Everywhere you look today, you’re hit with news coverage, ads and opinion pieces about the upcoming presidential election. You may be fed up with politics, but have you ever considered how campaign strategy and tactics relate to business? There are some clear presidential campaign lessons for business owners everywhere.
Speak to the core of your target market
Each candidate has a platform that resonates best with a specific segment of the population. In most cases the platform doesn’t appeal to members of the other parties. This is important as many business owners try to be everything to everyone. If you look at any free country in the world, there has never been a leader who was elected with 100% of the vote. If leaders of countries are unable to please everyone, how can a single business expect to be everything to everyone?
With every audience there is a core set of shared principles and beliefs. For example, if you look at the characteristics and shopping preferences of consumers who shop at places like Whole Foods, you will find that they will have many similarities. In contrast, you’ll find that audience differs from Walmart’s shoppers.
As we see from presidential campaign lessons, when you speak to your core audience, the message will resonate further, and have a much greater impact. Using the example above, individuals shopping at Whole Foods will most likely resonate with an organic message more than someone shopping at Walmart.
Choose Your Words Carefully
As we live in a world dominated by social media, it is more important than ever that we choose what we say and how we say it very carefully. Both candidates this year have said things that have caused a media firestorm. This has distracted the candidates from discussing issues and resulted in the candidates resorting to damage control.
As business owners, we have to think about what message we are communicating to our audiences. It is just as important for employees to understand how the language they use can impact a business. It’s especially important in customer service situations to show empathy. Often it’s a lack of empathy combined with overly brief explanations that creates regrettable sound bites, for voters and for customers.
Leverage Social Media
Since 2008, social media has been a growing force in presidential campaigns. During this most recent primary cycle, the impact of social media dwarfed the “traditional” approach that has long been favored by candidates. In addition to email focus, both campaigns make extensive use of Twitter and Facebook, with frequent content featuring life on the campaign trail, quotes, and fun quizzes and video clips.
For business owners, this means it is more important than ever to embrace social media and how people are communicating with each other. When businesses fail to do so, they are subject to becoming a thing of the past.
Always Be Evolving! If you look for presidential campaign lessons over the years, you’ll see they continually embrace new technology, and stay with modern trends. When businesses fail to evolve and embrace new technology and trends they quickly become obsolete. To put this into perspective, it wasn’t that long ago when various stores had large aisles dedicated to film photography along with the cameras to go with them. Other than specialty stores, when was the last time you saw a roll of film for sale? The next time you go to a store like Walmart or Target, look to see how many hand held cameras are on display. It’s a fraction of what it used to be.
That shelf space, whether virtual or physical, is now being filled with new products and services. It’s critical to ensure that you are offering customers what they want now, and are evaluating new things they may need in the not too distant future.
How are you staying in front of your ideal clients with the right message?