The 90s Called …

The 90s Called …
October 31, 2017
Brett Buerck

They want their campaign back.

It’s time to face facts.

Running for office today is very different from races in the 90s, but many of today’s campaigns are simply stuck in the past, a modern day “flat earth society.”

Centuries ago, most Europeans believed the Earth was flat, but the Spanish monarchy knew better. Why?  Their opinion was grounded in science. Logic and reason told them there was more – something out there beyond the horizon. When they used fact-based technologies to set sail, they were set on a path of riches.

Those who refused to adapt and adjust were left behind.

Today, many campaigns are charter members of the political equivalent of the flat earth society. 

“The way we’ve always done it” just isn’t the way anymore, and the sooner campaigns believe that, the better off they will be.

Take TV advertising, for example.

Many of our Party’s biggest campaigns will spend millions on broadcast TV advertising, but who will they be reaching with those ads?

The first problem is, they’re not reaching people the way TV used to. Nearly half of adults aged 22 to 45 years old simply do not watch any traditional TV. Nearly half.

These folks are watching content, make no mistake, but they are watching it in apps on smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices more so than traditional TV viewing.

The second problem is, they’re reaching the wrong people. TV advertising doesn’t allow for the same level of 1:1 targeting that other mediums do. With TV advertising, you’re talking to Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. You’re talking to registered voters, infrequent voters, people who aren’t registered, and even felons who legally can’t vote. You’re talking to men and women, young and old, from everywhere within that broadcast region.

Goodbye, 90s.

Hello, today.

TV ad spending has become relatively stagnant. Instead, advertisers are putting their ad dollars behind digital, specifically mobile advertising.

Digital is now the largest U.S. advertising medium. Mobile is leading the charge, followed by social advertising.

Global mobile spending is expected to reach $156 billion by 2019. That will make up over 62% of internet spending and over 26% of all spending.

Here in the U.S., mobile ad spending is expected to grow to roughly half of digital ad spending in 2022.

What’s a campaign today to do?

1. Accept that things are different, and plan differently.
Ensure your budget accurately reflects where people are spending their time today.

2. Tie everything together.
Be medium agnostic, meaning, follow your audience where they actually go, not where you want to go.

3. Use data to your advantage.
Make no assumptions about what you should do. Let the data tell you. Sophisticated targeting will give you a roadmap of who to talk to, what to talk to them about, when to talk to them, and how to talk to them.

Don’t get caught left behind in the “flat earth society.”

Accept, change, and adapt. 

We can help.