The 2016 Presidential Election is a particularly interesting one because it will either leave the US with a non-politician as president or the first female president. There are three months until polling day, which means there’s a long way to go until it all comes to an end.

But these candidates are placing emphasis on new marketing techniques to succeed in this increasingly brutal campaign. Brand marketers can learn a lot from what’s going on right now to help improve their sales and generate new leads.

Retail Politics is Everywhere

Donald Trump managed to tie Hillary Clinton in the polls going into the national conventions. This all came despite the fact Clinton spent 15 times more than Donald Trump in TV advertising. That hasn’t stopped the maverick from staying in touch, and it’s partly because of his use of retail politics.

Retail politics is the concept of every impression matters. This means that every hand shaken and every event attended increases your chances of getting what you want. For candidates, this is about getting a vote. But for you, it can be making a sale and generating a new lead.

You need to place priority on retail politics to survive your first year as an entrepreneur. Treat everyone you come into contact with as a potential customer in the making. Treat people as individuals. It will improve your chances of success.

Make Emails Personal

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways of reaching your target audience. Friends write emails in the same way as people used to handwrite letters. Brands will sound like brands writing marketing leaflets. The candidates in the presidential election have moved away from that. They write their emails in the same way as they would write to a friend. They get personal.

One of the marketing lessons learned from the run for president is Hillary Clinton’s use of her mother. In one of her communications, she talked intimately about her mother, which is unprecedented for a politician running for president.

You can do that with your own email communications. Act like you’re writing to someone on a casual basis. Talk to them about how their problems and how you identify with them. The salesperson should be a person not just a blank face from the company.

It also means you need to stop mass mailing campaigns. Segment your list into tiny segments so you can give people more of the content they actually want. Use the data you have on them to put them into groups. That way you can give them much more of what they’re going to respond to.

You’ll get more positive responses and you’ll increase your chances of landing one of those big digital marketing wins.

Your Target Market Wants to Feel Exclusive…

And crucially your target market will be willing to pay for that exclusivity. It’s easy to see how this would catch on. The presidential candidates all have branded merchandise with their faces on it. The Clinton and Trump personal brands have brought in millions of dollars.

What can’t be tracked is exactly how much they’ve managed to bring in in terms of advertising. Their supporters have essentially become walking advertisements.

And they’ll pay for these things in many ways. Yes, they might part with a few dollars for a t-shirt, but they’ll also do other things. You can give them something, such as the chance to win something, just by providing an email address. These are low-cost high-impact options.

So how does this apply to you?

Create a sense of exclusivity for your most loyal customers. You could quite easily provide a VIP package for customers who want to spend a little more. Provide them with some benefits, such as early access to new products and services. For those who’re interested in these clubs. it’s about feeling special.

Last Word – Making this Work for You

Regardless of what you think of the people actually running for president, there’s no denying the fact you can learn a lot from them. There’s so much you can take away from their campaigns because they are marketing for their lives. They are marketing with a chance to win the ultimate prize, and so you know they’re going to try everything they can to win hearts and minds across all demographics.

Applying these lessons to your business will boost your sales and increase the likelihood that you’ll get customers who’re more loyal and who’re likely to buy again going forward.

Which of these techniques do you think is the most effective?