While many of us cringe during political season, especially when we hear those attack radio ads or see our mailboxes filled with candidate mailings, the election season provides strategies that may prove useful for some aspects of corporate and nonprofit marketing.
Timing and repetition count
Most voters are not even paying attention to who they might vote for until just weeks before an election. So most candidates, while still attending events and doing some less-expensive marketing earlier in the year, typically hold back most of their financial resources until just before Election Day. This allows the candidate to promote his message during the time the public is most engaged. In addition, campaigns are able to run ads and send mailings with enough repetition to get the public’s attention, especially with so much clutter from other campaigns.
Private companies can employ this strategy of making an advertising crescendo, with a lot of repetition, just before a critical season. For example, an air conditioning company might start running advertisements in the early spring, but you will likely hear and see their ads even more frequently right when the first heat wave comes. That’s when air conditioning units break, or consumers might make that big home investment. A budget and spending strategy that saves the best for last, like politics, applies to many types of industries for their marketing programs.
Create surround sound
Certainly, the most well-done political campaigns don’t rely solely on one advertising medium. Direct mail, radio, TV, newspaper, digital, social media and online video create surround sound for campaigns. A candidate has just a few weeks before the election to convince the public that they are best for the job. That’s an abbreviated timeline to brand a candidate. So leveraging all of these mediums will create critical mass in the marketplace. Similarly, corporate marketing programs can benefit from a media mix that is multi-dimensional.
The good news is that you likely have more than a few weeks to brand and market your company and its products or services. But political campaigns give us good lessons in timing, budgeting and developing a comprehensive program.
Josh Sommers is president and CEO of Focus Media, a leading Hudson Valley advertising and public relations agency.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 294-3342, ext. 303. Read his blog at www.focusmediausa.com.
By Josh Sommers
For Times Herald-Record
Posted Nov. 9, 2014 @ 3:50 pm
Updated Nov 9, 2014 at 11:33 PM