Democrats are forgetting how they won the Midterms: marketing.
Democrats have a relationship problem with marketing.
The good news for them is that they do appreciate its worth intermittently.
But the Democrats' admiration for this effective discipline always appears to be short-lived. Their temporal state of "marketing-phila" only gives rise to Republicans who “seize the moment” in those campaigns that many felt were unwinnable. That is before the Dems abandoned marketing for their tactic of choice: ideology. It’s something that we are beginning to see from the Democrats once again!
Consider that every few years Democrats initiate a campaign with marketing in mind and win. This is seen in the thumping they gave to the Republicans in the Midterms, along with their eight-year dominance in selecting one charismatic novice politician — Barack Obama, a politician who some would say was of average accomplishments. Despite this quiet perception by some party leaders, Mr. Obama, a personal firebrand, was able to win two terms as president because strategists implemented solid marketing theory and practice.
But why then don’t Democrats continue to utilize this discipline, which offers them continued successes, when they apply these marketing principles?
The answer lies in their leadership’s current understanding of politics as a discipline rather than a business. If Democrats saw politics as a business enterprise rather than an ideology, these lapses in campaign judgment would not occur and their successes would be more consistent.
This predisposition to the ideological rather than to the business is seen clearly in the issues presently being proposed by the Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination.
Exhibit A: the “Socialism issue,” which many candidates are now promoting. Instead of finessing this topic, Democrats speak of Socialism in glowing terms in much the same way they think their nemesis-in-chief President Trump speaks of the “border emergency!” The thinking goes like this: “If the president says outrageous things then we can too! Damn how it sounds, we must get out the message we believe is right and that’s all that counts!”
The only problem with this way of thinking is that most people agree with the president, no matter how silly critics think the president’s argument is.
It’s simple: The unforgotten agree with the president and they, along with a majority of Independent voters, will determine the 2020 presidential election. Someone should tell the Democrats.
Democrats currently do not understand the basic marketing tenet: it’s not about you, it’s all about the voter. It is something that President Trump understands all too well.
A better strategy for the Democrats and their respective publics is to speak to blue-collar voters. They should not lecture them as if they were graduate students in a political science class, admonishing them what’s best for their lot.
The demographic that Democrats want to attract is found in living rooms across the country responding to how America will become great again. They are NOT the kind of folks who will take up the mantra of a 19th-century political philosopher urging the “citizens of the world to unite.”
No, this segment that the Democrats should want to attract longs for continued messages of good jobs, opportunities for their children, and the hope that the future will be brighter than today. Socialism does not offer this view, not even by the most-likable political personalities.
President Trump’s strength (which Democrats do not understand) is his the ability to understand their needs — simple blue-collar economics. This means manufacturing jobs — something that they have been told are “gone for good,” only to be proven wrong by the president they voted for and who accepts nothing but results for those who believe that America can indeed be Great Again.
Democrats can attract blue collar voters with a message that resonates with them — remember, it’s all about jobs. And by foregoing the issues that appeal to the sophisticated in their ranks, who seem to think they know what’s best, but who fail to understand the business of satisfying most voter needs.
If they do that, the Democrats just maybe can win in 2020. But only if they remember that it’s always easier when you have marketing in mind.
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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