Messenger is as important as the message itself…..



There has been a lot of debate around elections, who influenced, who didn’t, was it social media, fake news and what not…. I have read political pundits talking about the strategy adopted by Trump, by Hillary and how Brad Parscale nailed it all. First, in hindsight everything is obvious so I will try to stay clear of making any such discussions.


Coming back to the question of what worked and what didn’t, I would start with the thing that mattered most – Voters!   Team Donald Trump did a wonderful job of identifying the Voters, those who would help him score the ballot and that was the key to the victory. I was listening to this podcast called Perpetual Traffic @DigitalMktr that talks about how @parscale did a phenomenal job of dissecting the user base. Brad looked at the states to focus on, voter demographics and other finer details to narrow down to ~13M voters – that is ~4% of American population, not bad.


Once the end users were identified Trump’s team focused on the message – #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, followed by the messenger, out here social media. The message is sticky. Ask anyone on the road what’s Trump message and what’s Clinton’s you will understand what I am referring to. As a matter of fact both candidate spent a substantial amount of money on social media, just that the percentage of money Trump spent on social media was substantially higher. Two, Trump’s message was directed to a targeted audience.


Using Social media, Trump moved beyond the monologue and started engaging at a personal level. It became a dialogue which further catalyzed the campaign. He gave his end users a voice and these supporters ensured the end rest.


Why social media was a better vehicle to carry the particular message lies in the way we think and act. For instance, the probability that someone would respond to a person in need is much higher when the number of bystanders are low and it goes down as the number of people goes up. This phenomena is knows as, “Diffusion of responsibility” – phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present. Now apply that to the medium of communication used by the candidates. We watch television with family, but avoid onlookers while browsing on twitter or other social media.


This in no way means that social media is suited for everything but just that for the particular use case it was.



I would like to thank @issielapowsky  @anu_narayan, @darlacameron, @mateagold @bpolitics for their insightful articles


The article depicts my personal thoughts and point of views. I am not representing my current or previous employers through these posts.