politics & political advertising

ARF Event 11/29/16 – Predicting Election 2016: What Worked, What Didn’t and the Implications for Marketing & Insights

The ARF partnered with GreenBook to assemble a forum of this highly charged topic. Ten industry experts were on hand, with ARF EVP Chris Bacon serving as moderator for the panel discussion. Here are excerpts from the event:

Gary Langer, Langer Research and formerly ABC News:

  • There is no real “sample” of voters, only estimates of likely voters. This adds uncertainty, especially in predicting the electoral college vote
  • Polling is not just about the horse race, as we use it to collect important information on what voters were thinking

Raghavan Mayur, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence:

  • You can never compensate for bad data

Cliff Young, Ipsos Public Affairs:

  • We are in a political era of uncertainty worldwide. It is anti-establishment. This means we also need new methods (for polling)
  • This was a “disruption” election, which globally accounts for only 15%. And in these elections, past behavior may not be a useful guide

Matthew Oczkowski, Cambridge Analytics:

  • As with marketing research, it is all about finding the right consumer with the right message at the right time
  • His role is to help clients win elections. Micro-targeting is a key component. He worked as a consultant for Trump team

Rick Bruner, Viant Inc:

  • We need more random control trials (to improve polling). We also need more behavioral inputs
  • Underlying values are important, like we do for marketing. For potential voters, this begins with “do I vote?”

Melanie Courtright, Research Now:

  • Everything was different in 2016!
  • We need samples representing the real population (of voters)

Jared Schreiber, Infoscout:

  • The undecided and the indifferent voters matter a lot (swung to Trump)

Dr. Aaron Reid, Sentient:

  • Traditional methods are not accurate enough
  • Need to measuring the unconscious – people may have had conscious access to answer the researcher’s questions

Tom Anderson, Odin Text:

  • Collected 3,000 Americans via Google Surveys one week before the election (inexpensive and predictive). Goal was positioning, finding out what candidates stand for via simple text
  • Three issues: Non response bias; “Shy Trump” voter; voter identification

Taylor Schreiner, Tube Mogul:

  • How will this (failure) impact CMO’s opinion of research
  • We need more experimentation
  • Let’s use this election as a teachable and learnable moment

From AdAge: Cruz Loss Shows Data Can’t Win ‘Em All

After Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, reports suggested his campaign’s sophisticated use of data and analytics to target voters with messages customized to their psychological proclivities had a lot to do with it. A few months later the Texas Senator left the race. 

Donald Trump captivated primary voters with simple mass-marketed brand messaging through earned media rather than spending on precisely-targeted digital and TV media. This will have many pundits wondering what it all means for the use of data in politics.

Chris Wilson, director of research & analytics for the Cruz campaign said that the Senator survived amid a flood of 17 candidates. “So, no, it’s not magic. But a sophisticated data operation sure can make things easier along the way.”

See more >> http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/cruz-loss-shows-data-win-em/303879/

Campaigns Turn to a Cheaper Medium to Get Voters’ Ears: Radio

Candidates for the Presidential primary campaigns, as well as PACs, have increased their use of radio ads, according to this article by Nick Corasaniti in The New York Times. This article discusses the strengths of radio advertising for a political campaign.

Among the appeal of radio commercials for political advertising, according to this article:

-Radio listeners are a captive audience while they are driving.

-Radio ads avoid the clutter of television.

-Compared to television advertising, radio advertising is less expensive.

-Production costs for radio are also lower than TV production costs.

-Conservative talk radio hosts have large and devoted followings.

-Radio provides a means to target local voters.

-It serves as a closing tool to remind voters to go to the polls and reminds them of the issues.

Corasaniti also discusses how radio companies are helping politicians reach voters and target listeners according to party affiliation, likelihood to vote and other criteria.  The radio stations also seek to win new business.  One of the largest radio conglomerates in the country, iHeartRadio, has seen a 30% rise in the fourth quarter in political advertising, when compared to the same period in 2011.

Details of the radio campaigns for both Republican and Democratic candidates are analyzed in this article.

See all 5 Cups articles.


Millennials Look to Facebook for Political News

Mark Joyella, writing for Adweek, analyzes the new report, Millennials and Political News, which was conducted by the Pew Research Center.

This online survey of almost 3,000 respondents reveals that Millennials favor social media for news about politics and government.  Sixty percentage of Millennials prefer Facebook for political news, in contrast to the sixty percentage of Boomers who trust local TV for the same news.

This preference by Millennials will have a strong impact on the billions of dollars spent in Federal, state, and local races by political candidates and by political action committees.  Local TV revenues will likely be negatively impacted as spending on social media increases during current and future political races.


See all 5 Cups articles.

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