Digital Strategies In Politics Defined By Age Rather Than Affiliation

Digital advertising in leading political campaigns is being led by young staffers that share a seat at the table with top strategists. New research from political ad agency Spot-On shows that party affiliation is a much weaker indicator than age when determining the proficiency or willingness to use digital advertising.

Trump’s skeletal digital team was led by Brad Parscale, who is in his mid-30s. Katie Dowd and Teddy Goff, who were the top digital strategists on the Clinton campaign, are in the same demo.

There is still a generational gap in the use of digital marketing, particularly in politics ,which only ramps up for the big national races every four years, with smaller iterations every two.

According to Spot-On’s study, 76% of younger digital professionals in the political field termed themselves either “dangerous” or “expert” in their use of digital channels -- age, not party affiliation made the difference in their understanding of digital approaches to marketing.



Further, according to the study, released on Nov. 10, younger political operatives found that digital was a better avenue for political advertising than TV. Older respondents often called digital “an emerging channel,” rather than the well-established one that many younger marketing professionals consider it.

Most political strategists understand the potential for digital growth. Of those surveyed for the study, 60% said their online spending in 2016 either increased on remained the same. Another 20% said they increased their spending over 25%.

The quadrennial juggernaut that is the presidential cycle has benefited greatly from the improvements in targeting and testing that have occurred since 2012. The seamlessness of on-boarding audience data, and receiving real-time information about the performance of various campaigns, is integral to the marketing process.

While Trump’s win asks questions about the staying power of TV advertising, it is also a nod to digital approaches. It took him some time to get started, but the Trump campaign went all out on Facebook and email in the closing months of the campaign.

Trump's admonishment of data and analytics earlier in the campaign proved misplaced. In the end, his success is a boon to both digital marketing and tangentially to the influence of social media.

Next story loading loading..