One of the most highly contested issues of debate in libertarian circles is how to go about creating an effective marketing strategy. Some will suggest targeting the right, some will suggest targeting the left, and some will suggest trying to sell the message of libertarianism to everyone and anyone. But any experienced marketing professional will know that in order to market your product successfully, you need to have an understanding of your demographics, and be able to discern who is most apt to buy your product. This is called your target market.
When marketing professionals at Apple get together to devise a marketing strategy, they need to be able to effectively gauge the market to get an understanding of who they should spend their precious time and resources marketing their products to. As they begin this process, they start by taking a look at their product. The iPhone. The world’s most recognizable smartphone, with a sleek design and easy to use graphic interface. The phone syncs your content with the iCloud and all other Apple devices, such as the iPad, Macbook, and iMac computer. It requires proprietary cables, and does not offer a removable battery or external storage. It’s available for most wireless carriers and has a retail price of around $700.
After analyzing the product at hand, Apple must then determine who would be most likely to buy the product. Since it is the world’s most recognizable phone, someone who likes to be trendy might want to buy it. Since it has an easy to use graphic interface, someone who prefers simplicity would be apt to buy it. Since it syncs with the iCloud, someone who owns other Apple devices would be likely to buy it. Since it requires proprietary cables, someone who has owned an iPhone in the past would be more likely to buy it. Since the phone comes at a steep price, someone with a steady income and a wireless plan is more likely to buy it.
From this, Apple can determine that their target demographic consists of working class adults, both young and middle aged, who prefer simplicity and trendiness, as well as those already familiar with Apple products. It would make sense to market to these people, and post advertisements on websites, television channels, and places that they might travel. While it is true that an elderly man with no use for a smartphone might wind up purchasing an iPhone, it would be a massive waste of time and resources for Apple to market to this demographic, since no profit is going to be made by selling exclusively to old men that use flip phones. If Apple wants to turn a profit, they need to market to the demographic most likely to be converted into iPhone users.
The same applies to every single business in the world. If you want to manage a successful company and make a profit, you need to find your target demographic and develop an effective marketing strategy.
This principle should be no different in the realm of politics either. If we are selling the product of libertarianism, we need to find who is most apt to buy our product. So to determine this, let us do the same as Apple and first determine what our product is.
Libertarianism. What is libertarianism? Libertarianism is a philosophy that hinges around the idea of self-ownership, property rights, non-aggression, and self-defense. Libertarianism is both a moral and economic philosophy, grounded in free-market capitalism and radical decentralization.
So to find out who our target market should be, we must determine who is most likely to purchase the product of libertarianism. Who supports the idea of self-ownership and property rights? Leftists believe you are entitled to someone else’s income and support the forcible redistribution of wealth, while conservatives believe in the protection of property, and that you cannot forcibly take another man’s wealth without his permission. Who says they love capitalism? Leftists despise capitalism, while conservatives continuously rave about the wonders of the free market. Who believes in self-defense? Leftists want the government to heavily regulate firearms, while conservatives are the most ardent supporters of the 2nd amendment. And who supports decentralization and the ideas of our founders? Leftists want to distance themselves from the founding fathers since they owned slaves and tend to prefer a centralization of power, while conservatives revere our country’s founding fathers and the republican ideas of localization enshrined in our founding documents.
It should then be clear as day who our target market is, and a poll I conducted confirms this. I asked the simple question, who’s easier to reason with, conservatives or leftists? I posted this poll on the Liberty Hangout twitter page, as well as in 3 different Facebook groups, two of which seem to have left leanings by many of its members, strangely enough. Here are the results.
In our Twitter poll, 159 people said conservatives, while just 20 said leftists.
I posted the same poll in the group “Austin Petersen’s Freedom Ninja Army.” 296 said conservatives, and 16 said leftists.
When I posted the poll in the group “Libertarian Party USA,” 231 said conservatives, and 29 said leftists.
And when I conducted the poll in “Gary Johnson’s Dank Meme Stash,” 550 said conservatives, and 56 said leftists.
A total of 1357 people voted in these polls, with 1236 saying conservatives are easier to reason with, and a mere 121 saying leftists are easier to reason with, meaning 91% of those polled find it easier to sell the ideas of libertarianism to conservatives than leftists. It is also interesting that three of the four polls had about a 9:1 ratio, with the exception of the poll in “Austin Petersen’s Freedom Ninja Army,” which had a 19:1 ratio.
If it is this clear who our target demographic should be, and the results in these polls are so one-sided, why then do so many libertarians continue to virtue signal to the left, while largely ignoring the right? Why do they continue to bash everyone who voted for Trump and mock them for not already being libertarians, instead of finding a way to effectively sell libertarianism to them?
If Apple were to spend their precious time and resources mocking their target market, they would go out of business rather quickly. And perhaps this is why libertarians continue to falter. They have long had no cognizance of their target market and have lambasted those who were ripe to be sold on our message, in order to virtue signal to a demographic that is the least likely to buy our product.
But there are no longer any excuses to be made. Leftists are so far removed from libertarianism, but conservatives already support our principles, just not to their rational conclusions. If we want to truly make a push towards a libertarian society, we must develop an effective marketing strategy that will sell our target market on our ideas. But by turning away our most precious customers, you are doing more harm to the liberty movement than good.