Back in November 2012 – after voters cleared last-minute campaign flyers from doorsteps, stood in long lines, and cast their ballot for the next president of the United States – the electoral numbers came in. Obama 332, Romney 206. Obama didn’t just win the election by a landslide, however; he destroyed the digital advertising competition.
Tip of the Election Iceberg
The Obama years – and the election campaigns that supported them – are just the beginning of a digital advertising groundswell. Even though voter turnout continues to hover at just above half of the electorate, the advent of targeted, behavior-based advertising has the potential to:
- Invigorate the electorate through personalized experiences
- Build connections through unprecedented social engagement
- Enable campaign marketers to do much more with their advertising spend – for much less
- Transform the way people make voting decisions
- Transport electoral politics firmly into the 21st century
Precise targeting is nothing new in the world of digital advertising. We’re used to search, social, and display solutions that automate optimization and retargeting, decrease spend, and increase ROI, and have been for years.
Still, in a landscape dominated by TV ads, politics has some catching up to do. And it’s doing just that, pretty quickly.
What About Privacy?
Should the public be concerned? Not so much – unlike a survey, all the data are anonymized and campaigns never receive any personal user information. Instead, they use the data to identify trends, so that campaign marketers can refine their strategies and campaigns accordingly. And, politicians and campaign managers are all aware that privacy remains a hot news item. This is precisely why using an automated solution – where data and trends are used, not personal information – ensures safety in an age of very valid privacy concerns.
Ad Tech Is Here to Stay – and Influence Swing Voters
Ad tech is ubiquitous and growing exponentially every year. With its ability to collect and use the right data at the right time for the right audience, it has a powerful ability to reach the ever-important swing voter. In 2016, when the ballots are cast and the votes are tallied, the winner will be the campaign that best leveraged social, search, and display across the web.