Main Street One’s core philosophy when it comes to digital messaging, says Hougland, is trust: “There is a massive erosion of trust among consumers today. They don’t trust government. They don’t trust the media in the same way. They don’t trust advertising and brands in the same way. So ultimately, as a brand, you’re somewhat limited in what you can say as well. So you need to find third parties. You need to find advocates, you need to find supporters—whether those are employees, former employees, content creators, social influencers … But you need to find messengers.”
In his “Ad Lib” interview, Hougland talks about how he came to found Main Street One after a career in the digital trenches, doing everything from early social media marketing to consulting for the Pentagon on combating disinformation online—specifically ISIS and Russian propaganda.
Hougland also deconstructs digital messaging in the current political cycle, saying that “Democrats are too precious” and prone to “risk-aversion” on social media, which “really limits our ability to be candid, authentic and honest.” In contrast, President Trump obviously has no filter, which not only pleases his base but keeps them endlessly engaged. “Volume wins,” Hougland says. “Donald Trump knows this, and brands increasingly are realizing this … The more breadcrumbs you have on the internet … the better your sales are doing, or the more likely you are to win an election.”
Speaking of which, Hougland has some thoughts about what happens on Election Day 2020—and in the aftermath. Stream the “Ad Lib” podcast embedded above to get the full scoop.