Marketing Realities in an Election Year


Unless your key markets are in states with an early caucus or primary, you may not be feeling the impacts of political spending on your marketing schedules…yet. But it is something that will affect most marketers in 2016. And to add a new twist to the mix, this year political spending will likely start to affect your digital campaigns as well as your traditional campaigns.

So how do you adjust your media mix to make sure you are still meeting your goals and reaching your audience in this challenging marketing year?

Diversification. While this is always a good marketing strategy, it is even more important in political years, especially if you typically rely on more traditional mediums.

Do you have a heavy focus on television? Move a percentage of your budget to online video. The technology around online video and the placement techniques available have really improved over the last year and a half. Some great options for mixing online video with your TV campaigns include:

  • Buying a guaranteed audience – this will ensure you are reaching the same demographic of viewers online and offline and you are able to buy on a GRP.
  • TV viewing behaviors – targeting audiences of key program types, viewers of your TV spots increasing the reach or frequency of your campaign, or viewers of your competitors TV spots.
  • Traditional online targeting – one of the key benefits of running online video is the additional targeting capabilities digital strategies offer.

Do you have a heavy focus on radio? As with TV, move a portion of that budget to digital radio outlets. While most stations offer a streaming option, also look at placements available through Pandora or Spotify. They both have audio and visual placements available. And as with online video, digital stations have significantly more capabilities for audience targeting than traditional radio stations.

Do your digital campaigns have a heavy focus on direct site placements with local sites or news sites?  This is where we are really seeing the impact in political spending online. Some sites are seeing as much as a 16% increase in CPM. The opportunity here is to add in some programmatic strategies into your digital efforts. This addition, in conjunction with a more limited site direct strategy, will help to bring in your overall CPM at a more normal level and will help to increase the reach of your campaigns.

While no one really enjoys political advertising, and it is only going to get worse before it gets better, incorporating some of these strategies into your media mix this year can make your life a little easier.

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