By moving to a flock system for ad targeting, Google is doing two things. It’s making its internal data more valuable to marketers, in a guarded way, and it’s rejecting traditional voter targeting as it’s been practiced since the rise of digital political marketing.
It’s a siloed, non-collaborative approach to identity.
On the other side of the duopoly, Facebook has demonstrated that it can be capricious when it comes to meeting the needs of political marketers. While the company is accepting political ads today, clearly that could change based on circumstances.
Given the unprecedented levels of spend in 2020, and with the current composition of both the Senate and the House, the 2022 midterms could see digital ad spend meet or even exceed presidential levels.
This all hinges, however, on political advertisers having the tools and the support they need to execute effective persuasion and voter contact campaigns. Identity is the key tool in the political advertising toolset.
With that in mind, political advertisers should seek out partners that can plan and execute voter contact campaigns consistently, with precision and efficiency, reaching diverse audiences with tailored messages when and where it matters most. Here are four questions political advertisers should ask their media buying partners:
- How does your platform support voter contact at the most granular level possible? Will it continue to do so after the cookie is deprecated?
- Does your platform enable you to purchase political ads in all 50 states, across federal, state, and local levels, both now and in the future even as the regulatory landscape continues to shift?
- Is political revenue a meaningful fraction of overall revenue such that it remains a priority from a product, service, and roadmap standpoint?
- What features or functionality aren’t available or otherwise limited for political advertisers?
Political advertisers need partners who have real answers to each of these questions and must look elsewhere when their existing partners do not. All the voter targeted reach and frequency in the world becomes irrelevant if a platform is willing to turn its back on political advertisers.
Ultimately, it’s about trust that a platform will be there for a partner when they really need it.
Erik Brydges and Matthew Dybwad are senior account executives at Xandr, the advertising and analytics division of WarnerMedia.