What 2016 Election Teaches Me about Lead Generation – one of the important digital marketing strategies?


If we see this election from a businessman’s point of view, no matter Donald Trump won or not, he gained more leads and converted more customers for his corporation with low cost. He started his campaign with more social media leverage and made sure to keep abreast of the demanding and fast evolving digital world for marketing.

Lesson 1 I learned:

The larger the lead pool, the better.

From the beginning, Trump already had an advantage. Since his name is well-known nationally, he has a larger pool of leads than the other republican candidates who might only be a household name inside of the state he/she represents. Even his conversion rate is lower, he gets more voters.

Advice for marketers: When you are generating leads, you should try you best to generate as many as possible to best the largest leads pool among your competitors.

Lesson 2 I learned:

Try harder to understand/analyze your leads

  • Not being fooled by big data, talk to real people
  • Understand their worldviews
  • Be careful of the aspects that might drive your potential leads away
  • Build trust between you and leads again if it has been breached

Not being fooled by big data, talk to real people and Understand their worldviews

I am using Trump and Clinton’s case as an example, regardless of the worldviews people support, I only talk about numbers here.

Looking at the data, I find out that some certain groups who favor Trump might outnumber (>) people with different or opposite views, which Clinton didn’t have an effective way to win over or might had ignored before the final day. Data supporting point1 and 2 are from Election 2016: Exit Polls.

  1. White without a college degree > white college graduate

Here is an article “Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch,” further discussing why it is important to understand this phenomenon, especially by people who support Clinton.

  1. People live in small city or rural and suburb would vote for Trump > People live in small city or rural and suburb would vote for Clinton
  2. People who are not ready for a female president > People who are ready for a female president

As far as worldview is concerned, as a seller, Clinton fails to take the worldviews of some people outside of her circle or whose are different from her into consideration.

For example, Wisconsin has 3,558,877 registered voters. Trump gets (1,409,467) V.S. Clinton gets (1,382,210). I use this total number to minus the votes for all the candidates, there is still 614,257 left without voting for anyone.

All those 614, 257 voters can be regarded as leads for any candidates. Converting a portion of it might benefit any of the major candidates. Although it is impossible to know it beforehand, at least I realized the importance of predicting more accurate size for leads pool.

Clinton might be happy to see the predicted numbers of District of Columbia, New York, New York State, California and Illinois, but the reality is that the worldviews of her or the group behind her are quite different from a lot of people living in the other areas of the country such as Midwest.

Advice for marketers: Try to differentiate the different groups of leads and accordingly draft the marketing strategies to promote your product/business to them. Try correctly define each leads group and its unique characteristics. Find the right message, right way to resonate with each different group of leads. Develop/choose scientific methods to predict more accurate numbers for potential leads.

Be careful of the aspects that might drive your potential leads away

The section of “Best description of vote” interested me. When being asked how democrats think of Clinton, 53% are strongly in favor of her while 48% like her with reservation. A lot of people admire her personally, but the WikiLeaks and all the FBI investigation on her emails stirred up public opinions. Since not many people can verify or know what exactly is going on, they might be hesitant to firmly support her.

Advice for marketers: No matter how minor it is, as long as it is related to your reputation, business, product, service, any negative issue or rumor worries you, you should deal with it right away.  Good reputation attract leads while bad reputation drive your potential leads away.

Build trust between you and leads again if it has been breached

It takes a certain period of time to convert your leads into customers, but they leave if the trust is broken.

Clinton did have a chance in the race to rebuild the trust, but she missed it. Some people thought that she was a liar, and she would prove it wrong. When she fainted, she would admit to the public about her health, which might cause people admire her more.

But when she went the opposite way, even hired an actress to pretend like her, (which I understand for the purpose of calming down the supporters), it increased the mistrust among people.

And part “Trustworthiness was a big issue for Clinton but not as much for Trump” of Eben Harrell’s article Blindsided by Trump’s Victory? Behavioral Science Explains also discusses some.

Advice for marketers: if it is obviously a fact that you make a mistake, you should honestly face and admit it. Losing trust is losing leads.

For Clinton, or marketers who failed a marketing campaign with tremendous costs, at this traumatized moment….

please find comfort by reading the following poem and move on:

After great pain, a formal feeling comes.

The nerves sit ceremonious, like tombs.

The stiff heart questions was it He that bore,

And yesterday, or centuries before?


The feet, mechanical, go round

A wooden way

Of ground, or air, or ought

Regardless grown,

A quartz contentment, like a stone.


This is the hour of lead

Remembered if outlived,

As freezing persons recollect the snow,

First the chill, then the stupor and then the letting go.

Emily Dickinson




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