It’s An Election Year…So Why Does That Matter For Your Marketing?

It’s that time again — campaign signs are popping up, debates are right around the corner and the national conversation is buzzing with political intensity. But wait… You’re a marketer, not a political strategist!

While the upcoming election might not be your primary focus, here at The James Agency, we know it shouldn’t be ignored. A year of heightened awareness and shifting priorities can actually present a unique set of challenges (and opportunities) for your marketing strategy.

Spoiler alert: it’s not just about red versus blue — it’s about navigating the ever-changing currents of consumer and market dynamics. So, grab your coffee (or maybe something stronger) and explore our election year marketing guide.

Attention Tug-o-war

Picture this: You’re crafting a killer media campaign and ready to unleash it upon the world, only to find your audience drowning in a sea of political memes and attack campaigns. Welcome to election year, where capturing consumer attention becomes a high-stakes game of tug-of-war. With political digital marketing dominating the airwaves, it’s best to pull back on traditional marketing tactics like paid media and get specific with your advertising.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Elections are emotional rollercoasters — full of twists, turns and unexpected drops. As consumers engage with political discourse, their emotions run high, influencing their perceptions, preferences and purchasing decisions. One day they’re feeling optimistic, ready to splurge on that luxury item they’ve been eyeing, and the next, they’re tightening their purse strings in anticipation of uncertain times ahead. Embrace authenticity, empathy and genuine connections in your marketing efforts to resonate with consumers on a deeper level.

Empathizing with the consumer during election season (like all other times) is vital. Use this as a time to really connect with your followers and hear what they are struggling with, what they support and what they truly need out of your brand. Sometimes, all they want is an escape from all of the political madness.

Survive The ‘AD’pocalypse

The 2024 election cycle is projected to be a milestone year for political advertising spend, with more than $154 million already allocated toward U.S. presidential election ads. (And that’s just presidential!) What does that mean for your ads?

With political campaigns gobbling up ad space like there’s no tomorrow, the competition for eyeballs (and wallets) is fiercer than ever. But fear not, for in the chaos lies opportunity. Marketers should see this as an opportunity to innovate with less common advertising channels, such as a pop-up marketing campaign or a new TikTok trend centered around your brand.

Most local stations have sponsorship opportunities, whether it’s for a station community initiative (example: “Stuff the Bus”) or daytime programming that would allow you access to a different type of inventory (and audience). These kinds of media purchases ensure your brand is still getting out in front of your audience. This also goes for PR placements — the more “niched down” an earned media opportunity is for your client, the more likely you are able to overcome those political conversations that have a hold on your local news cycle.

Taking A Stance (Or Not)

While most brands opt out of taking a one sided political stance during election season in fear of turning away loyal supporters, many brands opt in to taking a neutral stance — one that I’m sure we can all get behind: Educating yourself and getting out to vote!

In 2020, Lyft created a campaign to help increase voter registration and turnout by offering rides to the polls for those with no access to vehicles. This year, Lyft is committed to increasing the program’s ride volume by 25%.

Mainstay vodka brand, Absolut, ran a 2020 campaign titled “#VoteResponsibly,” with a play on “drink responsibly,” urging people of all political backgrounds to “save your drink for after the vote.”

Whether you plan to take a political stance or plan to keep it close-lipped, all marketing during election season (and after) should align with your brand identity and stay true to the vision of your brand.

All Hail The Victorious

By harnessing the power of creativity and adaptability, you can navigate the twists and turns of the political advertising landscape with finesse. So whether you’re courting consumer attention or riding the political discourse rollercoaster, let your marketing efforts shine with election year innovation and authenticity. After all, in the grand spectacle of marketing, the real winners are those who dare to stand out. May your campaigns be as victorious as a landslide victory on election day!

Worried about navigating the risky landscape of a presidential election year? Give The James Agency a call. We’d love to help you earn your customer’s vote!

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