July 20th, 2006
Just back from a presentation by the New Politics Institute. I’ll post the video link as soon as they provide it, but in the meantime, here are a couple of quick takeaways:
- The rise of cable, Tivo and the internet fragments media audiences and helps limit the effectiveness of traditional broadcast advertising (no surprise), so marketers need to go where the audiences are. Microtargeting is vital.
- Since 2001, the audience for cable tv networks is greater at a given moment than the audience for the traditional broadcast networks, but advertisers are still spending significantly more money on CBS, ABC and NBC than on cable. So, cable is both better-targeted (since its audiences break neatly into niches) AND cheaper. Apparently, the Bush campaign caught on: they spent $40 million on cable ads in 2004, compared with only $100,000 in 2000. The Kerry campaign? Essentially only spent money on traditional outlets and spent very little time on microtargeting in ANY communications medium.
- Search advertising (Google adwords, etc.) can be effective because it catches those people particularly interested in a topic at the moment when they’re MOST interested — when they’re trying to find out more about it. Back to yesterday’s post about Wal-Mart, the company has taken out Google ads specifically targeted to reach people following up on stories about critics accusing the company of discrimination and bad labor practices.
- Google ads can reach beyond the Google site itself, since the company provides contextual ads (ads tied to a page’s content) on thousands of other sites, including major media outlets. By extension, this applies to other contextual ad networks besides Google’s.
- Though most attention to the role of blogs in politics is focusing on the big national sites, campaigns should be paying attention to local blogs and working with them to shape perceptions and help mobilize supporters.
- With the spread of more-capable cell phones and other mobile devices that can handle rich media such as the ‘net and video, people are going to be receiving more and more news and information on the go. Forward-thinking campaigns should be getting cell numbers from activists NOW, so that they’ll be ready for the next generation of tools in a couple of years.