Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, almost never speaks publicly. His interview with the Forbes Magazine was the first time he spoke about his role in the Trump campaign. The interview concluded that “The quiet, enigmatic young mogul” delivered the presidency to Donald Trump.
This is how he did it:
“‘It’s hard to overstate and hard to summarize Jared’s role in the campaign,’ says billionaire Peter Thiel, the only significant Silicon Valley figure to publicly back Trump. ‘If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer’… ‘Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election,’ adds Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, who helped design the Clinton campaign’s technology system. ‘Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources…'” – Forbes Magazine
“No resources at the beginning, perhaps. Underfunded throughout, for sure. But by running the Trump campaign–notably, its secret data operation–like a Silicon Valley startup, Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost. President Obama had unprecedented success in targeting, organizing and motivating voters. But a lot has changed in eight years. Specifically social media. Clinton did borrow from Obama’s playbook but also leaned on traditional media. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning. The traditional campaign is dead, another victim of the unfiltered democracy of the Web–and Kushner, more than anyone not named Donald Trump, killed it.” – Forbes Magazine
Jared Kushner knew who to call: his co-investors in Cadre include Thiel and Alibaba’s Jack Ma, and Kushner’s younger brother, Josh, a formidable venture capitalist who also co-founded the $2.7 billion insurance unicorn Oscar Health.
“I called some of my friends from Silicon Valley, some of the best digital marketers in the world, and asked how you scale this stuff,” Kushner says. “They gave me their subcontractors.”
“I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting,” Kushner says.
“The Trump campaign went from selling $8,000 worth of hats and other items a day to $80,000, generating revenue, expanding the number of human billboards–and proving a concept. In another test, Kushner spent $160,000 to promote a series of low-tech policy videos of Trump talking straight into the camera that collectively generated more than 74 million views…Kushner took over all data-driven efforts. Within three weeks, in a nondescript building outside San Antonio, he had built what would become a 100-person data hub designed to unify fundraising, messaging and targeting. Run by Brad Parscale, who had previously built small websites for the Trump Organization, this secret back office would drive every strategic decision during the final months of the campaign.” – Forbes Magazine
“Our best people were mostly the ones who volunteered for me pro bono,” Kushner says. “People from the business world, people from nontraditional backgrounds.”.
Kushner structured the operation with a focus on maximizing the return for every dollar spent. “We played Moneyball, asking ourselves which states will get the best ROI for the electoral vote,” Kushner says. “I asked, How can we get Trump’s message to that consumer for the least amount of cost?”
The Trump campaign spent roughly half as much as the Clinton campaign did.
During the campaign, Television and online advertising became smaller and smaller. Twitter and Facebook fueled the campaign, as key tools for not only spreading Trump’s message but also targeting potential supporters, scraping massive amounts of constituent data and sensing shifts in sentiment in real time.
“We weren’t afraid to make changes. We weren’t afraid to fail. We tried to do things very cheaply, very quickly. And if it wasn’t working, we would kill it quickly,” Kushner said. “It meant making quick decisions, fixing things that were broken and scaling things that worked.”
Source: Forbes Magazine – Exclusive Interview: How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House
Interviews with Steven Bertoni, the Forbes reporter who interviewed Jared Kushner