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Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Marketers Can Learn From The 2012 Presidential Campaigns

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While 2008 was considered by many "the Facebook Election," TV-or, more precisely, video  reasserted its strategic importance in 2012. Mr. Obama had a challenging platform to sell given the performance of the economy, but he did in most cases outspend Romney in TV, in many cases 2 to 1. We also saw a heavy shift of dollars into online video. Hulu revealed that election spending on the online video site was up 700% from the last election.
Barack Obama after his acceptance speech in Chicago
Part of the appeal of online video is the ability to hyper-target, that is, the ability to pinpoint media and commercial messaging within a narrow catchment area. In Blacksburg, Va., for example, there are 30,000 students residing at Virginia Tech. The Obama campaign's Hulu buys targeted the schools' zip code with "Gotta Vote" spots to encourage students to register and turn out.
Broadcast advertising, too, was tailored to local issues. In Ohio, Mr. Obama's campaign targeted blue-collar women by promoting its track record on jobs, whereas in Florida, the Romney campaign sought Cuban-American voters with hard-hitting TV commercials claiming Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez supported Mr. Obama's policies.

Are we as marketers really taking opportunity of localizing our media and messaging? Despite a lot of talk about targeting, many marketers still emphasize efficiency in spending over relevance to different customer segments and markets. In the past, Cable media buys taught us the cost saving relevence in market targeting. This trend is magnified with the increased growth of online video.
Take note that Streaming Media magazine's research states that in 2013 a whopping 90% of online content will be video. If you haven't already taken advantage of that you're missing the boat!

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