Is Donald Trump a Great Marketer?

A rather interesting debate unfolded in my office the other day, and its premise was the question posed in the headline of this post.

Before we attempt to answer the question, let me say that this is not political commentary. Regardless of your feelings on the Republican nominee for President, the question is still real. And we don’t have to agree with his politics to answer the question.

Is Donald Trump a Great Marketer?

Donald Trump is a marketer. His name is perhaps one of the most widely known brands in the world. Does that make him a good marketer?

It is difficult to tell, based on who you trust, how successful his many companies have been. Many of been bankrupted. One is being sued for false claims in their sales and marketing activities. But I imagine that Donald himself was not the one in control of the marketing for many of them, given how hands off he seems to be, simply attaching his name to things and waiting for the royalties to roll in.

How about the campaign?

His campaign has tapped into an emotional undercurrent among a seemingly large population in the United States. He is exceptional at stoking their fears, and people truly feel that when he speaks, he speaks for them. Most marketers would love to be in that position.

Whether it’s on purpose or not, he is an expert at persuasion. He uses textbook principles of persuasiveness, such as confidence and certainty, purpose-driven anger, repetition of key points, speaking at a lower reading level, etc. Good marketers know how to persuade.

If you believe that all press is good press, than the Donald is the best PR man in the world. He can’t eat chicken without it being the subject of about 1 million news stories. Sure, he seems to get press for the wrong reasons more often than the right ones, but the question remains whether or not that matters.

Debate aside, he incites passion in people on both sides. Not many people have passive feelings about Donald Trump. You either love him or you hate him. And while most of us would rather people not hate our companies or brands, we would love to get them the kind of attention Donald Trump gets.

So the debate continues… Tell us what you think. Is Donald Trump a great marketer?