Political marketers affirm that a successful election strategy this cycle must incorporate a range of media and platforms. Much talk has been focused on digital media as a rival to TV. But other media can also have a significant impact on the 2016 presidential race and reach those critical undecided voters.
Consider the conjunction of politics and media, the influential radio talk shows come to mind. Many are catering to a trusting audience and can shape voter preference with large populations of loyal fans.
Earned media plays a big role, particularly on conservative radio talk shows.
During an MSNBC focus group, when asked where Ted Cruz supporters had heard good things about the candidate, they responded: “The Glenn Beck Show on the radio,” adding, “I’ve listened to him for years, and I trust his opinion.”
This “trust” is a significant part of the success radio advertising is poised to enjoy with upcoming electoral contests.
Also of significance is the 97% of adult Hispanic Americans who listen to the radio on a weekly basis. Given the growing importance of minority voters, radio will gain additional traction as ad dollars start pouring in.
With the enormous variety of radio shows, the targeting opportunities are robust. Listeners are reachable in diverse locations, as well as on mobile. One buyer tells Media Life: "In 2016, expectations are that 10%-15% of political spending will go into radio.”
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were both active radio spot buyers in New Hampshire, tallying more than 2,700 and 2,350 apiece, respectively, according to Media Monitors. In South Carolina, where the Republican primary is Feb. 20 and the Democrats a week later, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz lead with 836 and 712 ads, respectively. Clinton has aired more than 600 spots.
Marketing Daily News reported yesterday on a Nielsen study that showed radio has the highest penetration among registered undecideds in important Super Tuesday states.
Kristy McKnight of Veritone Politics, which launched an audio-based Cognitive Media Platform in late January, told Red, White & Blog that campaigns need to be acutely aware of the audio landscape this cycle, much of which may go unnoticed.
With virtually every public event around the candidates being recorded and filmed, the breadth of audio data is staggering. McKnight pointed to the “politicization of radio, especially the talk shows, as well as the vast array of political audio data on the likes of YouTube.”
Being privy to relevant audio surrounding one’s candidate is paramount for marketing strategists.
With total political radio spend expected to break $800 million, one of the largest, if not the largest, radio platforms in the country, iHeartMedia, recently bolstered its political strategy team with the hire of Capitol Hill veteran Brendon DelToro as vice president.
As iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO, Bob Pittman told Fox Business: “The price is always better on radio. With this incredible reach” and more intimate “companionship, it’s your best friend talking to you.”