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Marketing Lessons from the Midterm Elections



During elections, it's common that people think their candidates will win. When they talk to their peers, when they're on their Facebook feeds, they see people in favor of their candidates. But when election day comes, many are surprised that the results show the opposite. Why? Because it's a result of very good marketing campaigns.


So based on my observations and conversations with peers, I listed down some key marketing lessons one can learn from the recently ended midterm elections:


1. Hit the right population. Based on a report published by CNN, majority of voters (around 43M) are Class D & E. These are the masses, not very informed and do not fully understand the work required from politicians. But they're aware of the recent teleseryes and know famous actors. (Not degrading them in any way, just stating observation) But since they are the majority, politicians should target them first and give them priority. Marketing dictates that the brand should talk in the language of their market, thus politicians who know this don't have to prioritize debates or sounding smart in interviews, but their priority is to be seen frequently by these people, whether in person or in TV, talk in their language and probably do a catchy jingle or dance. Then boom. You attract the masses' votes.


2. It's all about recall. Given that the smart thing to do is target Class D & E, the politician has to know what's trending in that population, and leverage on it. Whether it's a song, dance, TV show, or any other trendy content. Then be heard and seen as frequent as possible. Why? Because when the masses vote, it's all about what name they remember the most, not really the one who answered the best in debates.


3. Don't rely on what you see and hear from your peers. Especially on social media. Social media algorithms are designed to show you what you like to see. So when you react, like, comment, or share to certain topics, Facebook and Instagram read that, and that's what it will always show you. That's why oftentimes, you think your candidates are liked by the majority, but you will be surprised how different the opinions are outside your network. That's why in marketing, research is also very important. One should never assume that what they think or what their peers think, is what the majority also thinks.


Marketing really is the lifeblood of business, including elections. If you know the right market very well, then surely you will hit your objective.



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