Media Plans Need A Targeted Fix For Tight Political Avails

True-blue conservatives are likely to go to one source for news.True-blue liberals are likely to search around the dial a bit more.

Forty-seven percent of “consistent conservatives” go to Fox News, according to the Pew Research Center. But “consistent liberals” spread the wealth around -- spending 15% of the time with CNN; 12% with MSNBC; 13% with NPR; and 10% with The New York Times.

Is this good news? A better question is, what political candidates and political-minded organization should do with their media plans. Do they have enough alternatives in traditional TV advertising inventory?

The Times reports there already is limited online political advertising inventory, especially with YouTube.

TV stations? Seems to be plenty of inventory, but the jury is still out. Stations will surely be accommodating; every four years, station group financial reports glisten with high-revenue ad dollars from the mid-term elections.



Media planners and buying executives, while grinning from having more political  clients with higher media budgets, will find their path tougher when key inventory is harder to secure.

Pew Research said liberals “trust” 28 out of 36 new sources, while conservatives “distrusted” 24 of the 36.

Can political advertisers give Fox News all the money? Not really. Local stations are still a good outlet for many, but perhaps not that targeted for others. Where does a political media plan land when there’s limited targeted media platforms?

Think outside the political media box: A conservative-minded political commercial on MSNBC or CNN can spur a different sort of engagement from those viewers who distrust the network’s programming content.

One question is, how many and what types of conservatives watch “distrustful” TV. What about liberals? Now there’s a research survey for someone.

1 comment about "Media Plans Need A Targeted Fix For Tight Political Avails".
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  1. Roy Moskowitz from Reciprocal Results, October 24, 2014 at 1:42 p.m.

    When the author discusses cable networks, I assume he means spot cable, not national. There’s only one national elected office and its selection happens every four years. Even for that office, the Electoral College's all or nothing format, which negates voters on the wrong side of a state's blue/red divide, limits the utility of targeting voters with national cable.

    The proper allocation of ad money between spot broadcast, local cable and geo-targeted online video depends on the pct of the DMA a candidate's political district represents.

    Although broadcast remains the most efficient way to reach large audiences, candidates running for Congress in multiple Congressional District (CDsDMAs should never buy spot broadcast TV or radio because of the waste. NY DMA Congressional districts comprise at most 5 percent of a broadcast outlet's audience, so NY DMA spot broadcast for NY or NJ Congressional seats results in 95 percent waste (Even more for CT).

    Cable is a better option if ¼ or preferably a much higher proportion of the subscribers live in the district. However, in NYC proper, the only House candidates that should buy local cable, are those pursuing Staten Island's (where I live), single Congressional seat, which it shares with a sliver of Brooklyn, because too small of a percentage of the other boroughs' cable systems audience reside in each district. Non Staten Island NYC Congressional candidates and candidates with even smaller political districts such as State Assembly and City Council outside my borough, should not buy broadcast or cable. Geo-targeted online video would be the most efficient way to target voters in these races.

    Only NYC wide (Mayor, Comptroller & Public Advocate) and statewide NY and NJ candidates (Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, U.S. Senate) should buy NY DMA broadcast. CT candidates should never waste money on NY DMA broadcast. The only offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx that should bother with cable are the borough wide offices of Borough President and District Attorney. However, Staten Island office seekers should embrace cable.

    Yet, candidates in two upstate and a Long Island Congressional race, as well as CT Governor are buying NY DMA broadcast. The consulting firms placing these buys should be sued for malpractice, because I and 95 or more of every 100 registered voters seeing these spots cannot vote for their clients because we don't live in their district.

    This lazy yet lucrative strategy is implemented because national and local party organizations, committees and PACS sway business towards the firms squandering client money on media inappropriate for their political districts. The Party organizations try to dictate that candidates use their favored consultants and mandate their selection if they receive financial or more than rudimentary logistic support from the party or PAC. Others need not apply.

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