With access to enhanced technology and voter insights, how do you think campaigns will allocate their marketing dollars in new ways versus 2016? Heightened political tensions have given way to a rise in spend in the 2018 Midterm Elections, with forecasts by EMarketer predicting 2020 spend to be nearly 60% higher than in 2016. You’re seeing a couple of trends this political year, including a refocus on state-level politics and an emphasis on influencing state legislators. Marketing agendas have become less about moving voters, and more about reinforcing or challenging perceptions. Voters are self-educating on the issues that matter most to them, and marketers that act as a catalyst for inspiring additional research on a candidate’s platform or point of view on topline issues, will cut through the noise.
What’s the most important thing agencies need to understand about the current state of Political marketing? Consumer sentiment is certainly charged in the current election cycle, but the good news is, consumers are also more engaged and informed than ever before.In January, Xandr partnered with Marketcast to conduct in-person focus groups with conservative, independent and liberal voters between the ages of 18-54, in addition to conducting an online survey of current and prospective voters. Our findings showed that 83% of voters surveyed say they find it difficult to trust what they see in political ads, with 3 out of 4 respondents who believe political ads are wrought with fake or misleading information. The upside is that respondents reportedly trust ads that utilize unbiased reporting of data and statistics, while 77% of respondents say they trust the message in political advertisements delivered on TV versus over social media platforms.
Can you give an example of how your clients/campaigns are creating meaningful connections with target audiences today? While I’ll refrain from naming specifics, I would say that we’re seeing a lot of positive momentum among clients who are leveraging our solutions to reach their audiences across all platforms, whether that’s data-driven linear, OTT or digital. It used to be that certain tactics were relegated to specific areas of the “funnel” or purchase journey, but you’re seeing this convergence in spend, buyer demand and an appetite for outcomes, which I think is really just a reflection of how today’s consumer prefers to access content, which is on their own time, and in whichever moment they prefer.
How do you define what it means to be a “modern marketer” today? A modern marketer is someone who isn’t defined by any one single channel or tactic because they have some familiarity or experience in digital, offline, TV, social, mobile, you name it. A modern marketer is fluent in audience, backed by analytics and data insights, with an eye toward creating a connection through meaningful, or inspirational creative.
What is most surprising about today’s voter that marketers should be aware of? Going back to Xandr’s research, it’s important to remember the recipe for relevance, in cutting through a cluttered and noisy campaign landscape. Including data and statistics in ad creative should be considered best practice, since nearly 2 in 5 consumers will do more research after seeing data about a candidate or cause. About 1 in 3 voters consider an ad relevant if it teaches them about a candidate or sheds light on an issue.