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And here’s your host, Matt Hardy.
Today I want to talk about the importance of sticking to your strengths and ignoring the competition.
The more sensational title would be: A Conservative Implosion: How Not to Hand the Competition the Victory on a Silver Platter.
And I know politics are a topic that I’m not supposed to talk about, because I might offend you.
But I want to offend you.
So let’s get into this.
A short while ago, we had an election in Canada that saw a change in the party leading the country.
The Steven Harper led Conservatives lost in a landslide to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
After 10 years, and given the margin of victory, it sure looks like we Canadians really wanted change.
In fact, “Real Change” was one of the phrases that Trudeau used throughout his campaign.
There were probably a lot of reasons why the Conservatives lost and I’m sure the whole expense scandal of his senate didn’t help.
But what government isn’t dogged by some sort of scandal involving money these days?
We’ll leave that alone for now, and focus instead on their campaign strategy.
Although, hiring the right people is probably the most important first step you can make…..
Anyways, with the Liberals winning by such a margin, it’s hard to argue against the results of the election, if one was so inclined.
That being said, I think the Conservatives did a horrible job in their campaign strategy which handed the Liberals a majority government on a silver platter.
Let’s examine exactly how the wheels fell off and what lessons we can learn for our businesses going forward.
#1 – Give Specific Instructions
Early on, the Conservatives began running ads on TV that featured a group of people talking about Justin Trudeau, saying “He’s just not ready” and featured the line “Nice hair though”, as if to soften the blow of claiming he’s not ready by sarcastically complimenting his hair.
The ads didn’t mention anything about what the Conservatives were going to do if they were re-elected, and there was no positive course of action listed at all in the ad.
It didn’t say anything about voting for the Conservatives – the message was just “Don’t vote for Justin.”
Now, if a potential voter were to follow through on the message of the ad and not vote for Justin, who was he or she to vote for?
There was no clear course of action that would lead to a positive outcome for the Conservatives.
Lesson to be learned: Give potential customers a CLEAR positive choice of action. Don’t tell them what not to do – tell them EXACTLY what TO do.
#2 – Don’t Bash the Competition
The next problem with the “Justin’s not ready” ad campaign that ran throughout the whole election was that it was an obvious shot at Justin Trudeau.
I know they say that negative ads and smear campaigns work, but in my opinion, they only really work if there is a true scandal involved, or if the one being smeared engages and takes a shot back in retaliation.
Saying someone “isn’t ready” isn’t scandalous enough to demand a defense and Trudeau didn’t launch any sort of national ad campaigns in retaliation.
But the Conservatives kept running the ads.
The problem with is that if the competition doesn’t take the bait and retaliate, people begin to think there might not be much substance to the negative claims.
The thinking is: “If they don’t think it’s important enough to defend against, are the accusations true?”
Especially in this case.
Claiming a competitor “isn’t ready” isn’t really coming up with some horrible news that needed be addressed before the attacked party could continue on.
So what happens in this case?
Without the accuser retaliating, people eventually get tired of hearing the negativity and they just block it out.
Now all they hear from the ads is: Justin Trudeau – nice hair though.
If people didn’t know who Justin was before, they certainly did after this.
Once people began to tire of the negativity, the Conservatives were essentially advertising and promoting Justin Trudeau’s name and brand themselves, as the ads didn’t give anyone any sort of reason or direction for people to vote Conservative.
Lesson to be learned: Focus on what you can offer yourself – your strengths & your advantages – don’t waste your advertising dollars on pointing out why the competition are a bunch of idiots.
#3 – Use Your Strengths & Achievements to Your Advantage
One of the tricky things with politics is that you’re forever remembered by the events that happened during your watch – whether it was your fault or not.
So if the world economy tanks, you’re remembered as the person in power while the economy in your country suffered.
Or if you go to war, you’re remembered as the person who pushed the button and engaged – with all the positive and negative consequences that came as a result.
And this is what the Conservatives should have used to their advantage.
Rather than waste time on ads talking about Justin, they should’ve run ads that showed what has happened with OTHER countries’ economies over the past 10 years and contrasted it with Canada.
They could’ve run a series of different ones.
They could’ve run an ad showing the real estate meltdown in the States.
They could’ve shown the problems in Greece and how their economy has tanked.
They could’ve shown how Italy, Spain, & Portugal have all been hanging by a thin economic thread, needing huge bailouts.
And at the end of each ad, they could’ve shown how Canadians have been able to be largely unaffected during this time.
They could’ve asked the question, “Which country would you have rather lived in during the last 10 years?”
Sure the Canadian economy hasn’t grown a lot over the past few years, but while everyone else has faced HUGE economic reversals, remaining in the black with a little growth makes you look like a superstar by comparison.
It’s like with poker.
You put your money on the table when you have good odds, and defend it when you don’t. That’s how you stay in the game when the cards aren’t falling your way.
Now, maybe the results would’ve been the same regardless of who was in power, but it happened while the Conservatives were in power & and it would’ve given them a lot more credibility in showing voters that they can lead the country during uncertain times had they used this in.
To not address this and use “past performance” as a huge cornerstone of their campaign was a huge missed opportunity.
The fact that they left the country with a balanced budget upon leaving power speaks to their ability to be fiscally responsible.
These are major points that should never have gone unmentioned.
Lesson to be learned: If you have a good track record and past success, be willing to share this with your potential customers. Credibility is something that is gained through a lot of hard work and sweat and isn’t randomly given to everybody. So if you have credibility, don’t hide it.
So there you have it – 3 reasons why the Conservatives lost the election in a landslide.
Like I said, even if the Conservatives hadn’t made these errors, they still could’ve lost.
But I think if they hadn’t it would’ve been a LOT closer.
Hopefully I’ve succeeded in offending you by talking politics, and maybe you’ve picked up a couple of points that will help your business in the future.
Here’s to getting your ducks in a row to maximize your chances for success!
If you would like to learn how to get an online paycheck doing something you love, we can help you get started for free.
Just visit BizDevShots.com now.
I hope you got something out of this podcast.
An idea you can use.
A different thought or viewpoint.
Or maybe you found it mildly amusing.
At any rate, can you refer this podcast to one other person you think might find it entertaining or useful?
Because I want to help as many people as I can, in as short a time as possible.
Here’s something to listen to while you think about it…
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