In navigating the new social "etiquette," political operatives haven't got any answers because the "ground is still shifting," said Laura Carlson, Digital Director of the Democratic Governors Association (second from left), at MediaPost's Marketing Politics conference in Washington, D.C.
"We can't shrug off the changes regardless of different levels," she said. "The environmental changes are significant. None of us can tell you we have the answer."
She referred to the other panelists, Sean Senters, Director of Advertising Operations at Targeted Victory, and Ryan Thompson, Chief Digital Officer at the DCCC. MediaPost's Lisa Singer, Event Editorial Manager, moderated.
The panelists said they were relieved by Facebook's decision not to ban political ads on its platform. Did they have a Plan B had it been otherwise?
Carlson said her team had a plan in place. She pointed out that "initially, when we saw ad bans taking place, some prominent folks were celebrating that for our political dialogue. A lot would beg to differ. The alternative to that, think through how that looks if you can't reach people publicly online. It's not great."
Senders said that there is "no cycle where the media mix looks like previous one. It allows us to adapt and grow as marketers as well. Going into 2017, we established digital-first creative. With an ad ban, creative becomes more important, it's the differentiator.
Thompson agreed, saying that "the instinct is to throw same [TV] spot on YouTube, yet it's not always the best solution."