Election Day 2014 has finally arrived, bringing an end to the partisan politics circus that has been in full swing for months.
If you happen to live in a state with hotly-contested races, then it's likely that no matter how hard you tried, you weren't able to avoid being bombarded with non-stop nonsense from various contestants in the high-stakes game of running for political office.
On the positive side, here are seven marketing lessons we can learn from politicians.
- If you use television advertising in your business, you may want to ramp it down or even suspend it altogether during the height of any political campaign, because stations routinely raise their rates during these times, to capitalize on the desperate spending of billions of dollars by various politicians and their supporters.
The naysayers like to call it "pandering," but in the super-high-stakes, results-oriented game of electoral politics, it's very smart marketing to craft different messages to different audiences, looking for what is known as the right "message to market match."
Our last three U.S. Presidents are all masters of this skill. Who can forget Phi Beta Kappa/Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law School graduate Bill Clinton speaking in a southern drawl while professing a love of McDonald's french fries, donuts and assorted other junk food, or George W. Bush being generally perceived as not bright despite earning a Yale degree and being the only President to earn an MBA (from Harvard Business School), or our current President Barack Obama routinely breaking into slang and "the language of the common man" despite his Columbia University and Harvard Law School degrees?
Of course these three presidents -- and many, many other politicians -- are all quite capable of speaking with big words and sounding like college professors, but they know better and almost naturally communicate at the coveted 6th- or 7th-grade reading level for maximum effectiveness.
Small business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals, of course, should aim to do the same.
We can all learn a lot more about marketing from politicians, of course, in addition to being thoroughly entertained by their no-holds-barred fights to the finish.
I, for one, however, am extremely happy now that -- except for the run-offs and recounts -- all the campaign madness has finally come to an end.
At least for a week or so, that is, when the campaigning is bound to start right back up again as we head towards 2016.