Breaking: US Political consultants predict growth in digital communications

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Just came across an interesting post on the US Campaigns and Elections Website regarding predictions from political consultants for 2015.

The article is written by the magazine’s editor Sean J Miller and listed predictions include the following:

  • Digital will continue to grow, but television will always be king. Online targeting and turnout apps will become more and more important and will determine a huge number of off-year elections.
  • Traditional polling will become increasingly difficult and the number of inaccurate polls will continue to increase.
  • Digital isn’t going to replace TV. The two mediums are going to continue merging into one in 2015, at least as far as advocacy is concerned.
  • Digital budgets will grow a little because that is the flavour of the month. Broadcast TV, well done and not cookie-cutter-obvious, will continue to be King.
  • Low turnout means campaigns will devote more resources to targeting and developing models to increase cost-effectiveness. Even in a presidential cycle, we’ll see expanded use of tactics such as cookie targeting to deliver ads online directly to a persuadable universe of individual voters.
  • Digital budgets continue to grow and digital consultants playing a larger role in crafting overall message strategy. Campaigns are already starting to see the need for collaboration early and often between traditional comms, advertising and digital. The result will be more targeted, strategic and authentic messaging across all mediums, allowing candidates to better gain the trust of and connect with individual voters.
  • Groups of voters are going to push back against politicians having so much data on them – it will probably begin as a partisan fight of progressive activists against a demonized Republican. There will be a growing demand for more measurable persuasive results from online advertising. TV ads may be become more affordable or prices may remain static in many secondary markets due to economic factors and increase in use of digital. 2015 will be the last cycle major campaigns will worry much about news media relations with print. The way major news organizations cover politics makes them almost irrelevant to 95 percent of campaigns.
  • Increased competition and programmatic buying will lead to a shakeout of digital consultants in 2015: they’ll have to decide if they’re going to be vendors or true media consultants/campaign strategists.  It’s easier than ever to set up an Adwords or Facebook advertising account or buy voter targeted ads. Will the digital folks simply be resellers of desirable ad space or be part of the team that figures out what to say and where best to say it to win?
  • Web-based crowdfunding will play a bigger role in 2015. We’ll see potential candidates launch Kickstarter-style fundraising drives to determine whether or not to run for office, and after the fundraising success of MayDay PAC I expect to see more crowdfunded Super PAC’s as well. Crowdfunding will tap into new donors but it’s also a way for our current grassroots donors to become more engaged in the political process.

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