Aug. 18, 2021

300: The Undefeated Marketing System -with Phillip Stutts

How to grow your business and build your audience using the secret formula that elects presidents.

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Join us on our special 300th episode, as today I am joined by renowned political marketer Phillip Stutts.


Philip is the author of the brand new book The Undefeated Marketing System enjoins the program to give you the foolproof plan he's used to help elect presidents!


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All right. And with that joining me on The Brian Nichols Show. He's the author of the brand new book, the undefeated marketing system. Philip Stutz, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Thanks, buddy. Appreciate it man, your your fans, you've got a scrolling. You've got my book, scroll on the bottom video. It's very impressive. I'm excited to be here.

Hey, we're excited to have you here, Philip. And I'm especially excited because after I got the chance to read your brand new book, the undefeated marketing system, I found myself quite literally going through page by page with highlighter in hand quite literally, and going through marking your book on so I do apologize for the the defacement, but it's because I got so much value out of your your approach to marketing, because I think there's something inherent in speaking the language that is politics, you got really your start in this greater marketing world, in the world of political marketing. So I thought, you know, when I was reading your book, I could see myself almost hearing these conversations as I used to work on campaigns, you know, as I was driving candidates across their districts, you know, hearing what the conversations were from a marketing perspective and thinking, oh, wow, this, this brings back memories. So, Philip, let's introduce yourself to the audience. What got you into political marketing specifically? And then I guess, got you on this path to writing the undefeated marketing system?

Yeah. And you know, if you're okay with it, the subtitle may give it give this a little bit more context of the book, because the subtitle is how to grow your business and build your audience using the secret formula to elect presidents. And so that's, that's why the relevancy of politics and business marketing, but yeah, right. They look, I've worked in politics since 1996. And I worked on eight presidential campaigns, I've worked on three winning presidential campaigns. And I work I've been a part of 1407 election victories in my career. And I just kept after the 2004 re election, George W. Bush, which I was the national get out the vote director for the campaign, I noticed that something had switched in the way that we started marketing politicians, and it started with that campaign. And ever since then, there's been the snowball effect of every political campaign utilizing the secret formula. In order to get elected, brock obama, literally took the model that we have created in 2004, and in married sort of social media to it. And then Donald Trump in 2016, married or took our model from 2004 model Brock, Obama's social media campaigns in 2008 2012, and then married, branding, rebranding, like make America great again. But whether you hate him or love him, it's great branding campaign. They have a marketers perspective. And so and then all of a sudden, and then play out in the book, how Joe Biden utilized this new marketing system to win and do believe that the camp, the George W. Bush campaign, was the most was a very historical race, not in in the parlance of political campaigns, or in presidential races, but in the way that we marketed that particular film as a candidate. And as sort of lay out the history of how marketing changed how actually, political marketing became the most innovative force in the world of marketing, even more than corporate marketers, which I think will buy in far more. We're out evading corporate political marketers practice. But there was a switch that happened that lay out in the book. And then I kind of popped in historical context of our outcomes election, Donald Trump's election, and I believe that in 2008, and 2012, those are the two of the after 2004 was the 2004 was the greatest political marketing campaign in history 2008 2012 with the greatest political marketing campaigns in history, surpassing what we did before, and The 2016 Chronicles, the greatest political marketing campaign in history. And I, although Joe Biden utilized this five step marketing system. In his campaign, I do not believe it was the most innovative campaign since Donald Trump or since Barack Obama or even since W. Bush utilized it to win good for him, but I don't think he he innovated very, very much with it. And I talked about how that works. And we can get into that too. But that's sort of the path.

Yeah, it's fascinating stuff. Because at the end of the day, and this is partly why my show exists for the greater Liberty world is because I think you need to be able to know how to really reach your audience. And that starts really the undefeated marketing system that is step one, to collect data to know who your audience is and to get as much data as possible. So, Phil, let's dig into that some because you'll hear people say like okay, data What does that mean? So quite literally, when people are looking for data, where should they start?

So I'll get let's keep going back into the history and then I'll answer the question. So 1004 up until 2000 for every political campaign, right or left Republican, Democrat, libertarian anything, well, maybe not libertarian, because they're they're not as structured right? They're all free thinkers. But the republican the democrats come in campaigns and the only data they really utilize was publicly available data that was given out by the Secretary of elections in each state, or the you know, and so you would have to go into each day you get the voter rolls, you get some demographic information, and you would formulate how we're going to message the campaign based off of that was very rudimentary, but in 2004 provan ken mehlman running the reelection campaign came and said, We want to introduce consumer data into how we profile voters, this bourbon done before any political campaign ever, and I can still remember being in the early meetings of this and thinking, this sounds weird, right. And of course, they're the ones that are so innovative, that they brought us in, even though it was untested and unproven. But it ended up being the difference between why George W. Bush won reelection. And so we we utilized this, this data, and what we were able to find is what you know, back then, please social media, it was finding out what magazines people bought, find out what credit card purchases were, and then delivering or developing a profile of each voter in each target state to figure out what issues they were going to really care about when when it came down to voting on election day. And so we were able to uniquely target those voters on very specific issues and direct mail and phone calls, in door to door activities, things that, again, pre social media. And so that is how you, again, don't we call it micro targeting back in the day, but I mean, the fact is, is 1000, maybe a million times more sophisticated today, the amount of data that we have the opportunity to get our hands on and to understand not only voters, but on the on the business side consumers is extraordinary. Now there are people out there that are utilizing it to manipulate. And the question is, what do you use it for now. And so for us, we have a partnership with the largest data collection analytics and AI company in America, we have 200 million plus American consumers and voters and our database, we have 515 million plus connected devices that we're tracking. And we also track 10 billion into the be 10 billion online purchasing decisions every day and a trillion searches every day. And so we are able to go very, very, very deep and understanding, like voter or consumer, and thus help a politician be more successful or a company be more successful. Because we can market to the needs of the consumer or the voter, rather than the politician or the business owner just running up and yelling a bunch of things they think will work.

Every every sales guy that's listening just said thank you, because that's sometimes the hardest part. And you see this kind of division. It's all tongue in cheek, obviously the sales versus marketing kind of battle that goes back for ages. But we kind of marry that together. Yes.

That's why I love it. Yeah, and I mean, we've done this, you know, for Fortune, the data we look at, we can literally overlay your customer base, track their movements online, and then spit out a report that tells you their top three items online, we can tell you the social media platforms, I want to find a logical order. We can tell you specific publications they read like the Philly Enquirer, or The Wall Street Journal, we can tell you these streaming shows that they're watching in chronological order, complete everything about your consumer, customer, base, b2b, b2c doesn't matter. And then once you know that, then you know how to communicate because you're going to find out what you're going to find out what they care about outside of your product or service. And in then you also care about you'll find out what they care about, about your product and service. And so ultimately, that is, you know, we tell them we deliver these reports to two companies working in startups, b2b b2c fortune 200. Ultimately, every time the team comes and goes, Oh my gosh, our sales team is got more free information on how to convert more sales than they've ever had. And it didn't cost us a dime. Now, you in order to use this data and market your business, it will cost you money. But for the sales teams, it's been extraordinary and improving their conversion rates without actually having to spend any more money.

It's almost like you're, you're really quantifying empathy, if that makes sense because there's there's the there the hard data, but then there to your point, there's that very intrinsic stuff that we don't really think about, but our actions and In this case, it's where we go, what we what we do, where, where we spend our money, that creates a profile of who we are in the anomaly

that listen to this transcript, I can tell you in your with your customer client base, why they make a purchasing decision. Based on three categories, do they make their own, excuse me to make it on price, than make it on quality of your product or service, or they make it on convenience, which really to call the reduction of friction, that transaction. So like, you know, think about Amazon, two clicks, and you're done that kind of convenience, right. And so if you knew that your we just did a report for a high end product cost about $750. And what we found was that their customer base didn't want discounts. They didn't want, they saw discounts as cheap. But they what they saw, they wanted to know that the product had high quality. And this company had been throwing a lot of discounts in their marketing, and they went, Oh, my gosh, we'll need to throw out discounts. If we're going to be quality, a way of usurping That is to say, you know, what, why don't we give them a guarantee that the first six months, if you don't like the product, you get your money back? All of a sudden, that high quality buyer is like, Oh, I have an insurance policy, Okay, I'm gonna buy this product. Now I know it's high quality, because they're, they're willing to guarantee it. And so these are the little nuances that literally change the trajectories of businesses. And ultimately, we learned all this from running political campaigns and how we look at voters. Yeah, well, there's

a I think you mentioned this in the book, too, because there really is no, you know, hey, we'll get it next year, we'll get it next quarter like campaigns, there is a finite, this is the the deadline, and there is no next step. After that. It's either that or you win or you lose. And it's important to take this data, and then to the next step, really build up that data back strategic marketing plan. So when people are starting to take this data and try to focus, what's the most important that they focus on? How should they I guess, prioritize that in their rankings? Phil?

Yeah, I mean, first of all, I prioritize marketing to your customers first, because they're the lowest hanging fruit. And then the second is marketing to the people that are in your funnel that haven't converted, that's the second little thing. And then third is new prospects. So that's kind of how we look at it, especially on the on the business side. And you know, the reason being is that my job as a marketer is to eliminate the risk of the business owner every single day, not to spend their money, and guess a bunch of things and cross my fingers and hope everything works. And so we love to really focus on how do we maximize the purchasing power of your customers, or clients. And then the people that you have in your funnel that never that came into your funnel, or, you know, we see this as a crazy stat 68.81% of all purchases, and or excuse me, all shopping in this country is left. And it's like cart abandonment rate is 68.81. In the e commerce world 68.81%. It accounts for 216 billion with a B billion dollars in lost orders every year. So we go, Oh, my God, we can track those people that abandoned cart, and let's go remarket to them. And then let's incentivize them, because they left for a reason. So let's figure out what it says in the data path, incentivize them to get back to buy the product or service that left in the carts. And so these are the easy ways that you can win in your marketing upfront. And then obviously, you've got to build out a long term plan to continue to get new customers in, in your in your fallen. So that's kind of how we build it out and how we work.

And then you have I think this is everybody's favorite part. And it's usually the part people start with. And that's the messaging, the branding. And we see this a lot in the greater Liberty world. He does want to talk about the messaging. And actually I see this in sales, if I'm going to be honest, where sales guys, they're only focused on the specific message that they're promoting. But it is important, but it doesn't matter what your message is, if you're not having the right message based on who you're speaking to. So could you dig into that a bit more?

Well, I mean, how many times do we do salespeople go out? And they they say they get the same sales pitch every time they tweak it? What have you found out from the data of your own customers or clients that you're pitching or selling, that they only care about 10% of what you're talking about, or 20% when you eliminate the 80% that you've been talking about for the last six months, and hone in and and build out a better pitch or message or sales strategy based on the 20% of your what your customer client really wants to hear from you. And so that is what we're trying to understand from the sales side. Right. And the other thing is like, what, I'll use this as a metaphor for everybody. Stories are the most important thing we can do. If you read the book that we're talking about on my blog, then you're gonna you're not reading a textbook. I mean, you know, Brian, I think you can attest to that the book is told through stories is a very entertaining, look at how political campaigns and specific political campaigns were run utilizing the marketing system. And then we apply it to how corporate America has utilized this vast, untapped market system, all through success and failure stories. So I tried to make it entertaining it is. And I think when you're talking about sales teams, or even marketing, you've got to be entertaining, you've got to stick out from the crowd. Because you know, this is my favorite statistic right now that I'm talking about. According to Forbes, right now, in America, we are saying up to 10,000 ads a day online offline. I mean, that is an insane number. So you're, if you're selling widgets, so let's say you're selling shoes, or you're selling a SaaS product, you're not competing in the marketing space, right? You're or even in the sales space, you're not competing with other SAS products or widgets or shoes, the shoe industry, you're you're competing against cooler companies, you're competing against a T shirt company, you can be as 10,000 other businesses. And that is so important to understand how you the only way to break through that clutter is to understand the customer or client market, and deliver what they want. And that's where we found success, whether it be in politics, or whether it be in business,

it's important to take that message that we think is going to work. And before we launch it, test it. So when we're looking to actually take the messaging and effectively test to make sure we're not just having the right message. But now we are in fact reaching the right people and they are resonating. I think you you frame it this way in the book, not just that, that people hear your message, but they're compelled to act, I think is the way you framed it. What what it's something we're gonna be looking for some some, you know, is there is there data that we're going to be looking to reaffirm that our message is actually working?

Yeah. So this is step four, where we got to test everything. And so really, here's, here's, let me, let me tell I'll tell you a story. The story is this in 2016, I sat down right after the election with a guy named Gary COVID, who in the digital efforts for Trump, Gary sat me down and said, You know, when we were on Facebook, and we were in our testing phase of our ads, we would run one ad on Facebook 162 different versions or surveys of 162 different versions of one message, there would be a man and a woman and he had a green background, a red background, a yellow background, all the different kinds of code, they would then test different fonts, font sizes, though, the man would be in one corner man being the left one at the right point, the bottom corner, right, like it was 162 different versions of what they knew from the data, one message they knew would work. They just didn't know which part of their message would work best. And ultimately, they found he said, about eight or nine of those ads blew through the roof. And they couldn't tell you why. Exactly why that color concept work, why those fonts work? Why a grandmother in the ad work better than a grandfather in the ad, whatever it was, right? They just knew it worked. But now because they tested based on the data, they already had they tested this one message actually did this. multiple messages, right, hundreds of messages, and they tested each one of those items, 62 ways. But not everybody has a billion dollar campaign. Right? And so the point is, is that you got to figure it out from the data, the best messages, and then from the best messages, how do you test those best messages a couple of different ways. The business owners, you know, maybe you can get them to test it, that 510 1520 different variations, they get really nervous in the testing phase. I don't know why, but it does. We're actually working on a project right now, to be able to deliver 200 300 400 different types of variations of one message on the corporate side, at a very low cost for our clients. But that's, it's an development, we're hoping to have that out by q4. But the point is, is that you're trying to find what optimizes the best between them in the message that you already know, the data would work. And so for us, it's not us sitting around a table, a conference table having a brainstorm session, what we hope will work or what we think will work based on no reason other than work Creative People and you think this color scheme of work. We actually know from the testing things that we put in place that will absolutely work.

I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit cuz I just think you know, they're in we all know the Facebook groups are out there with everybody talking about how perfect they can make the world that everybody would just listen, they'll go talk in their little hives, but here let's let's go towards because my audience is better than at math and I am we're on step four. That means we have one step left and that is Step five, and it's actually the launch phase and I think I would love to hear this story from you yourself. Because one of most compelling stories about how this system not only it can work, but how it didn't work was your work down in, I think was 2018 with Ron de Santos focusing on school choice. So could you dig into that a little bit after

the launch phase?

Yeah, a little background. I've done more work on school choice and probably any media person in America. And we started working on school choice issues back in 2005. I've gone into Inner City, New Orleans, DC, we've now worked in about 25 states on school choice issues, charter schools, vouchers, school, just any kind of school choice, right. And so we had a school choice organization come to us in 2018. And they said, you know, we got a, we got a problem. Rhonda Santas is in a very close race for governor of Florida, with Andrew Gilliam, and who is the mayor of Tallahassee, who has, you know, since been caught with crack and prostitutes, or excuse me, meth and prostitutes, so obviously, an after COVID elections have consequences. So this is a very relevant story, right? But so we actually went in, and we ran what was called the largest geo farming campaign in history outcome was, but what we found was we were able to

geo farm so you everybody knows what geo fencing is, you can like put a little geographic, you can draw geographic location out and drop ads just on a geographic location we'll do a farming is that you can actually go back one two years in the past, on a specific geographical location, grab their IP addresses, and then run ads to them. So think about if you're a conference, the conference was in Vegas right before COVID broke out, and you want to target everybody at the conference, you can still do that. That's called geo farming, you can go to that conference that let's say that Hotel in Las Vegas, you can put a no like invisible little circle around that building. And then you can grab all the IP addresses that were there, and, you know, August of 2019. And then you can start running ads on those people. So it's crazy what you can do now, right? But this was the largest do forming campaign in his political history. And we were able to identify all the charter schools in the state of Florida. And we had a video of Andrew Gilliam saying that he was going to eliminate school choice, eliminate charter schools, all this stuff. And so we actually, we went out and tested and found out what you know, once we got grabbed their IP addresses, we're right, in that, that were around these schools. And I think we identified like 110,000, or maybe even 130,000, IP addresses of parents who went to these charter schools. And we were able to identify, you know, that they were very passionate about having their school state that, you know, to be able to send their kid to this charter school is very important. And so we knew from the data that that issue would really resonate. And Andrew Gilliam really didn't want to talk about on the trail. I think he talked about it to the teachers unions, but he hadn't talked about it really publicly. And so we developed a plan, which was step two, we created a website in a way to send our ads or send people to our ads, the targeted audience, which were school choice parents, and then we decided to test we would create a video on that branding phase, which is step three, step four is we test tested the ad we put together nipply through the roof, ready to go. So we launched. So we targeted like I said, over 100,000 school choice or actually charter school parents, but it was mostly women. There were we found in there. And when the election happened, something happened as the election i think the Santas won by around 30,000 votes that millions cats, and it was the one of the closest races in the country. Again, races have consequences. Especially I'm in the state of Florida. I live in Florida. We had Andrew Yang was our governor and COVID disaster, right. So this is very important. And so what we did in this particular campaign is we targeted all these school choice would be like, say school choice moms. And we deliver that we delivered that at around 30 different times to them 30 times they would deliver that app because we got their IP address, because we do find it out. And actually it's a little side that we were able to identify that if you were able to identify people that just popped in and out of the school, but didn't spend any particular amount of time at the school. So like ups drivers, we got their IP address, and we eliminated them from the list. But ultimately, we target people we delivered again, over 30 views on average per IP address that we were targeting. And when it was over again, desantis one about 30,000 votes, but he actually got around 100,000 more 100,000 African American votes or African American women votes. More specifically. If you compare that to Senator rick scott, who was running for the US Senate at the time and on the ballot with the Santas Rick's got got about 60,000 African American female Voters in that election. And then if you compare to Trump in 2016, it was around here at around 30,000 African American women voters out of state of Florida until 16. So what and by the way, run the census with running against an African American candidate, you got a white guy running against an African American. So like, What? That's crazy, right. And so the Wall Street Journal dug into the campaign. And they determined and they put it in the headline that school shows moms when the elections are not the same. And again, largest geo forming campaign history without the unfair marketing system all the way through, we innovated like crazy, we deliver that ad over and over and over to them. We convince these moms, that they needed to vote for the Republican white congressman that was running, versus the, you know, the African American mayor of Tallahassee for the ratio of Governor. And we had we got enough of those votes when the election.

I talk about often when I go on different shows the ad that you helped get crafted about the little kid being told, I'm sorry, Your charter school is going to get closed by Andrew Gilliam, if he is elected governor of Florida, and the kid starts to cry the the crocodile tears? I mean, how powerful is that?

Well, you know, the creative is really important. And we knew that we had to make an impact on the school choice moms or charter school moms. And so that was our main focus. There. The marketing worked. And we're super proud of it, too. Yeah,

you shouldn't be well, you. I mean, you said elections do have consequences. And I think a lot of us are looking down to Florida and saying, Can we have some of that? I'm saying that here in Philadelphia, we just got word. I don't know if you heard this, we just got word that our mask mandates are back in place only if you don't show your vaccination, proof of vaccination, of course. So that's totally racist policy. Right? Why is nobody talking about that?

You know, 25% of minorities have been vaccinated. So they're the ones that are getting cut out of the grocery store, the restaurants, the bars, everything like and just crazy to me how racist it is.

Well, in what a perfect segue, you read my mind where I was going? Because as we wrap up the show, I want to maybe frame What are you seeing on the horizon? What are going to be some of these top of mind issues, looking at the data that you've been able to get your classic, you know, behind the scenes Sneak Peek look at that we should be concerned about and get ready for as we move forward here, not just the 2022 but 2024 and beyond,

I'd be lying. If I told you I knew anything about how Phantom four was gonna go. Nobody does. There's just so much chaos in the world right now. You know, I always say, Ryan, we're not in a new normal or just new and new is every month. So you know, in June and July, the masks came off life got back to normal and now mask back on. And you're hearing lockdowns again, in some states, and like it's just so influx all the time. And so do I think this, you know, the, the suppression of freedom, though, I believe that that'll be one of the big issues that comes out of the election in 2022. With the midterms, you could absolutely see that I mean, you're kind of seeing that now. And the other thing that no one's talking about is this massive swing of Hispanic voters into the Republican Party. So if you're looking at the recall election in California right now, Gavin Newsom is in deep, deep, deep trouble. Now. He's trying to game the system and put voting rules in place that give him a massive advantage, whether that's cheating or not, we'll see. But the fact is, is that in all the data we're seeing right now, it's not only Republicans who are mad, it's independents are mad, but it's Hispanics that are also mad in the state of California. And you saw this in 2020, when Trump was winning spanic districts that no republican had ever won in some of the counties in Texas. And so what you're saying is, maybe because of the COVID lock downs, and everything else is a paradigm shift with Hispanics into the Republican Party. If that happens, obviously, Republicans are going to win that the Senate, they're going to win back the house, and it puts them in pretty damn good advantage for the 2024 election based on whoever runs right now. Doesn't don't know. Well, it

doesn't help when you have it seems a lot of democrats basically pseudo embracing the policies of Fidel Castro in Cuba. It's not the policies that caused the problem. It's the United States embargo. It's not communism, it's just us. Always. The book is the undefeated marketing system, you can go ahead and get it on Amazon. I swear, I think I got it. But with that being said, obviously, we want folks to be able to go ahead and follow you. So fellow working folks, not just go ahead and follow you but stay up to date with all is going to be happening over in your world. Yeah, you

can go to Phil Stutz calm I see Brian you have show notes which will have my exact spelling and then you know, if you're interested in your business on how to That works out easily. We'll give you a free assessment of that. Go to Phil Stutz comm slash insights. I write a blog every two weeks on data and marketing insights, and I have a podcast. A podcast is called the undefeated Marketing Podcast. So check that out. We've had, we've had some really, really interesting guests on there, including James altucher. And Cal fosmon, who's one of the he wrote for Vanity Fair as an interview every president interview Muhammad Ali and he tells how to tell better stories. If you're a salesperson. It's a masterclass on that. We've got Peter Diamandis, coming along in a couple of weeks. He is business partners with Elan musk. So we've got and we're talking about innovation, Ai, marketing, all these kind of fun topics on the show.

Awesome. Well, that being said, Yes, you were insightful. We will have all this in the show notes. But with that being said, Thank you so much, Philips for joining us here on today's episode of The Brian Nichols Show, Brian. Thank you, buddy.

Transcribed by

Phillip StuttsProfile Photo

Phillip Stutts

Phillip Stutts comes from the cutthroat world of political marketing. He has over 2 decades of experience working on campaigns with billions of dollars in political ad spend, and contributed to over 1,407 election victories, including 3 U.S. Presidential victories. Phillip plays the game of political and corporate marketing on the highest level, battling it out with fierce competition, multi-billion-dollar budgets, and a win-or-die mentality.