Location is the Answer for Political Advertisers

With the 2018 midterm election a mere months away and cause-based issues taking center stage, it’s crunch time for political and advocacy marketers to figure out how best to allocate their spend to get their issue or candidate at the top of voters’ minds.

As Blis was only launching in the U.S. months before the 2016 presidential election, we were too late to the game to make an impact for those campaigns and issues. Now that we are established in the market, the upcoming election is the perfect time for political marketers to leverage our award-winning location insights platform. Throughout each stage of the election cycle, location is vital in reaching target defined, narrow audiences and here’s how.


Fundraising is a key part of starting and running a campaign or educating the public on an issue. Money needs to be spent to get traction, but the issue becomes how to find and engage donors. Ideally, marketers are looking to reach those who not only have money, but also care deeply about issues. With location methods, campaigns can target affluent segments of people based on geographic or demographic factors. These people are more likely more receptive to donate to the campaign if the campaign’s advertising messaging resonates with them.


Then comes the awareness and persuasion stage, making sure people are educated on the candidate’s viewpoints or the cause. A good example of this is the recent March for Our Lives protest. By holding this event, the teenaged organizers made everyone around the nation aware of the issue. Furthermore, by registering people to vote during the protest, they are making sure that the effort put in will convert.

For cause-based initiatives such as March for Our Lives, targeting lawmakers and/or government influencers by geofencing Capitol Hill is a great way to make sure that our leaders understand what is driving political discourse. However, this is only one tactic, as location-based technology is capable of being more precise. For state or national candidate campaigns, location technology can help geofence by state borders but also by congressional districts which can often be oddly shaped due to gerrymandering. Location tech can also help identify and target specific groups of people who will respond to the messaging–like parents and teachers on gun control. These are instances in which traditional media could be inefficient at reaching the right people and location can be used to amplify and enhance messaging with less waste.

Get out the Vote (GOTV)

The last phase of the cycle is pushing voters to get out there and be proactive in selecting their leadership. With location-based dynamic ads, marketers can remind people to vote and provide directions to local polling locations.

But of course, we can’t talk about politics and advertising without mentioning the predicament that Facebook finds themselves in after the 2016 election. However, location-based targeting is an entirely different proposition. First, there is never any personally identifiable information (PII) passed, simply an anonymous device ID. Second, device IDs are targeted in groups / segments, not on a 1:1 basis. Third, voter registration files, if used for targeting, are always anonymized and converted to Device IDs prior to running any advertising.

Interested in talking about location-based political marketing techniques for future campaigns, please reach out to us to learn more about what Blis has to offer.

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