To his supporters, millions of them; an anti-politician, a common man who made it big in business, a colorful yet honest speaker who told it like it is, an agent of change who took charge; will make America great again. To the rest of us; a xenophobic, often vile, narcissistic buffoon took the top job in the western world and it’s terrifying..
He broke all the rules. He shocked the system. And he won.
His own Republican party struggled with him at times during the campaign. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, openly distanced himself from Trump after the ‘locker room talk’ audio made it to mainstream news, George W Bush chose to abstain completely from comment during the election run and GOP lifer Colin Powell unabashedly voted for Hillary.
But it was this disdain that his party members felt that arguably got him elected.
He wasn’t targeting conservative Republicans with his speeches or rhetoric – he was targeting Joe and Joanne Average. He wasn’t towing the party line and honouring traditions, he didn’t care who he upset along the way. He was too busy capturing the hearts and minds of middle Americans who were disenfranchised with politics and the status quo.
He was building cume rather than pandering to P1s. In fact, he burnt some P1s in the process. But the cume growth was so strong, he could do without the P1s that fell off the bandwagon.
It is rare that a cume-based strategy is not the stronger play. Narrow P1 focus can lead to pivoting your product for the benefit of an ever-dwindling group of people rather than growing your listener base and working to extract more listening hours and listening occasions from them.
Trump got it right. He was memorable. He was different. He was impossible to avoid. He threw a wide net and caught a lot of fish.