By Adam Harris, Collective’s VP of Global Product Strategy
Political candidates have a powerful tool to help achieve victory November 8: programmatic media. According to the IAB, “programmatic” refers to the automated process of buying and selling digital advertising placements through four different types of transactions. The “open auction,” one of the four types, can help political campaigners swing the opinion of voters—if properly leveraged.
Aggregating data, creating proper audience segments, and curating target audiences are all integral components of this programmatic process. By creating “hyper-targets,” or interest-based voter segments, that include such information as voter registration, previous donations, passion issues, and propensity to vote, candidates will be able to target the right audience segment with the most compelling message.
5 Key Programmatic Media Strategies
Digital advertising spend for the 2016 Presidential election is predicted to be a record $1billion, according to Reuters. In order for a candidate to be heard above all the noise this will create, they will need to execute five key programmatic strategies to successfully run their campaigns across digital display, mobile, video, and social.
- Hyper-target grass-roots donors. Now is the time to grow the proverbial war chest. Leverage programmatic buying and hyper-targets to reach grass-roots donors who share similar points of view. This strategy can continue throughout the campaign to create the largest ROI on donations.
- “Rally the troops”with the right message. Leverage programmatic buying to reach audiences interested in the candidate’s passions. Instead of using one message for everyone, hyper-target specific audience segments and match their interests.
- Synchronize messages across screens. Candidates need to reinforce their message across TV and digital screens to capture mindshare. According to Accenture, over 87% of consumers use a second device while watching TV (April 2015). In addition to reinforcing their own message, candidates can disrupt messaging from the opposition.
- Know when to ‘activate’ specific types of voters. Costas Panagopolus found that people most likely to vote respond best to messages about four weeks before the election; people less likely to vote are best messaged three days before (Political Behavior,March 2011). To best activate people to vote, create high propensity and low propensity targets and message at the appropriate time.
- Get the last word. Presidential elections come down to a few key counties in a few key states. With open auctions and geo aware technologies, candidates can message voters while they approach polling stations, and even while waiting in line to vote—as long as voters surf the web on their mobile device. Broader than the presidential election, close congressional and senatorial races can leverage this advertising to be the last message to undecided, or swing voters, in the hope to claim victory.
Adam Harris, VP of Global Product Strategy at Collective
Adam focuses on a multi-screen, multi-platform execution and reporting system, as well as TV to digital targeting. Previously, he was the VP of Business and Channel Development at Eyeview Digital, an Eric Schmidt backed video creative optimization company, and the Director of Business and Corporate Development at PointRoll, an online rich media company, amongst other positions. Mr. Harris holds a BA from Yale University and an MA from Princeton University where he focused his work on formal and quantitative methods applied to international terrorism.