As Political Ad Spend Ramps Up, Here's How to Be Seen

The year 2024 brings a whole host of elections – as U.S. and U.K. voters go to the polls for both a presidential and a general election, respectively. Brace yourselves, as political spending is set to flood the advertising markets with a staggering $11 billion, according to Insider Intelligence. For marketers relying heavily on paid channels, especially in the digital realm, the challenges are mounting. With a huge projected increase in digital spending from 2023, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategies for 2024.

What are the effects of a political ad onslaught?

Paid media channels are essential for marketers, but the upcoming election year promises fluctuating costs and fierce competition. Political ad spending is expected to soar in both markets, creating a crowded digital environment where brand visibility might become questionable. Return on ad spending (ROAS) is likely to take a hit as marketers grapple for the finite attention of audiences. Reflecting on the 2020 election cycle, where cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) on Facebook skyrocketed by 94%, it’s evident that navigating through the ad chaos requires a strategic shift.

The struggle of paid channels

For brands heavily relying on paid channels to retarget consumers, 2024 could bring even more challenges. The projected increase in digital spending signals not just scarcity in ad inventory but also a surge in costs due to competition with massive political ad budgets. As consumers become adept at tuning out traditional ad units, the efficacy of paid channels diminishes. Marketers need a fresh approach to break through the noise and connect with their audience in a meaningful way.

Focus on your owned channels

In this shifting arena, the spotlight shifts to owned channels. Brands must embrace the power of platforms like email and SMS to establish direct and personalized connections with consumers. These channels, often overlooked in the race for digital dominance, provide a unique opportunity to cut through the clutter and engage on a more personal level.

Your first-party data is a goldmine in 2024. Brands that leverage their owned channels, such as email and SMS, have a distinct advantage. This direct connection allows for personalized messaging, creating a more meaningful interaction. However, to supercharge these efforts, consider adding a strong identity partner to the mix. This collaboration enhances your ability to reach a broader audience, amplifying the impact of your campaigns.

Vote for: owned channels

As political ad spending surges and digital environments become battlegrounds, brand marketers must adapt and evolve. In 2024, success lies in shifting focus from paid channels to owned channels, specifically email and text, where the potential for genuine connections is high. Embrace your first-party data, and don’t shy away from forming strategic partnerships to enhance your reach. By navigating the challenges intelligently, brands can not only weather the 2024 election storm but emerge as winners in a landscape dominated by political advertising noise.

This was one of our predictions for 2024 – want to see what else we predicted?

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Wunderkind is a leading performance marketing solution that delivers guaranteed revenue. Brands, publishers, and advertisers confidently use Wunderkind to grow customer relationships and revenue through one-to-one messages across their website, email, texts, and ads. Powered by AI, ML, and the most advanced identity management and permissioning technology in the industry, Wunderkind drives $5 billion annually in directly attributable revenue for brands like Uniqlo, Sonos, and HelloFresh.