The Democrats have become inadept at two things: Learning and winning. Hillary Clinton’s outrageous, last-second loss to the most inferior challenger possible, should have been a learning moment, but I suspect it has taught them nothing.
Today, the Democrats are heavily favored to do well in the November elections — possibly take over the House and perhaps even the Senate. There simply is no way they again can blow an election to an unpopular party led by the most dishonest, corrupt, incompetent President in American history — but they will try.
Early in my more than fifty years in business, I learned the secret of marketing: Focus.
Ask a friend what they like or dislike about any person or product, and you most likely will receive a short, one-subject response, for instance: “He is strong.” “She is smart.” “He is experienced.” “She is beautiful.” “It really works.” “It’s expensive.”
People in general, have a narrow focus. So to market a product or person, don’t tell a dozen good stories.
Instead, focus on one great story, and tell it repeatedly, until well after you yourself have become utterly bored with it, at which time the public will just start to discover it.
A million years ago, I was a junior partner in an advertising agency that had one major client. The head of the agency was asked whether he was concerned about keeping all his eggs in one basket.
His response: “Put all your eggs in one basket and take care of the basket.” He became rich that way.
Our client was the Wrigley Company, the chewing gum people. They manufactured and sold a product named “Doublemint gum, ” for which our agency had written a radio and TV campaign which featured twins and a song with the tagline, “Double your pleasure.”
Within each 30 second commercial, the song repeated the word “double” at least fourteen times.
So there were twins, the repeated word “double,” and high-frequency advertising on TV and radio. Doublemint became the best selling gum in the world.
Today, though that commercial hasn’t aired for many years, millions of people still remember the tagline, “Double your pleasure.”
Later in life, I began a career saving moribund companies. Each company had a similar problem: Multiple products and multiple stories had diluted their marketing message.
To bring the companies back to life, I merely shed the weaker products, focused on the one or two strongest and took each company from a struggling, general-purpose also-ran to the profitable leader in a narrow niche — a powerful and lucrative marketing position.
The Democrats seem not yet to have learned the secret of marketing. Unless they do, I predict one will promote his Job Guarantee plan, and another will promote his Universal Basic Income plan.
Then there will be those who discuss taxes, marijuana, gay marriage, and incarceration.
Yet others will discuss a method to save Obamacare, or Social Security, or Medicare, or food stamps or the environment, or the Veteran’s Administration.
Democrats will offer education plans, immigration plans, Middle-east plans, gun-control plan, abortion plans, military plans, plans to help farmers, energy plans — the list will be endless — and not just the Democratic National Committee, but each politician, will discuss multiple ideas.
And then, the Democrats further will complicate the stew, and dispute each ingredient, until there are so many messages floating about, the public will not remember who favors what and why anyone should care.
I suggest that the Democrats focus on one marketing message, and that message should be broadcast repeatedly, unrelentingly, morning and night, day after week after month, until everyone in America — everyone on earth — knows the message.
And that message is Donald Trump.
He is the tar baby of American politics. Anyone who touches him becomes disgraced, stuck to Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty, the damage he has caused to America and to the world.
The message should be Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, like the ominous, stomping footsteps of doom for each Republican candidate.
Surely, there is no dearth of examples: His crooked Trump University, cheating employees, ongoing infidelities, incredible number of lies, Putin, Qatar, nepotism, stocking the swamp with millionaire bankers, weakening America in the eyes of the world, draft dodger, hate-mongering, bullying, phony medical reports, anti-science.
Pick the few best (worst?) and keep pounding them, every day in every way. Associate every Republican candidate’s relationship with this pariah via their votes and their supportive statements.
Force every GOP candidate to admit or deny he/she has been a Trump supporter. Either way, they lose.
Meanwhile, Mueller, the media and surprise outsiders like Stormy Daniels and her team, will continue to provide you with new Trump outrages, while Trump further aids you with his compulsive tweeting.
Diffuse on myriad issues, no matter how meaningful, and you will lose. Focus on Trump and you will win.
That’s called “marketing.” That also is called “winning.”
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
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11 thoughts on “*The secret of marketing. How the Democrats again will blow a 20-point lead with only 1 second remaining”
The Dems have no need to market themselves. Like any organization with a well-known brand and monopolist position, they are quite secure. As part of America’s political duopoly with the Repubs, they have sold and legislated themselves into a position where they no longer need to rely on winning elections to retain power. The oligarch patron’s money is their insurance. Given their partnership with the Repubs, they have no viable political challengers. The Duopoly has set the bar so high for third party participation in elections, they have no worries so far. What else explains their continued position in Washington despite having lost over 1,000 seats over the last few election cycles?
In short, the Dems are not misguided, mistaken, stupid, foolhardy, etc. They know exactly what they are doing. They perceive a threat to their power coming from real progressives and are combating it fiercely. That it means throwing the popular will under the bus means nothing to them. What appears contradictory for a political party as it relates to voters, is actually a conscious strategy to protect their power when viewed from the standpoint presented here.
If you don’t win elections, you don’t have real power.
Not true in the present electoral environment. Only Dems or Repubs can “win”, and since Congress and this duopoly pair have repeatedly demonstrated they do not represent the public, no power finds its way to the people via elections. A look at US political history over the last 40 years demonstrates this readily.
Across all 50 states, among the nearly 6,000 legislative seats, independent and third party office holders comprise a small fraction of one percent. The Duopoly dominates and their alliegence is to the 1%.
I agree with your emphasis on Focus, but wonder about the target you recommend. What if Republicans or other forces remove Trump and Democrats are up against something like Pence? The target you propose would be useless. Even if Trump stays in, concentrating on him works as you suggest, and the Democrats get him in the 2020 election, what do they do next? What will be their mandate for governing?
I think they should focus on meeting the combined needs of all the people whose votes they want with a theme for governing that will last at least four years and ideally more like twenty. Pounding on the contrast between that nearly universal theme and what Republicans and Trump in particular are giving them would accomplish what you want to do and provide momentum to govern
You deal with the situation at hand. Trump is that situation. If the situation was Pence, I would focus on him. But if the situation was a decent Republican who discussed real issues, I would focus on liberalism.
Rodger, in my view to “deal with the situation at hand” is to deal with the symptom not the disease. We have been addressing the symptoms for 40 years this go round. The oligarchy is the disease. As long as they remain in place the 99% will lose more and more ground, the environment will be destroyed, and we will be finished.
Max, there is a huge difference between being elected and governing, as Donald Trump proves every day. “Focus” is the way to be elected. After being elected, I would opt for the Ten Steps to Prosperity.
You can’t make this stuff up: “How is he going to explain to his grandchildren all of the lies, the deceit, all of the problems he has caused for this country?” Trump said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/spy-spying-spygate-trump-spies-opportunity-brand-fbi-informant-142733663.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw
Clearly, Trump opposes lying.
So we’re supposed to trust “Yahoo News”? hahaha Are you retarded? Words 1 to 8 in the very first line of that article read “President Trump reportedly told a friend this week”. And that’s your support for a snarky “can’t make this stuff up” comment? I’m sure you love the CNN pieces supported by “said someone familiar with his way of thinking”.
I’m sorry but by quoting that garbage from sources like “Yahoo” (and also trusting the corrupt word of someone like Clapper” you lose any hint of credibility.
Clearly, you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re just another mouthpiece of the establishment.
Actually, I trust Trump. Here is why: https://www.washingtonpost.com/. I also trust Fox News. Here’s why: https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/tv/fox/.
I guess I’m just plain gullible. I also guess, that like Trump, your reading skills are lacking. You were unable to read the next line: “On Thursday morning, Trump used the term three times in a single tweet while repeating his false claim that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had conceded the bureau was spying on his campaign in 2016.”
No wonder Trump said he loves the “poorly educated.” He must adore you.
Oct 24, 2016. THE ATLANTIC. Matt Stoller. “How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul” encouraging you to find a populist pathway again. Another is to look at the NATIONAL Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The question is of national defense and unlike past midterm ( local ) elections, one where state level officers can have a real impact. People should ask their local representatives ” If I vote for you, are we in or out?” I believe in our power to bring meaning to the vote. Anger is a waste.