Mayor Pete Buttigieg could learn a great deal from marketing. This is especially true when it comes to picking fights with Vice President Pence.
The recent imbroglio initiated by Buttigieg centers around the Mayor’s identity as a gay man and the Vice President’s alleged issue with this open fact of life.
The Mayor should be reminded that of all the business disciplines, marketing is the most interpersonal. This means that marketing deals with satisfying customer needs. To accomplish this ideal of satisfying needs, the marketer must first consider their customer’s wishes from their own individual customer perspective, not the marketer’s.
“Needs” must always be expressed in terms of what they want the marketer to provide. If we take this “needs-model” and apply it to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s contrived fight with the Vice President, we just may ask: what is he thinking in picking a fight that could alienate potential voters across the political spectrum? Good maybe in a primary, but not so good in a general election.
One could attribute this skirmish to political immaturity on the part of the Mayor.
As we get older, we use different criteria in choosing our battles. Just why a presidential candidate would want to initiate a debate on a moral issue, and then ask God to takes sides, is a head-scratcher. Can you think of a more personal issue?
That’s a hard position to put voters in — to choose between parties that hold equally strongly held convictions on a fundamental cultural matter that’s best dissected by the enlightened and not subjected to the rough-and-tumble political arena.
There was a time when the political class eschewed conflicts at all costs unless necessary. It’s was the sign of having political chops to get things done no matter how they did their business. The game has changed and today partisanship is the modus operandi.
If we accept the Mayor’s premise has he framed it — telling the Vice President “if you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator," then politics is no longer the argument. Theology is. And you’d like to believe that theology isn’t susceptible to marketing messages.
It’s never a good idea to argue matters in which you are not well versed. Passion in one’s belief doesn’t necessarily qualify a person in a content area that they believe is true for them and their life.
No matter how strong the belief, it is the truth that counts. And truth is set by scholars and professors and scientists and the like. Opinions go with politics. Truth over years doesn’t get settled by political gamesmanship, no matter how clever the sound-bite may be!
This idea of truth in religious doctrine is seen in the initial resistance of the Church to “gay issues” and why many religious types still may disapprove of a lifestyle lacking centuries of religious tradition.
To the intellectually curious seeker of truth, the question that arises is whether the same type of bias experienced by gay men and women is now being promulgated against the religiously-oriented individual. And this is something the Mayor would certainly object to if he were the person on the other side of the argument. The intellectually honest approach is that both points of view need dialogue so that truth can be brought forth. It’s not about what is popular at the time of the argument.
It just may be time for everyone to just get along. If one believes that we are all God’s children then, should we ask Him to take sides in handling a decision on this issue? One would think not — both religiously and politically!
And just maybe if we do that, we will separate this issue from politics. Doing so is always easier when you have marketing in mind — both when to apply it, and when to leave it alone.
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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