It's become a quadrennial meme. "What can marketers learn from US Presidential political campaigns?" It was not always so; there was not much conversation about brands being imperiled by sweating on stage in the Kennedy/Nixon era, but the last three cycles have been full of "learnings" from the social media strategies of 2008 and 2012 and now, in 2016, specifically from the Trump insurgency.
In the first two cycles the received wisdom was that the grass roots power of social media activation swept President Obama to office. Less attention was paid to the fact that they also involved the highest advertising spend in campaign history or the fact that the 2008 campaign was set against a backdrop of at least two ongoing wars, a stock market in free fall, the highest unemployment since the Great Depression and a housing crisis that led to repossessions and a collapse in the values of the biggest asset many Americans owned. Significant? Probably.