Sometimes world events play right into your company’s marketing plan. While politics generally aren't one of those things, the conversations surrounding elections and issues can be used to your advantage.

Whichever candidate you support — or even if you support none at all — everyone is arguably ready for this election cycle to be over. The constant mudslinging of American politics is exhausting, this year, perhaps, more than ever.

And that's given new life to those historical threats from the angry, the disenchanted, the frustrated and the confused … the ones who tend to react to conversation about the election by stating, "I don't care. I'm moving to Canada."

2016 Presidential Election Malaise

Right now, 15 percent of Americans claim they'll move to Canada if Hillary Clinton wins and 19 percent claim they'll move if Donald Trump wins.

Just a threat? Maybe. But there was a 20 percent spike in immigration to Canada under the Bush administration between 2004 and 2005. In contrast, there was an 11 percent drop during Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Politics + Marketing = Opportunity

There’s a right and a wrong way to base a marketing campaign off politically based phenomenon. The wrong way: Choosing a side, which will alienate at least some of your customers.

But you could, for instance, start a campaign that helps people explore the possibility of moving to Canada. That capitalizes on the current angst, defuses some of the anger with humor and actually provides real information to anyone seriously considering the possibility. It will also get people talking about your business.

Here are two recent campaigns that followed this model.

Learning Opportunities

Hire a Helper offered to help you load the truck if you can provide proof you are moving to Canada because of politics. This is a great way to offer a helping hand to your customer base. All they ask for is proof of residence in the U.S., proof of a lease or mortgage in Canada, proof of truck rental originating in the U.S. and terminating in Canada, and a 100 word paragraph about why you feel so strongly about moving North. Then they will pitch in to help you load the truck for an hour if you pay for at least one more additional hour. This marketing campaign is politically neutral, helpful, and has the potential to be humorous as well.

SpareFoot put together an infographic all about this phenomenon, which includes pros and cons of moving to Canada. Sure, you can enjoy poutine, maple syrup and ice hockey, but it’s really cold and your credit score will reset at zero as soon as you become a legal resident.

This infographic also outlines the challenges of moving to Canada — you can’t exactly just pack your bags and show up, expecting to be greeted warmly.

You have to go through the application process, which means you have to be able to contribute in some way to the community. This is a great example of providing value to your customer base while taking advantage of a potential marketing gold mine.

How is your company handle this marketing opportunity?

2016 Presidential Election Infographic

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