Political advertisers are used to playing for high stakes under heavy pressure, but the 2020 election will be unlike anything we’ve seen before. Uncharted waters are ahead thanks to the ongoing pandemic, its effects on consumers’ lifestyle and behavior, and the resulting national uncertainty.
But it’s not just COVID-19. In June, Magna Global predicted that the 2020 election cycle will produce $4.8 billion in net incremental ad sales, up 24% from 2016 and a record high. Shortly after, GroupM predicted the highest spend ever this year estimating a total of $15 billion in political ad spending, up from $8 billion spent in 2018. The stakes are higher than ever, and so is the pressure on advertisers to get the right messaging in front of the right voters.
Reach Voters in the Moment that Matters Most
Every voter has a unique set of interests when it comes to politics. When every vote counts, it is essential for political marketers to be able to create customized messaging to a local audience and reach voters in the moment that matters most, all while eliminating wasted impressions on those voters who affiliate with a different party or align with a different cause.
Simply put, a successful political ad campaign hinges on effective audience targeting. To ensure that the right voters are targeted, advertisers need the ability to target based on location, demographic and behavioral data, and first-party data lists such as target donor lists, voter lists, supporter lists, and more. But getting accurate, timely data at scale is easier said than done.
Enter Simpli.fi’s Addressable Programmatic solutions. With Simpli.fi, advertisers can tap into Addressable Geo-Fencing to deliver digital ads to voters at the household-level across all devices seen within that household, including the big screen in the living room. What makes this targeting capability so unique for political marketers is our advanced Addressable Audience Curation (AAC) tool that allows advertisers to curate addressable audience in real-time based on location data and over 500 categories of household demographic, political, and economic variables within Simpli.fi’s system.
Ultimately, it’s about letting you reach the households you want while not wasting impressions on the ones you don’t.
With Simpli.fi’s AAC tool, location data can be filtered by postal code, city/metro, congressional districts, carrier routes, radius from an address, and more. Advertisers can then build and activate household-level audiences in real-time using more than 500 offline data variables (as described above) for inclusion or exclusion via full Boolean capabilities all within Simpli.fi’s system. This is truly granular audience creation at your fingertips, and it can be implemented on the national scale reaching over 126 million U.S. households.
For political advertisers, this is a gold mine. AAC can access data pertaining to liberal and conservative cause affiliations, political donations, relevant behaviors that indicate voting intent, census bureau information, and more—all mapped to individual households that can then be targeted with mobile, video, and/or OTT/CTV ads.
Let’s look at a few use cases.
AAC in Action: Political Marketers Use Cases
1) Build Political Campaign Awareness
When it comes to political campaigns, awareness can make all the difference. Voters need to know about your candidate and what they stand for to be ready to vote when election day comes around.
To that end, AAC can be a wonderful tool to build campaign awareness. Custom-build an audience made up of the demographics that mirror voters who you want to make aware of your political campaign, in the locations that count. For instance, if you know you want to drive awareness amongst Gen Z voters and millennial voters this election season within certain states, curate an audience made up of 18-25 year olds or 26-39 year olds in the states that matter, eliminating wasted impressions in areas where you already have strong awareness.
2) Optimize Your Fundraising in Uncertain Times
With COVID-19 still very much in the picture, campaigns are seeing disruptions in their traditional donor outreach efforts. In some areas of the country, in-person fundraising dinners and events simply aren’t doable. This has forced campaigns to lean even more heavily on reaching donors with digital ads.
However, much of these crucial efforts will be wasted if overbroad audience targeting serves ads to unlikely donors. On the other hand, with AAC advertisers can take into account various factors and curate an audience made up of ideal prospects. For example, an advertiser could start by narrowing the audience down based on demographic and economic data. With responses to the pandemic varying so much from location to location, messaging will likely need to be tweaked to take into account what residents are experiencing. Our solution would let the advertiser curate a custom audience for any location in the U.S. at the household-level, so adjustments can be made based on what’s happening on the ground.
3) Build a Volunteer Base That Makes a Difference
Successful campaigns are built around an active and dynamic volunteer base. AAC can be a great tool to help accomplish this.
Simply custom-build an audience made up of demographics and locations of prospective volunteers, then target them with ads related to volunteer efforts. For instance, to attract younger volunteers, curate an audience made up of 20-25 year olds who have indicated past interest in your political party.
4) Make GOTV Efforts Count
As Election Day rounds the corner, it becomes increasingly important to reach out to potential voters and Get Out the Vote (GOTV). If supporters don’t show up to the polls, all of your efforts could be a waste. In the end, you need votes.
2020 will be an interesting year to GOTV due to the pandemic. Although door knocking is an essential piece to GOTV, staying 6 feet away from others will make this challenging this year. That being said, now is the perfect time to go digital with your GOTV strategies and drive voters to polling locations on election day. Using our AAC tool, you can create an audience of households that align with your campaign based on location and demographic data. Rallying voters at the household-level has never been easier!