Marketing Lessons from Presidential Candidates

| Reading time: 2 min.

Did you know that you can learn real-time marketing lessons from presidential candidates? During the election season, a lot is going on. Even if you are not closely following the race, you’re still likely to run across political ads or commentary in one form or another. If you’re a marketing agency, in marketing consulting, or an entrepreneur by nature, it’s likely you already know what the presidential campaign is; two opposing, far-reaching, and long-running marketing campaigns. With that thought in mind, there are many marketing lessons from the presidential candidates that can be learned. Here we will discuss some of those lessons and how they can help with marketing consulting or for your marketing agency.

Marketing Presidential

Marketing Strategies in a Presidential Campaign

The current 2020 presidential campaign is a heated one. It might feel as if political ads and social marketing campaigns are at an all-time high. However, it’s not much different from past general election years. From a marketing perspective, candidates must pick a platform or stand for something. This could be considered the same as creating a brand image or mission statement for your product or company. Then the candidates must get out and meet the public and spread their message. This is not unlike a business engaging with the community via ads, local campaigns, or social media.

The 2012 presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was an eyeopener for many in the power of social media. Obama’s social media marketing was so effective at mobilizing voters that Wired magazine said it might have been the greatest campaign of all time. This important data has played a role in the marketing strategies of future campaigns. Let’s take a look at the 2020 presidential campaign and the marketing lessons from the presidential candidates.

Marketing Lessons from the Presidential Candidates

One of the biggest digital marketing agencies in the world, 97th Floor, recently released a new study comparing the 2020 presidential marketing campaigns. This study includes the marketing budget as well as the strategies and effectiveness. Here are some of the statistics and what lessons can be learned from them:

Google Ads Presidential Candidates

Trump outspent Biden by $14 million in Google Ads. Biden’s ads were more accessible and offered in Spanish as well as English. Trump’s ads were only run in English and were all focused on attacking Biden and Harris. An error that was made by both campaigns was bidding on keywords accidentally likely through a broad modifier bidding strategy. Similarly, both campaigns are wasting a lot of money by not combing through google terms and updating their bidding strategies.

Social Media Presidential Candidates

The social media strategy for each candidate is consistent with their brand. Key takeaways from here include the lavish spending from both parties in Florida. Trump is spending 10% of his total marketing budget while Biden is spending 12%. Biden’s campaign is also targeting contested states (such as Texas and Pennsylvania) at a much higher rate than Trump’s. Biden is also pushing all Facebook Ads directly to Instagram whereas Trump’s campaign has only done this 36% of the time. From this, we learn that targeting ads is an important part of marketing and that not pushing Facebook Ads to Instagram is a missed opportunity.

There are many more marketing lessons from the presidential candidates that can be learned. It would be advantageous for anyone in marketing consulting or a marketing agency to look over the new study and take notes. See what worked for each candidate, what didn’t, and why.