Integrated campaigns like this one are one of the most exciting areas of marketing. There are even some great lessons in marketing psychology out there.
With record budgets estimated at $ 10.8 billion combined, the Trump and Biden campaigns should have fueled the most complicated and innovative marketing campaigns of their time. Yet they revealed lackluster tactics we enjoyed, with only the occasional hint of ingenuity.
Trump's campaign was very similar to his personality: broad, brave, and aggressive. Biden's digital campaign was also somewhat predictable: it focused on beating Donald Trump and a little more diligently on focusing on political specifics.
Donald Trump will say what he wants to say and will doggedly stay tuned and bring his point home through repetition. So when you map out their email marketing funnels, it's no surprise that an average user can expect almost 3 emails a day. In fact, following the debate, the Trump team ran a fundraiser that saw subscribers see 12 emails in a single day. This type of frequency is undoubtedly too high, but it also points to the Trump brand. This campaign was aimed at a crowd where frequent, repetitive emails with loud subject lines (which don't always deliver the promised content) could end up in an eager inbox.
The Biden campaign is milder and less aggressive in finding fundraising for campaigns. For example, the Biden campaign is generally gentler on ads and messages, using terms like the more popular “chip-in” instead of the commanding “donate now”.
There are two key areas of digital marketing that are most effective in campaigning: digital ads and email.
Like every camp prioritized promotional messages and placements
Biden's ads prioritized swing states, which was seen as a smart tactical move. Trump used Facebook ads to send users to one-way polls and empower ideals by sending polls, ensuring complete control over the messages he received.
Advertising channels have significant control over the messaging and user experience of their platforms. However, by submitting users to a poll, Trump can get the full direction for the messages he's received. This strategy is likely to be used again.
Early lists (and adherence to compliant lists of party political allies) will be vital in future elections. During this campaign, Trump's team did not seem to bother setting up an email funnel for those who signed up but did not donate, preferring to focus entirely on those who have already donated. This was likely an accidental mistake or an oversight.
Trump's strategy has likely resulted in burnout among Trump donors. I wouldn't recommend the campaigns strategy to marketers looking for long-term loyalty. This can be seen in Biden's decision to improve spending habits. Lists can be segmented and aligned accordingly.
Deleting an entire section of your list entirely just because recipients didn't respond with funds is a big flop – and it has likely resulted in some significant revenue going under. Future candidates who best segment, target, and own their lists will be in a better position to build deep and personal relationships with their audiences.
In the meantime, voters are eagerly awaiting the official results.