces the need for growth, change and development, mirrors our internal vision.

We see the development around us as an opportunity to support the companies and industries we serve. As the Quad Cities region continues to bound with progress, so does TAG. Economic growth allows us to hire new, creative staff, expand business opportunities, innovate and create new strategy.

Is your business’ marketing and strategy prepared for growth with the region? What should you be thinking about as your business grows?

  • Communicating your vision: who are you as a company and how do you project your value to the region?
  • Planning for success: are you creating a road map for success when it comes to budget, priorities and timeline?
  • Evaluating progress and staying proactive: strategy is not a set it and forget it plan. Are you consistently evaluating and making changes?

At TAG, we’ve developed a way to help businesses create strategies and tactics that continue to move business forward to achieve long term goals and objectives.

Are you ready to keep growing? Find out how TAG can help!


Combining science with storytelling to create brands

Marketing communication pros in recent years have turned up the heat and sought to once again sell their expertise in creating brands.  Part of brand building is storytelling, but how and what is the most effective way?

Too often local experts talk about processes and research that tends to be an inch deep and a mile wide.  I’m a big believer in seeking out sources and experts who operate in multiple markets and are not local. Big brains.

I recently ran across some press put out by Olgilvy PR and their CEO, Chris Graves on how they combine neuroscience with crafting more effective messages to tell a story that resonates. Doesn’t it make sense to take time to combine social science with brain science?

Too often most agencies don’t embrace the scientific side, relying too much on just intuition and personal experience. Maybe that’s why they stay local.

A well regarded behavioral neurobiologist, Antonio Damasio says the brain needs, “its emotional driver and its reasoning portion to work together during decision-making. Without emotions, people are unable to reason.”

So how do you link two people’s minds – the story teller and the listener? Ogilvy lays out a few principles:

  • Show, don’t tell: Use a visual form of narrative that allows the listener to deduce the meaning without a summary, like creating a movie in the listener’s mind.
  • Use metaphors and analogies: Make the story relevant by using comparisons and analogies not jargon.
  • Maximize the “identifiable victim effect”:  Remember a story about one person resonates much more than a bucket of stats.

As Chris Graves contends, “Emotion trumps rational in all decision making. Everything must be emotionally bonding. Simply saying, ‘these are the facts won’t work.’ ”

Clients Need Love, Too…

The original topic for this effort was supposed to be “Clients we love and why.” In actuality that’s a little self-serving and bound to cause some bruised feelings. On the other hand, my experience over time dealing with customers, clients and “just folks” has made it clear many are suffering from becoming their “brothers critic” not keeper.

On the national stage political parties have increasingly become more focused on devaluing the quality of ideas or policies or even the person of the opposition. Concepts like empathy, understanding and reconciliation are dying.

In business today the very concept of relationships has been totally devalued. Why? Because those charged with making the purchase or contractual decisions tend to look at cold pricing criteria for a defined product or service. Ongoing support, valued added advice and even 24/7 back-ups are treated as secondary benefits until the product purchased doesn’t perform or the service purchased delivers less value than expected.

So what is causing some clients to become unwitting “agents of pain?” Here’s one scenario….The person in the company charged with facilitating the purchase of a given product or service is often the same person charged with implementing it. He or she often sits in a middle management position, constantly pressured to use the purchased products or services to enable higher-ups to succeed. Problem is, the implementer often doesn’t understand their role in maximizing the opportunity to get value-added counsel out of the supplier. Instead, because they don’t have skills enabling them to manage outside relationships positively they tend to become “command and control” autocrats. And to fuel the fire, because they lack understanding or skills on how to build supporters among outside suppliers or partners, they burn relationships and hinder corporate growth.

On the other hand there are clients or customers who recognize that some suppliers, vendors and partners can bring added value to the table. They reach out and even invite those “outsiders” to develop a cooperative relationship. The result is that, as the client, they gain added knowledge enabling them to successfully implement the service or the product they were involved in selecting. Those vendors or suppliers consistently bring strong business building ideas or better service to the table (love,)  That “love” over time wins the skeptic over and enables the provider of great ideas to become a “trusted advisor.”

Lesson learned: From a supplier or vendor perspective, drop the negative attitude toward difficult clients. Focus instead on helping remove their pain with what you can bring to their table…if it’s real.