Consumers already have a lot to consider in 2020 what with a global pandemic and social unrest. So, adding who will be our next commander in chief will carry a lot of weight for most. More than ever, brands must be timely and relevant to ensure their messages are heard and considered.

Is Your Marketing Plan Ready?

As we gear up for the upcoming 2020 presidential election in November, it’s important to understand and survey the landscape of what’s to come. According to a recent report, an estimated $10 billion will be spent on political advertising this year. With candidates at all levels quickly ramping up their advertising spend, it’s important to prepare and evaluate your marketing plans to rise above the clutter.

Although the focus of most political advertising will be on traditional media (broadcast/cable TV and radio) and social media, we should expect to see it across all marketing channels. What does this mean for other marketers not in the political arena, and who is still charged with making sure our brands remain relevant? Here are a few thought starters to help prepare for the noise and avoid getting lost in the shuffle.

Plan and Know Your Audience

One thing that’s expected during election years is higher costs across all mediums, especially TV and radio. Therefore, marketers should be aware of their respected ROIs between channels and focus their efforts where they can target audiences and create custom experiences. With a fluid landscape and plenty of unknowns, optimization will be extremely important during this time. Brands will need to quickly change course or reallocate budgets into different channels. Typically leading with digital first is an optimal approach, where one can ramp up or scale back.

Break Through the Clutter

In the first six months of 2019, spending on political advertising was at $37.6 million on social media. However, with so much activity already on social media with the incumbent president and his opponent, as reported by Kantar Media, we can only expect this number to rise as we enter the second half of 2020. To curate relevant messages and target the right people at the right time, it’s a good idea to consider utilizing CRM data. In doing so, budgets might be better served, especially with direct channels like email and direct mail. You can also use your data to help drive your budget and efforts while still remaining open to outside-the-box marketing channels, such as other print and at-home experiences. This will be key to reaching new customers and cutting through the political ad clutter on TV.

Be True to Your Values

In times of indecision among consumers, focus on what you do well and remind your audience of what you’re about and also what you offer. With politicians reaching out and attempting to convince people of what to believe, do the opposite. Let your content message support your mission to nurture your most loyal advocates in hopes of creating brand ambassadors, and be sure you continue to engage those familiar with you but haven’t become brand advocates just yet. In the end, you will be appreciated for being true to the brand.

Be Patient

Election fatigue is a real thing! When the media space becomes invaded by political messaging, consumers will be seeking a way out. If you have stayed true to your customer value proposition (CVP) and remained consistent in your marketing efforts, this should create the perfect opportunity for marketers to position their brand messaging as a respite from the political chatter. More than ever, consumers are working from home with plenty of time to breeze through mailboxes and inboxes for your note. Take this opportunity to deliver on high-quality content that’s clear and concise and may get them to stop and take notice.

Like any significant marketing event, election years are an opportunity for brands to reconnect with consumers and win over those with initial thoughts on the brand. Remember to embrace a test and learn approach allowing your findings to lead you to the strongest content and channels for your marketing mix. Keeping true to your plan and values while remaining flexible will put your brand in the position to come out ahead.