The Breakfast Club: Thought Leader Series – The Marketing of Politics & Policy: Q&A From Our Panelists

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In advance of AD Club’s The Breakfast Club: Thought Leader Series – The Marketing of Politics & Policy event this Thursday, November 12th, we asked our panelists Michael Beach, Co-Founder of Targeted Victory, and Greta Wilson, Vice President, Brand Strategy & Social Media of Pitney Bowes about their views on the climate of marketing in politics, the do’s and don’t’s of political advertising, which digital tools to use, and more. Let’s see what they had to say…

Michael Beach
How do you predict people will allocate their marketing dollars in new ways in this upcoming election versus in 2008 and 2012?

MichaelBeachThe raw dollars for each medium will grow simply due to the fact that politics is growing rapidly overall. Digital will make up a larger share of the budget, but will still be under utilized. The most aggressive campaigns will take a screen agnostic approach and utilize a different mix between broadcast, cable and digital based on various factors such as markets, targets and pricing.

What digital tool do you predict will get credit for changing the 2016 election? Are these tools being used currently?

The “hype” choice will be something like Snapchat that has an easy story to tell. Optimization of broadcast and cable television will have the largest impact due simply to the raw size of the opportunity. A 20% efficiency gain on billions of medium spend is huge.

What are a few key things brand marketers can learn from political marketers?

Our audience focus is something that I would replicate if I was a brand marketer. The analytics side of our industry has evolved very rapidly to the point where we are no longer defining our target with traditional demographics (older men = Republicans, etc.). The next challenge for political marketers is to utilize the granular definitions of our targets and move away from buying television advertising with traditional demographics.

What’s the best example of  data translated into great storytelling that resonated with voters? Which candidate for this election season are doing this effectively for 2016?

There are several primary campaigns that are confounding pundits because they do not fit the traditional mold of what a presidential candidate should look like. A large part of this is due to their focus on communicating directly with the voters rather than through traditional channels. This is difficult to measure with traditional media analytics, but is showing up in other political metrics like small dollar donors.

Greta Wilson
How do you predict that people will allocate their marketing dollars in new ways in this upcoming election versus in GretaWilson2008 and 2012?

The dollars will continue to move more towards digital but TV will still have the largest share of spend. However, the way TV media is bought will change. There is more and more data available about the viewing HH than there was last year that will cause more TV investment to be data-driven to precisely target TV viewers of interest versus more traditional network mass buys.What digital tool do you predict will get credit for changing the 2016 election? Is that tool being used currently?

Where it was previously just a few… twitter, facebook, and linkedin, in 2016 I think it won’t be a single tool that gets credit but rather the campaign that knows how to effectively leverage all of the highly fragmented tools in ways relevant to the different demos that use them. Instagram (main stream), YouTube (more main stream), Twitter (news junkies), Facebook (moms), LinkedIn (business), whatsapp (internationally connected), Snapchat (young), ooVoo (younger), and whatever hot, new trendy technology surfaces between now and 2016.

What are a few key things brand marketers can learn from political marketers?

Dos: Since election campaigns are heavy investments for a short period of time using different tactics, they can help us learn what works best to drive results.  We can also learn about cultural sentiment.  What storyline motivates most? That will help inform our own storytelling.

Don’ts: Well, this won’t be anything new but I’m sure we’ll learn that if you’re number one, never trash-talk number 2. Leaders don’t do that, yet our politicians tend to do it in the heat of election season.

What’s the best example of data translated into great storytelling that resonated with voters? Which candidate for this election season is doing this effectively for 2016?

We all know Obama nailed it when he leveraged data in 2008 and even more in 2012 to help raise funds and win terms. The analysis done was rigorous and led to compelling insights that helped frame his messages in ways that would resonate best to the audiences he was speaking with. While I don’t think it’s due to a room of data crunchers, Trump is certainly realizing through polls and social discussions that his brutal honesty is gaining traction to a large audience of voters, but will it last?

There’s still time to register for the Breakfast Club series on Nov. 12 — register here today!

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