What growth hackers can learn from Trump’s win!

November 9, 2016 will be a day that we will all remember. Trump won the presidency! For many this came as a surprise, for others not. What did Trump do to earn the votes and the right to sleep in the White House? Political experts offer their take on it, let’s share our take on it from a growth hacking perspective to see what growth hackers can actually learn from Trump’s win, and believe it or not, no hocus-pocus involved. It’s growth hacking!

1. 20% of deviousness

Sometimes those kid gloves got to come off. Only 20% of the time though, as you need to stay within the borders of what’s ethically right of course. However, don’t let this be a barrier. Who said you can’t work close to the edge or even on it, like Uber did when messing around with the availability of Lyft drivers.

2. Be extreme (always enlarge things)

‘Exaggerate, exaggerate, exaggerate’. This is taken from a book about Trump, and supposedly this has been his personal mantra, which he has used to become a billionaire, and now it somehow also made him win the presidency. Just saying that sometimes enlarging things can be your silver bullet!

3. Think in solutions, not in problems

To remedy immigration problems, Trump wants to build a great wall to keep out migrants and thereby lock up America. Okay, rather drastic measures to take, but from a growth hacking perspective, we need to adopt a similar mindset: solutions are what matters.

solution, growth hacking, growth hackers, trump

4. Hijack channels with a big reach

Find a way to take over the channels that will give you the biggest reach, and no, don’t have someone pulling you off stage, it won’t look good. Be creative. For instance, Trump played the press and tricked them to cover endorsements from military heroes.

5. Reach the right people within your audience

It’s not enough to reach people, you need to reach the right people: the ones that will cheer for you, support you and buy into your message. The Trump camp clearly identified those from the beginning, and look how that turned out. Targeting the right people can change everything!

 6. Keep messages simple

We’ve heard it over and over again: make America great again, make America safe again. These messages are simple and easy to grasp. Sometimes growth hackers and marketers are accused of speaking in terms that are too technical. Take it down a notch, and keep your messages simple.

7. Leverage live events

Strike while the iron is hot. Look at trending topics and take action at the most advantageous point in time. First step: go to Reddit. Banned from his own Twitter account, Trump probably hasn’t even been allowed to check Reddit, but you should!


8. Be bold (and don’t apologize)

Own your game, you’re awesome. This is not a compliment to Trump, but a reminder that you got to take risks as a growth hacker, and don’t apologize if things go south. Remember: every shot you don’t take is a missed shot!

9. Don’t underestimate the power of earned media

Whether or not you think Trump earned the presidency, he “earned” the media by giving rants at rallies and taking part in endless numbers of interviews both via phone and on TV shows. However, this is not about shouting the loudest, but about having others share and talk about your content to get them to publish it on their channels. Soon you’ll see magic happening!

10. Content ALWAYS BEATS paid ads (every single FUCKING time)

This point doesn’t need much elaboration. Listen to Gary! In October it was announced that the Republican Party yet hadn’t spend a penny on TV advertising for Trump since the primaries ended in June. We’re not saying that content will make you president, but it might make you king. 

11. People love passion and excitement

Though many predicted Trump to be a passing fad, he ended up proving them wrong. Was it his passion and excitement for America that got him the key to white house? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, as a growth hacker you need to show a similar ambition and drive.

 12. Always address the fears of your audience!

With polls showing that a great part of Americans worry about being victims of terrorism and crime, Trump’s candidacy has relied on the power of fear. Don’t go that far in your efforts to address the fears of your audience. For instance, you can focus on the fear of missing out – missing out on growth, customers, or maybe even tickets to an exclusive event!


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