3 marketing lessons from past U.S. presidents

Marketers can glean insights on forging and keeping strong client relationships from these former heads of state.

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The stories behind presidential campaigns—some ending in landslide victories, others decided by the narrowest of margins—provide a roadmap of marketing history.

John F. Kennedy’s win is largely attributed to televised debates, allowing viewers to compare his sun-tanned, relaxed demeanor to Richard Nixon’s anxious and sweaty appearance. Ronald Reagan’s winning jellybean product placements and his tagline, “there you go again,” sparked artistic logos, mottos and clothing for future campaigns. President Barack Obama’s camp harnessed the power of social media to win support and get people engaged.

Similar to an election campaign, acquiring a client requires a tremendous amount of planning, nurturing, education, engagement and creativity.

At the decision-making moment, business leaders vote on which brand they will commit to. After this win, the real work starts for marketers. This is where you convert new clients into true advocates.

Here are three lessons marketers can learn from our nation’s past heads of state:

1. The first 100 days are crucial.

The first 100 days of a presidency took on symbolic significance during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term, when he planned to put an end to the Great Depression by instituting the New Deal.

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