Trump and marketing

Shermichael Singleton writes for the Washington Examiner about one advantage President Trump brings to the 2020 election campaign.

President Trump’s success as a political candidate can be attributed to his understanding of politics and the political process as “essentially a marketing problem,” as David Reid wrote in his 1988 journal, Marketing the Political Product. In doing so, Trump has been extremely effective at continuously changing the media narrative to his advantage by preying on a rapid news cycle that isn’t geared toward robust reporting as so much as it’s geared toward an audience that increasingly prefers less information in shorter packages.

It can best be characterized by Trump’s ability to always be on the offense, which further benefits him as he’s been able to survive every significant scandal since his time in office. And he’s done so mostly unscathed, which is a part of what makes Trump such a unique political character. In the traditional political sense, the scandals he’s experienced would have destroyed the political careers of other politicians. But for Trump, they have only increased intrigue and curiosity, even among his detractors, leaving many to wonder with bewilderment what he’ll do or say next.

Having the ability to constantly rearrange the media landscape how he sees fit to benefit his interest is a strategic advantage unseen from any politician in the past. As with any good brand with a marketing problem, Trump understands the consumer. He’s able to dictate the narrative, tone, and pace like a good puppet master pulling the strings, the media and a large part of the public quickly follows suit.

Love him or hate him; it’s a part of Trump’s genius.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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