Do people believe what they are told? You bet.

And the more they are told something, the more they begin to believe it as being absolute fact, regardless of whether or not they have first hand knowledge or observation.

This was played out before our very eyes and ears during this past month’s primary elections in Beaver County, PA. Don’t get nervous, this column isn’t about politics, or the candidates themselves, but observations about how perceptions about the candidates drive voter’s decisions. As many of you know, there were at least a couple of county wide races that ended with surprising results. Underdogs and newcomers defeated long time incumbents.

How did this happen? Simple. They asked and convinced people to vote a certain way be promoting an idea, or agenda that got traction. Now, where have we heard those concepts before . . . hmmmmm. Much like any business, or event promotion, a few basic advertising truths prevailed:

  1. The message was repeated over and over to a specific group. In this case, voters from the same party. In your case, it’s the age group and lifestyle of your most likely buyers.
  2. The message was believable. Voters rarely do their own research, just the same as your buyers having to depend on you to provide the information about why to buy from you.
  3. The messages were spread to other voters through word of mouth. Just like when you create and sell a product, your buyers will share good or bad experiences with other potential customers.
  4. The messages contained specific information about advantages to be gained for the voter. Much like your commercials should explain your certain unique selling proposition.
  5. No means of promotion is overlooked, including the good old fashioned direct person to person solicitation. Politicians have known for years that winning requires a completely exhaustive effort. How much more could and should you be doing right now to achieve the same level of familiarity and saturation about what you do? Every event, every community gathering, every opportunity to talk to others is a platform for you to promote what you have for sale.
  6. No one method of reaching the voter or consumer is sufficient. People have five senses to gather information, and candidates running for office tend to do a pretty good job of sending material to all five through different media and personal interaction. You too, should use everything at your disposal to create an impression about your business.
  7. There was a call to action. Finally, a deadline was communicated. Quite simply to vote on election day May 19, 2015. Always make sure your offerings ask for action. Ask your customers to buy, and tell them, when, where and what you want them to do.

Maybe our elected officials have already helped us in ways that they didn’t even imagine! It’s time to use their example and start a campaign of your own., an advertising campaign designed to create a perception that what you sell has better value than your competitors.