Marketing Lesson 101: Getting Haters for Success (and how the Donald Trump 2016 campaign is using this to win the nomination)

NOTE: This is a non-biased article from someone who doesn’t know who they are voting for. Simply popcorning- it-up for the marketing lessons from this Presidential race. Election 2016. Focus: Donald Trump 2016.


Donald Trump 2016

He’s coming…

If you’re reading this in the future, here’s what’s going on in early 2016 for the hunt for the US Presidency, it’s a slug-fest.  We are seeing something being played out in politics that’s fit for the Marketing Hall of Fame.  Donald Trump, the famed real-estate investor, Apprentice “You’re Fired” guy, is running the ship for the Republican party.


Picking up the paper over your morning coffee (or more like browsing through your phone), you’d think the Whole World hates the crap out of him (even Republicans).  All you see are smear campaigns and articles about “How America is Over if Trump is Elected.”


Donald must be feeling the heat…..


donald trump 2016

He turned Michael Caine into himself!

Ha, are you kidding, he’s committing the best Marketing Caper we’ve seen even the Muppets would be impressed.

The Left and the loud voices on the Right think hammering out articles and ads about how terrible Trump would be as President, posting them on Facebook, whining on Twitter about it, would suddenly change the votes and the polls (as of Feb 2016, Trump has a commanding 20% lead over 2nd place).


They don’t understand a very powerful piece of marketing…… The Power of Conflict.


“You Aren’t a Success Until Ya Got Some Haters” – unknown


You will find this principle at play in not just politics, but in entertainment, sports, religion, and beyond.  What it means is the more controversial you are, the more attention you garner.  You can then turn that attention into success and wealth.


Notice, I didn’t say JUST getting attention means you’re a success, it’s knowing what to do with it.


johnny manziel

The fire’s out now, Johnny…

Johnny Manziel got the most 2nd + 3rd string attention than any quarterback ever (calm down Tebow fans, it’s a close race…ok?), he was in the news all the time (notice I put “was” as I predict his career will be short-lived), even though it was negative attention, he could’ve spun that into success:


Done “secret” charity work, let cameras “catch” him on the practice field at 3am in the morning, buy his lineman TVs after 1 of his (rare) good games (for press).

All of this wouldn’t have necessarily spiraled into him winning Super Bowls, but definitely more Sponsorships + More Credibility to perhaps get into Coaching or as a TV analyst right away. (See Tebow, happy fans?)


Instead, he squandered the attention and money on booze. And people still gave him controversial attention..


There’s still time Johnny!


How Donald Trump uses Controversy to Kill at the Polls:


The Donald is doing the exact same thing.  He’s Saying what he wants, He’s Doing what he wants and everyone’s up in arms about it.


We are prideful humans.  We believe what we want to believe. If we “commit” to something, unless given an incredible reason, we stick to our inner reasoning.  The more the press and Facebook shouts:

If you Vote for Trump, you’re what’s wrong with America.”


WRONG WAY TO HANDLE THE TRUMP. You’re not convincing those supporters to change their mind.  All you’re doing is making them dig in even more.  They just get madder, and they tell their friends who are on the fence to vote for Donald Trump 2016. The snowball rolls down the hill.


An article comes out calling “X State is going to hell for letting Trump win.” Wow, that’s really going to change some minds from “X” state.  What do you think it does?


It just makes “X” state say “You know what…….To Hell we Go! Everyone vote Trump, they can’t bully us!


Our 1 year old is learning the word “NO.” Yes, the dreaded word to: ‘Don’t put your hand in that socket’, ‘Stop throwing your food to the dog,’ ‘Do not poke out the dog’s eyes!’


The more she is loudly told “No” , the more she wants to do it.

If you berate your teen in front of her friends, she’s more likely to go out and do something worse next time just to show you up!

The more you berate Trump supporters, the more they will spread the word about it.

You’re essentially giving Trump a lead in the polls for FREE.  Jeb Bush dropped out after spending $130M on his campaign, Trump doesn’t even have to spend a $1 on marketing if he doesn’t want to.

All that negative press is really stopping him…..It’s helping him!!

You’re doing it for him!










How to Stop the Donald Trump 2016 Bus (for Non-Trump fans)


Pretty straightforward…..STOP posting the smear campaigns.  It may be too late, but pick a candidate and promote that one instead.


Better yet, try and cause a stir with that candidate instead.  Hilary Clinton shouldn’t be relieved the e-mail breach went away. She was the #1 focus in the land with that going on.  Bernie Sanders then garnered attention as many claimed he was “Socialist” and he embraced it causing his controversial status to go up.


Key point: Stop trying to smear campaign him, instead put up your candidate and prop him/her up rather than attack those who vote for Trump.


Use the Pendulum Theory:

With a Pendulum, the only way to get the ball to your side “Success” is first moving towards failure.  You need the momentum to swing towards “Success.” If you simply try and push the pendulum towards “Success” it will move slightly then swing harder back towards failure.


Instead, to get the most momentum right away towards success, you must first move towards failure.

How do you do that?


Admit Trump is the head in the polls and many Republicans think he’d do a good job. You’re talking to your friends on Facebook, instead of saying “You’re so dumb for supporting Trump, he’s going to ruin the country.”


(That’s not going to change their minds, rather be used as fuel for them to further promote Trump.)


Instead, you say “Boy, Trump is doing a great job in the polls, a lot of Republicans really like him, right? Let me ask you, could you ever see a reason to think about voting for Cruz or Rubio rather than Trump?”


A reasonable person will think it over and give you reasons. A hard-core, non-reasonable person would say, “No, they all suck, Trump for life.” The latter is someone you won’t change their mind. But you also don’t want them going around rallying the troops. Drop politics talk with them.


The former is someone you can have a dialogue with and figure out, “Hey, Trump supporters don’t like THIS about him , perhaps this is a a great point my candidate addresses. Then you talk about that.


Proof that Controversy works for Marketing:


Kanye West:

Many can’t argue Kanye has a major voice in music, he’s unofficially known as Mr. Controversy in the music business.  From going after Taylor Swift, swooping in and marrying into the Kardashian family, to recently tweeting about being $53M in personal debt, he knows how to keep the spotlight on him.


He got the most Venom when in ’09 with the Taylor Swift VMA stunt.  He was shunned by haters, Lady Gaga canceled a joint tour with him.  But look at something interesting.  Look at his net worth since ’09:


Kanye West Net Worth Timeline 2

Now, of course this isn’t all related to that 1 stunt (everyone can find stats to back themselves up!), but it IS when he you started seeing more and more of him in tabloids, news covers and the like.














Let’s look at Taylor Swift


She’s been the center of attention since then as well.
Tabloids monitor every boy she ever speaks a word to, and whether she likes it or not, all it does is rally T-Swifters around their gal.


taylor swift net worth over time





Heck, I love Tay Tay and don’t understand why they won’t leave her alone! So I bought floor seats the last time she was in Dallas, Go T!

For any other entertainers, those that hate only make them stronger: CC: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, One Direction…













Dallas Cowboys:

Arguably, the most controversial team in football is the Cowboys.  Why? Because they’re called “America’s Team” yet most, outside the state of Texas and random pockets around the U.S., absolutely hate them and hate they have that name.  The second most hated team could arguably be the New England Patriots.  Guess who are the 2 most valuable franchises in the NFL?


You got it!



The Cowboys are worth $4 BILLION.  Yet they haven’t been to a Super Bowl in 20 years! They’ve only reached 10+ wins in 6 of the last 20 seasons.  Any other team and they are down to the $1 Billion mark.


But what keeps it controversial? Good Ol’ Uncle Jerry. Jerry’s World reigns supreme!  He is the center of attention after each game (usually a loss), pursues and keeps controversial players, as well be the Voice of the Team.


For non-football fans, typically the Owner is “mostly” a silent manager who simply watches the game and throws in input every now and again (while counting their money). Not Jerry. He lives for the spotlight and it makes him a mega-controversial figure in the NFL arena.


He’s gotten paid for it. Why? Because Cowboys fan love the attention even more, and will go and overspend for tickets and memorabilia, just for the notoriety.



Past Presidential Elections:


Look at the last 3 Elections and check the winners and who they contended with.  Normally, the most controversial one, the one everyone talked about is the one who wins (whether you think they were the better candidate or not.


George Bush: Controversial candidate after 09/11 plus Operation Iraqi Freedom in ’03.

And John Kerry WASN’T a compelling enough figure to overthrow Bush.

Barack Obama: Controversial as first African American President. John McCain, not memorable (only controversy was having Sarah Palin, but that wasn’t enough although she had a strong support group)

Barack Obama (2012) : Even with lackluster performances in 1st term, Mitt Romney just didn’t have enough controversy to stir up the presses as, even though the “polls” had him leading on election day, he was dismantled by over 125+ electoral votes.  Bain Capital just wasn’t enough of a “controversial” point to garner enough attention, nor do the average Americans understand private equity firms.


Presidential Election 2016:

Hilary Clinton has an edge in the controversial polls simply by having a decent shot at being the first woman President in history.

Presidential election 2016

Not controversial enough..

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t “Exciting.” They want to be clean-cut, what they need is find a way to get press about themselves and NOT by slamming Trump. Instead, slam each other, forget Trump even exists.


Why Would This Strategy Work for you Donald Trump 2016 haters?

This is the information age.  We are persuaded more now than ever by what we read.  We read of how unsafe we are everyday because of the news.

In reality, we are living in one of the most peaceful times in history.  But, we have to watch something. We have to read that sad article. You can Google any tragic event and find a zillion sad articles about it.

The main point is: With so much information out there, if we have no opinion, we are more likely to believe the first one we hear.  The more you hear something, the more likely you are to accept it as fact.

So, bash on each other, make Americans think Cruz and Rubio are the new relevant ones and Americans will accept it.  They’ll see more talk about Cruz and Rubio and think “Wow, one of them must be right.” They will then slowly stop watching the Donald Trump 2016 parade.

As much as you want to pour facts into the average brain of an American citizen, you have to play the copywriting. Play the psychology game.

It’s like a magician. Distract them with 1 hand and they won’t realize what your other hand is doing!

AGAIN: This is written by an un-decided voter.  Simply written for the marketing prowess on display by the Trump 2016 campaign.

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