The Presidential Debate: A Metaphor of the Marketing Challenge

First off, let me say this post has nothing to do with who should or should not be President of the United States.

No, what I thought interesting was for all of the analysis of who “won” or who scored a hit on the other, the end result of the debate will be pretty much nothing. No massive swing in the polls for one candidate or the other. Which makes the debate a perfect metaphor for so much marketing today: Lots of noise and hyperbole, but really nothing new, resulting in… few sales.

There was nothing new presented in the debate. No new policy announcements, no real solutions to real problems. People who were going to buy their candidate anyway are still buying, and those who weren’t…

This is the lesson that so few marketers allow themselves to learn. In today’s market, hyperbole works, but only if it is hyping something truly new and original. If you already have some customers who support you, they will stay with you (as long as you don’t actually do something to damage the trust you have built,) but you probably won’t attract too many new followers – we have heard it all before from too many sources, and it has become background noise.

The reality is you need to present something different, something unique – which is hard to do in a market flooded with competition. Find that differentiator, a true difference, and then scream it from the hills with all the hyperbole you can muster. Screaming the same thing over and over again won’t get you very far. Not today.

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