Mark McKinnon helped George W. Bush get elected … twice and he helped John McCain win the Republican nomination for President with a consistent formula for success … story telling.

Mark believes that, “Great campaigns tell stories,” and I agree. Whether it’s a political campaign or a marketing campaign, people are attracted to story lines. It’s why we read novels and go to movies. It is why we follow the comedy and tragedy that is playing out in Washington and on Twitter, daily, right now.

You can take a page from McKinnon’s playbook and seduce your target through a great story if you think through the following narrative in your market:

  • Identify a threat or opportunity: Feed off fear or hope
  • Who is the victim: Your target audience
  • A villain: The big banks
  • A resolution: What will you do to make life better?
  • A hero: YOU!!!

The key is to find the most impactful threat or opportunity.

McKinnon says that, “All campaigns are about fear or hope.”

“In voting, fear is powerful. People fear what they don’t have, what they’re going to lose, what their children won’t get…”

Isn’t it similar in banking? We are dealing with people’s money! The only thing more important is childcare.

Are you “campaigning” on the hope and achievement of the American Dream? Are you “campaigning” against the big bank’s fees? Are you leveraging the market’s fear that their bank doesn’t care about them or their money?

Here are some examples from McKinnon’s successes:

George W. Bush 1st Campaign
George W. BushSituation: Bill Clinton had tarnished the Presidency with Monica and her little blue dress.

  • Identify a threat or opportunity: Cultural shift toward lack of morality
  • Who is the victim: Moral society
  • A villain: Bill Clinton
  • A resolution: Bringing honor and dignity to the White House
  • A hero: George W. Bush

Now, look at W’s second campaign, when more than 50% of America disliked him and disagreed with his policies.  The story shifted from hope to play on America’s fears…

  • Identify a threat or opportunity: International terrorism
  • Who is the victim: All Americans affected by 9/11
  • A villain: Al-Qaeda
  • A resolution: Aggressive foreign policy against the threat
  • A hero: George W. Bush

A story moves the conversation from policy and detail to humanizing the candidate or company. And as humans, we make decisions based on emotion and rationalize them with facts (or alternative facts).

  • What is your market’s opportunity or threat?
  • Its victims are who you want to target
  • Who are the villains?
  • How will you fix it, and…
  • Be the hero!

See McKinnon share his thoughts in this video: How to Win an Election

Similar Articles:

Love this financial marketing blog?
Get the book! Click here to download “Aha Moments,” our
FREE ebook, chock-full of 80 short articles just like this.

In addition to being a strategic consultant for community banks and credit unions, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

email me directly (click)
Follow us on Twitter @MarketMatch