eView: Political Marketers Have Embraced Web 2.0, But What About Online Advertising?
Arguably, the online channel is more efficient than other forms of media, primarily television. There is as much, if not more, video inventory available online, and at much lower cost, including in-banner and in-stream video impressions that can be geo-targeted to key primary states. Political advertising online will not sell out, and candidates’ ads don’t run back-to-back against each other like they do on television. Furthermore, online advertising can be highly targeted based on contextual, demographic, psychographic, technographic and behavioral attributes. Viewers can’t skip ads online, and if they’re interested in learning more they’re just a click away from hearing the rest of the candidate’s message on his or her site and giving the candidate an opportunity to immediately engage them.
There have been separate reports from PQ Media and TNS Media Intelligence claiming this election cycle will generate less than $100 million online from political marketers. Compared to the approximately $3 billion that will be spent on television and $1 billion in direct response media, online advertising appears to be an overlooked channel that could give candidates a strategic advantage by incorporating it into the media mix. After all, online advertising is arguably more targetable, more measurable and more actionable than its offline counterparts, not to mention much less expensive than television advertising. Logic suggests it’s only a matter of time before political organizations realize — and act on — this.
In 2008, it will be in the strategic best interest of all presidential, congressional and gubernatorial candidates, parties, committees, associations and advocacy groups to embrace the online channel. Online advertising is a mature discipline that is proven to build awareness of issues, to persuade and lift voter intent, and to drive highly targeted traffic to sites where voters who do not watch television or who skip commercials altogether can be engaged in meaningful ways.