Politics in Marketing Can Kill Business

Have you seen ads mistakenly promoting political agendas as current social issues that they support?  Have you been considering showing similar support for the short run in your marketing?  If you have, then think again before reacting.  This type of political marketing can backfire on a business.  Consider ticket and sponsor losses of the NFL when they appeared to take a political side.

Before you change your website, ads, and social postings, do your research and consider the implications for your business.  Is the political issue or current socialistic opinion being supported by hundreds rather than thousands, by thousands rather than millions?  News reports can often be misleading. Is the group or charity you are considering making a difference?  Is the movement making a difference, is it  peaceful or violent?  Did it physically destroy property, loot other businesses, or hurt people? Is it really a social cause or a political agenda?  However those actions are perceived may reflect on your company as a supporter.   How many customers do you want to get?  How many are you willing to alienate?  How many are you willing to lose?  If you make the wrong move/impression, the company page on social media may blow-up in your face instead of in your sales. Have you researched the issue to be sure it is real and not a lie or hiding a different political agenda?

Instead of using the political issue or socialized opinion "of the week" or month to build an advertising campaign, look for a way to use your marketing budget for the long run to build business.  Create marketing that builds-up you brand instead of promoting the brand of others.  How do you do this?  Sell your value, create brand recognition, and build trust with current and future customers.  Most customers are interested in WIFM (what's in it for me), so sell the value of your product or service.  Build your advertising and social media presence around being known for what you do, and repeat that in multiple formats and places.  This reputation is key to create name recognition and service/product reputation.   Steer away from ads that leave people thinking "That was an interesting commercial.  What was it for?" If you want to build customer loyalty, do it through brand trust.  You have to have trust in your compnay first, an uninformative or misleading advertisement makes people think you are covering something up, therefore killing any chance at building trust.

Still considering putting your political views to grab attention by supporting current issue?  If you are, you may want to read the articles and tips below before you spend your marketing money.
How Social Media Can Kill Your Business
Politics and Marketing
SBDC 8 Steps To Marketing Your Business

Will you let your business be hurt by putting an irresponsible statement in a box promotion or funds into a questionable process/policy? If you move too soon, you may lose business.  If you have already made the wrong move, better backup and hope to reduce/reflect backfire from the larger population not supporting the statements which may be your greatest potential for customers.  It is ok to have a personal political view, however advertising it in your marketing can result in: lost capital now, future loss of consumer business, which means no freedom to innovate and grow your business.  Only a foolish leader makes decisions out of fear or not checking for all the facts. Make sure social media people know to avoid politics and hopefully  avoid boycott and other outcries from customers/readers.

If you have funds you wish to donate anonymously or publicly, make sure they provide a helpful service to society.  Consider ecology and help save the planet.  Or help people by feeding the hungry or housing the homeless.  Before you donate, verify the legitimacy of the charity; as well as their values, goals, and past spending results.  If tax deduction is also important to you, verify what the organization qualifies for since most charitable deductions are not be taken at 100%.  Political contributions are not tax deductible. 

According to the marketing "rule of seven" it takes awhile for people to notice an advertisement.  The more you share information with people, then it may become believable to them even if it is just a cleverly disguised sales pitch.  Be ethical and honest with your potential clients, make sure you statements are truth not lies just for profit.  Dishonesty catches up with a compnay as disillusioned customers will leave in droves and make their dissatisfaction and distrust  known on social media so new customers think twice before buying,

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