The Donaldification of marketing
Posted on 24th April 2017


"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
- Albert Einstein.

I watched with sadness as a client painstakingly crafted a one page long article about his business to be posted on his website. He agonized over every word and phrase . He wanted the copy to be simple yet convey the depth of his business experience and services. I was sad because I knew that it does not matter anymore.

We have all been 'Donaldified'!

People want to be spoon fed morsel sized bits of information. People want the headlines no matter how misleading. People want big photos with pithy one liners.

And it's not their fault! Just how much can one give their attention to in this fast paced world. The brain cannot handle literature anymore, at least not without 'vacation mode' on.

This creates a strange dilemma for people in the marketing world. We have a lot to say about our client's but we cannot do it like we used to. We have been 'Donaldified'!

As you have guessed the term comes from the US president and his Twitter outbursts. Say what you might about him, but he knows the pulse of his audience. There was a stark contrast to see clearly at his inauguration where his Democratic opponents tried to wax eloquent and missed the point and he in a few broad strokes outlined his entire agenda.

But this post is not about politics. It's about marketing.

As marketers selling messages on behalf of the clients we have to adapt and we can do it in three broad ways:

  1. De-intellectualize the messages - No, screams your heart and your brain, but this has to be done. Strip the messages of anything that requires a lot of cerebral power. Most people today are running on empty, they are not going to waste a breath thinking about the depth of your thinking.
  2. Play to the cheap seats - Be crass, be bombastic, be sarcastic and be direct. Write for the lowest common denominator without shame or judgement. I'll let you in on a little secret, this world has brought us all down to the LCM.
  3. Play with visual and colour - The old cliché, a picture speaks a thousand words holds true now more than ever before. I even wonder if words will exist a few generations down the line. Fill your message with resplendent images and vibrant colours. Catch the eye and then catch the heart.

As the old school marketers come kicking and screaming into the 21st century and are confronted by millenials and over worked mind numbed populations, one result is inevitable - 'Donaldification'.

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