You’re going to read lots of highfalutin talk about how Trump’s victory is a howl from the dispossessed, and so on.
While it’s true that he benefited from a surge from rural voters, if Trump represents some sort of ventriloquist for the socially excluded, then explain this:
Let’s slam the breaks for moment and ask a much more ‘boring’ question about marketing. Given that he’s a professional brand marketer, we may want to start with what he does for a living.
Why was Trump on the television every morning for the past 2 years, despite around 20 people running for President all scraping for airtime?
Trump would start almost every day with a sensational claim, threat, accusation or insult. It often took no more than a single tweet, or a phone call to a TV show, to set the media reaction in motion. (Which says more about how the media works than Trump’s ideas about America, especially since his tweets were almost never about ideas and always about other people.)
As ever more norms and boundaries were transgressed by Trump, the media would react. Every. single. day. Some commentators would pontificate and protest, others would agree, but all would react. Every. single. day.
This was an earned media strategy par excellence.
It was almost as if the guy was a reality TV star that new how to generate publicity…
Trump didn’t win a battle of ideas. He won a battle for traditional media exposure.
So much for the collapse of civilized discourse following the rise of social media. Trump’s campaign was built on a mastering of the TV ratings model.
For many of us, we’d rather spend more time discussing ideas and issues online, than listening to an echo chamber constructed to suit the loudest voice in the room.
Unfortunately, the traditional media model still has enough power to carry a brand to the Presidency.