Go Their Way: Reaching Likely Voters With Unpredictable Habits

On both ends of the media consumption spectrum sit two groups: those that gather news and information exclusively from live TV, and those who forsake live TV almost entirely for internet content. Great solutions for reaching both groups already exist, and a solid campaign’s media plan should offer solutions to reach both blocs of likely voters. 

Recent research, however, has re-emphasized the middle of that spectrum and the sizable percentage of the likely voter population that occupies it, seamlessly switching between live television and internet sources. Though moving away from live television and towards an Off the Grid lifestyle, these “Screen Agnostics” are doing so slowly, and while transitioning, they continue to take in both old and new media. Up to 54% of likely voters fall in this group. Therefore, they are both the largest of the three groups and the most unpredictable. Unlike live TV viewers or internet users, there is no one solution to reach them – and tracking the return on available methods used to reach them can be difficult.

An ideal solution finds ways to merge the television and internet advertising worlds, or at least some of the metrics associated with them. It’s a question of bringing the pieces of a campaign together – aspects like the digital advertising plan and the broadcast and cable advertising plan, which, right now, are disparate elements. 

We've crafted our own solution, one that has shown promise in this uncertain media viewing environment. By working with our data partners, we have layered consumer targeting data, television set top box data (via Rentrak), and our own voter modeling to create data sets that identify and target a prospective voter in several distinct ways, and across a variety of available mediums. Making such a wide variety of data available in the same place ensures better reach and frequency for client advertising, targeting the voters needed to win – wherever they are.

The ultimate (if distant) goal is to align the advertising and outreach aspects of a campaign whenever possible. 

It’s more than just buying both television and internet advertising. What makes these comprehensive campaigns successful is sharp targeting and finite, clearly defined audiences accessed through their preferred mediums. And unsurprisingly, as much as digital and television advertising strategy could completely change in the near future, old-fashioned knowledge of your audiences – who they are and where they are – is still important. Without intimate knowledge of audiences and their preferred mediums, even the slickest, smartest campaigns can struggle mightily to gain traction.

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