TV vs Digital political media spend is the argument that never ends. But this cycle the allocation math became more complicated as record levels of campaign cash sought places to go and these options went further downstream into even more local campaigns. Digital channels became more central to campaign organizations and spend, especially in the fight for younger voters, At the same time addressable TV, OTT and data-infused linear buying helped the TV plan evolve beyond spray and pray. What did allocation look like in the last cycle and what did the campaigns learn? Are we any closer to attributing media more accurately and capturing those evolving media habits?
Keynote Q&A: Reflections on Bread, Butter, and Partisanship
While election rhetoric this cycle seemed to be fueled by DC partisanship, bread and butter issues resonated most successfully on the ground in many contests. Former RNC Chair, frequent TV analyst and podcaster (“Man of Steele”), Michael Steele shares his insights about the tension between popular, local politics and national party priorities. How did the mid-terms actually play out differently…in the media, on digital and social channels, and on the ground? And what lessons should both parties take from the 2018 cycle in 2020?
At Marketing Politics 2018, digital leaders at the RNC, Doug Hochberg, and DNC, Caitlin Mitchell, shared their plans to win in November. Doug and Caitlin’s successor Patrick Stevenson return to report on what went right, what went wrong in their digital plans. How did the digital teams, data and media integrate with regional groups and campaigns? Most importantly, what were the lessons learned for the 2018 cycle?
Automated, dynamic and data-driven advertising on a massive scale on Facebook in particular was the breakaway digital story of 2016. But amid growing controversy around how these platforms were abused and gamed by bad actors, legit campaigners now face new rules. Account verification, political ad flagging, stricter policing of accounts and shares, public ad archives have all changed the channel. Key media buyers in the space assess whether and how these changes impacted their social strategy - where and how they allocated, the creative they deployed, and the ways they worked with the platforms.
Phil Bartel, Deputy Director, Independent Expenditure Unit, National Republican Senatorial Committee
Luke Partridge, Director, Digital Communications, Global Strategy Group
Aimee Stern, Community Outreach, Andrew Gillum for Governor
Panel: Pocket Pester Politics: Is The Peer-to-Peer Texting Channel Working?
A new generation of peer-messaging apps for campaigns took political marketing to an entirely new and intimate level this cycle. Questions emerged immediately about their legality, let alone debates about their effectiveness in recruiting or alienating constituents. What did we find out? About the new channel's impact on fundraising? On turnout? On its effectiveness in finding pockets of voters invisible to email and TV? About voter response?
In the mid-term cycle, Democratic Super-PAC Priorities USA didn’t just leverage digital channels. It leveraged digital channels to evangelize digital itself among local campaigns. Director of Advertising Danielle Butterfield explains how the PAC offered tools and best practices to every campaign of every size in order to close the digital gap with Republicans everywhere.
Cross-channel digital campaigns are only as good as the voter identification data and profile used to target them. How have campaigns evolved their harvesting of voter data to ensure a richer and more relevant set of data points? Which channels and appeals are netting richer data? And on the targeting side how are campaigns best penetrating walled gardens to effectively find their voter list and identify persuadable prospects? Everyone promised laser targeted campaigns with fresh, reliable data. But what data is proving of real value in the political ad market?
The human field operation's ground game remains the heart of GOTV strategy. But how are digital channels helping best to make the human channel more efficient and complement those efforts to reach other voters? Text messaging, mobile apps and alerts, targeted Web and mobile ads, email and even social shares were employed this cycle to get supporters to the polls. What worked?