What the 2020 Presidential Campaign Teaches Us About Sales & Marketing

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Before politicians can serve the people, they need to sell their achievements and plans for the common good of the community. They need to convince the people that they are the right fit for the position. Right now, President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden are actively selling themselves to the public. The campaigns are using powerful persuasion techniques designed to earn more votes. You can use these same techniques to earn more customers.



There are known to have three modes of persuasion. Each of these modes is still used today by marketing experts, public speakers, and even political candidates to win over the public. If you are following Trump and Biden’s campaigns, you can see that they are using effective selling and marketing.



The first mode is called “logo”, or logic. You are using data, reason, and facts to seek agreement on your perspective. The presidential candidates cite statistics they believe can help them build their case and potentially harm their opponent. If you listen to the stats about the economy now and during the last administration, you’ll hear references to statistical changes in COVID-19 infection. The campaigns outline plans for the future, trying to lay out their steps on how to improve the country. This mode of persuasion attempts to appeal to the people’s heads with data and logic. You can see the same technique in an automobile commercial where they are describing a car’s features, mileage, and available financing. Logos, in general, is all about ideas and information.



The second mode of persuasion is called “ethos”, meaning ethics. However, what it really equates to is credibility. It is explaining why you’re the expert or authority on the topic. There is less argument on the message and more about the messenger. One of the best ways to do this is by using third-party recognition. Speakers would usually stand up praising their party’s candidate, referencing their experience, accomplishments, and the adversity they’ve overcome. Continuing to the automobile commercial, the manufacturer might tell you how their car is number one in its class. They might hire someone credible to promote the car. Ethos is all about establishing yourself as someone worthy of believing.



The last but the most powerful mode of persuasion both in the election and in business is “pathos”, or feelings. This is tapping into people’s emotions and have them feel something. Looking at the presidential campaigns, they are both trying to elicit inspiration and fear in the public. They both deliver aspirational and troubling speeches. They are giving the public a beautiful, better, and more prosperous America. They have catchy slogans that don’t provide relevant information, just purely meant to catch feelings. Political campaigns intentionally stir our emotions to call us to action. This is also true for advertising campaigns. Some car commercials would just show smiling owners and neighbors. They will feature a couple arriving in style and happy with their lives. Pathos is all about emotions.



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Daniela Belevan

Written by Daniela Belevan

Daniela Belevan is the Marketing Director at DecoGraphic, managing and implementing inbound marketing strategies. When she’s not at Deco uploading blogs or optimizing client’s websites, you can find her lifting (or attempting to lift) heavy at CrossFit.


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