The One Thing to Learn From Donald Trump

Some weeks I have the time to obsess over a new marketing strategy or the possibilities of the year ahead. Other weeks my interests are more scattered. This has been the latter kind of week, but that doesn’t mean the world runs out of interesting marketing! Here are four quick ideas I’ve been mulling over while winter’s settling in over the Northeast.


1.The One Thing You Should Learn From Donald Trump
In an interview with CNN, Tea Party activist Scottie Hughes pinpointed the one thing Donald Trump and Sarah Palin could teach almost every marketer: How to reduce complicated issues to hashtags.

Said Hughes: “[Palin] has these great catchphrases, these great catchlines, these great hashtags that trend. And that’s something that Mr. Trump is good at as well — sitting there and taking a large issue and putting it down to just a key phrase that people repeat days after the statement is made.”

What complex idea should you simplify to a hashtag? #MarketingMatters.

2. Discrimination Costs Talent, Sometimes the Best Talent
I was watching a show about the history of Captain America, and they brought up that a lot of the guys in comics were Jewish kids who couldn’t find “legitimate” work in the Madison Avenue ad agencies because they were Jewish. This includes Jack Kirby, perhaps the most talented action illustrator America’s ever seen. Could his talents have saved brands? Absolutely.

The "Kirby Hand," one of Jack Kirby's trademark action panels.

This blows my mind, but you find stories like it all over history. Forget fairness for a moment. At some point, everything becomes a number game. If you have access to a million people, you’ll probably find a 1-in-a-million talent. If you have access to 2 million, you’ll probably find a 1-in-2-million talent. If you have access to 10 million, etc.

If you cut Jewish people, or black, or women, or Indian, or Muslim or Latino or any other large group out of the talent pool for non-talent reasons, you’re just reducing your chances of finding geniuses.

Not to mention, you’re being a prick.

3. A Too-Perfect Metaphor for Marketing
There’s a riddle going around Facebook: There are 10 fish in a tank. Two drown, four swim away, three die. How many are left?

fujzosdcc6cvdmvdugnsThe answer is, all of them. They’re all still in the tank.

This is a great way to think about the customers and prospects who got away. Whether they stopped responding to your marketing or went to a competitor, those customers are still in the tank with you, ready to be won back.

It’s still an unfortunately accurate metaphor when it comes to the dead fish. We still get marketing mail for our apartment’s previous owner, who died before we moved in 4 years ago.

Don’t forget to scoop the dead fish out of your lists.

4. Totally Tasteless Marketing for a Tasteless Age
And finally after the way January’s gone for musicians, I am relieved and surprised to have never seen an ad like this:

“Cole … Lemmy … Bowie … Fry …
Eddie Van Halen US Tour 2016: See him while he’s still alive!”

But seriously:



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