All Politics is Local

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As Tip O’Neil, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, once said, “All Politics is Local.” It’s often the local issues that decide these elections, for example, taxes and how they are being spent, so what better way to reach voters then with hyper-local targeting.

Earlier this month, I went down to Nashville to attend The American Association of Political Consultants’ (AAPC) Pollie Conference to meet with political marketers and strategists who came together to talk about how to efficiently reach voters, opinion leaders and government influencers in the upcoming election.

There were, of course, conversations around the topics disrupting politics right now but the conference was focused on the opportunities to reach voters, what will resonate, and the best strategies for execution. One session discussed how local sports can be an effective alternative to local news in reaching voters– which I personally loved as a sports fan. Interestingly, local basketball presents a strong opportunities for Democrats and local hockey for Republicans.

Of particular note to me was a session talking about how “Television is Dead” headlines have been in the news since 2010, and yet TV still demands the majority of most campaign budgets. In fact, political ad spending is projected to reach $2.63 billion ahead of the November midterms across TV and Radio.

And while local TV & Radio traditionally garner the lion’s share of political / advocacy ad spending, this approach can be problematic. Traditional media can often be a very inefficient way to target because campaigns cannot prevent radio or local TV signals from running outside of relevant target areas. State boundaries, congressional districts (due to gerrymandering), and precincts fall in and out of designated media markets (DMA’s), meaning a significant percentage of the messaging might not be reaching the right people and the spend will be wasted.

The Solution? Utilize hyper local targeting to ensure that candidates, campaigns and advocacy issues send the right message to the right voters at the right time.

2018 will be an important election for campaigns to budget and target effectively particularly with the Democratic “Blue Wave” causing the GOP to turn their attention to and budgets to holding onto long-time “Red” seats.

This presents a big opportunity for Blis based on our ability to granularly identify and target voters, opinion leaders and government influencers ahead of the election.

The best way to do this is based on constituent’s real-world behavior and interests. For example, sending messaging around the need to improve a state’s public transportation system to groups of individuals whom commute every day via an outdated and unreliable railway or highway system will resonate in an impactful way.

Additionally, using location targeting to amplify traditional media spend ensures good ROI for campaigns who have limited spend.

With more advanced techniques and more contested local seats than ever, there is no reason for these campaigns to lay out money without a good ROI. Leveraging location-based insights is a must to secure a victory in November.

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