With so much online election activity early on, digital media professionals should be planning ahead.
The 2012 general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6.
And it is very important to digital media professionals…
I started thinking about writing this column the traditional way; seeking research and qualified insight from other professionals. Then I got a call from a family member Sunday morning. I told him I was writing about how the 2012 election will affect the digital industry. Said family member (let's call him Roger) is very much a savvy political junkie, which I am not, so I asked his thoughts on the subject.
Roger tells me he had just been watching an ABC News broadcast on the candidates and their current popularity. A portion of the discussion was debating the fact that Herman Cain was still in the running; not due to tremendous financial and traditional backing, but likely because of his support across unconventional social environments.
Why do I think this is important? Because I'm not surprised and neither was Roger, which was the enlightening part. To give you some background, Roger just signed up for Facebook and bought a smartphone in the past year. The increasing comfort level of the average consumer and the candidates is a great indication of what 2012 has in store.
Tremendous Digital Growth Since 2008
The 2008 presidential election started a movement in the digital space; candidates and voters used digital media as a mechanism for knowledge and communication:
The 2010 mid-term election gained further traction. Twitter made an appearance and mobile played a prominent role as a mechanism for instant knowledge and sharing:
The 2012 Presidential Election Will Be Game-Changing
It already is game-changing: with this much activity early on, digital media professionals should be planning ahead.
In the traditional media landscape, the election period is a studied and researched phenomenon. It's known that broadcast inventory will increase in price, and advertisers can expect to be bumped by political coverage during certain times across specific geographies. Digital has historically been a little different.
However, with such a colossal shift in approach by candidates and voters, it is my belief that there will be a larger impact. Many of the major media properties I spoke to (aside from major news vehicles) could not quantify the expected affect, but I have a few predictions:
None of what I outlined is groundbreaking, but it's easy to forget these aspects when such a large event takes place. As advertisers, we want to be where we can get the right consumer in quantity, whether it is the elections, Olympics (another biggie next year), holidays, etc. But the consumer is much more savvy and demanding of us.
I look forward to the research that comes out of the 2012 elections; I expect it will set standards we can't even fathom for 2016.
As an account director for Media Contacts in New York, the interactive division of Havas Digital, Jessica is responsible for strategy development and media plan execution across a variety of clients and industries. Jessica has a wide range of digital experience, managing both brand initiatives and aggressive acquisition efforts. Her knowledge extends across many facets of digital marketing from traditional media and mobile to channel planning and social execution.
Prior to Media Contacts, Jessica was at One to One interactive in Boston, managing the B2C and B2B media campaigns for several clients. Jessica's work has won several industry awards for best use of sponsorship, mobile, and display strategy.
Jessica's career expertise started at Mullen, where she was a media planner on a broad range of traditional media.
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