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How To Protect Your Digital Media Campaigns From The 2022 Elections

Historically, political seasons have caused broadcast TV cost per point (CPP) and cost per impression (CPM) to increase compared to the surrounding quarters. During these times, some markets (DMAs) can be costly for brands to advertise in – and this upcoming election season in 2022 will be no different. There are several battleground states in the 2022 election that we expect to have high demand for broadcast TV spots, including:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

Brands that leverage broadcast and/or display in their performance marketing campaigns may face efficiency challenges unlike anything they have seen since 2020. Based on historical election campaign data, over 50% of the total spend will likely be spent in the six weeks leading up to the election. There are several strategies that brands should consider insulating their campaigns from rising costs.

Activate connected TV (CTV) campaigns directly with smart TV providers.

Traditionally, political campaigns have spent very little on connected TV inventory, which suggests that we won’t see high competition for that inventory like we do in broadcast. CTV CPMs are consistent and, unlike broadcast TV, will not fluctuate during the political season. Direct insertion orders (IOs) with CTV platforms and providers will guarantee delivery of the purchased impressions and avoid preemptions possible in the political season on broadcast TV. There’s also an opportunity to receive value-add impressions through a direct IO, which is not a possibility if you’re using DSPs for ad serving instead.

Reach individuals via emerging channels.

Political campaigns often focus ad spend on more traditional media channels versus newer areas like digital out of home (DOOH) and streaming audio, meaning brands have less competition for impressions in those spaces. Even outside of election periods, these emerging channels can provide brands an omnichannel presence, driving awareness and performance with consumers across different aspects of their lives.

Increase personalization and relevancy of existing media ads across all channels.

A thoughtful targeting strategy can improve the efficiency of your ad spend, regardless of when and where you’re advertising. For example, the use of first-party data to improve personalization and optimize creative, targeting, frequency, and media mix, will increase the likelihood that consumers will engage with your brand. That first-party data can also be used to create retargeting campaigns and lookalike models for new customer acquisition. Additional third-party data sets can also be leveraged or added to current campaigns to further improve targeting in addressable channels.

Use analytics and reporting best practices to optimize your campaigns.

To understand how your ads impact each user’s behavior, your brand should leverage closed-loop reporting and 1:1 attribution that ties campaign impressions to first-party data metrics and optimize these campaigns accordingly. You can also use analytics capabilities to test into emerging channels and new first or third-party audiences that could improve customer acquisition efforts.

Elections can be a challenging time for brands, but with the right plan in place, they don’t need to disrupt digital performance. By investing in CTV, emerging channels, and personalization, you’ll position yourself as a strong candidate to succeed in 2022, while leveraging data and analytics to optimize these campaigns quickly.

For more background on how elections affect media and strategies for traditional media campaigns, check out our recent blog post, “Adapting Your Traditional Media Strategy During the Election Years.”