The Impact of the 2020 Election on Media Buying

We are just shy of 1 year until the 2020 Presidential election is upon us. While that may seem that it is a long way ahead, that day alone will have a significant impact on the way we consume and buy and form of media over the next 12 months, especially for those in the world of advertising. 

As we enter the full swing of the election season, the Democratic primary candidates are already splitting the amount of attention, noise and most importantly, available ad space multiple ways. The Trump 2020 campaign is already estimated to be spending more than $700,000 a month on Facebook alone. This is just the beginning. It is projected that candidates in 2020, will spend close to $10 billion over the next 12 months. 

While platforms like Twitter and Quora, have taken a stance by prohibiting political ads, channels like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Local TV, and Radio will still be dominated by the political spectrum of ads next year. In fact, since May of 2018, over $121,000,000 has been spent on Google properties alone over the course of the Mid Term elections and Early presidential races. 

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How does this impact you and your company? All your ads are hyper-targeted to my customers’ needs, right? Well, your customers are voters too and will overlap significantly with multiple segments of audiences. It was estimated by Kantar Media that advertiser share of voice dropped from 71% to 51% during the final stretch of the election cycle in 2016. 

Ultimately, what we are going to see is a huge impact on the supply and demand of all and any advertising spots. This will bring with it much higher CPMs, CPCs, & impacts of unique reach. While none of these are ideal situations, the biggest impact brands will need to contend with is the ad fatigue that will set in on the general public. 

What can we as advertisers do, to minimize the impact the election cycle has on our brands and clients?

Flexible Planning: 

Be prepared to adjust budgets on the fly as the noise and costs increase per channel. This is particularly important for brands who have localized strategies in battleground states or tightly contested down-ballot races are happening. Be aware of the on-goings of the election, especially in your key markets. 

Embrace Cross-Channel: 

Just because costs go up in one channel, it does not mean that you need to pull back from all branding or prospecting. Use your flexible plan to shift budgets to a less crowded channel. Consistently test each channel and see how the marketplace is adapting and take advantage of ebbs and flows of the auctions.

Get Creative:

With thousands of ads being bombarded to each person on a daily basis, you need to give the consumer something worthy of their attention. Provide content that is lighter in nature and educates them, sparks an interest in a subject, or brings them enjoyment. Your brand is more than a product or a service. Give your customers one less thing they need to make a decision on. 

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