It’s something that digital teams have fought for cycle after cycle: access to the same data that’s informing messaging decisions on mail and traditional media. This cycle, with so many unknowns as a result of the pandemic, it’s finally happened.
“Operating in silos has done us all a disservice,” said Kate Conway, creative director at Democratic digital firm Assemble.
Speaking during a panel at C&E’s online Creative Summit, Conway compared her experience in 2020 to what happens over in “cross-channel marketing all the time.”
“When you can be on across multiple channels it amplifies things beyond a strong showing on any individual channel,” she said. “And I think the same principal holds true across departments of a campaign where if you’re all saying the same thing and running in the same direction with strategic points on a timeline that you’re hitting together then it’s a much stronger campaign than any individual part of it operating in a silo.”
In this environment, campaigns are having to adapt their messaging based on rapidly changing national and local events.
“The issues have changed on a weekly basis,” said Ritvika Chandra founder of Ad Beat Digital. “That’s definitely been something from a content perspective we’ve had to adapt to. We have to be able to change content very quickly knowing that one week we might want to focus on healthcare, the other week it might be protests, the next week it might schools, and how do we merge all these things together into a cohesive narrative?”
Finding the answer to that question is forcing campaign teams to coordinate like never before, or risk sounding tone deaf or worse during the ongoing pandemic. And it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Finding a common denominator in messaging that really pops among disparate groups, “that’s becoming more challenging,” said Kelly Grace Gibson, a partner at HG Creative.
“In the issue space, specifically, what this cycle is offering for us is to go to the next level of exploration about not only how do [voters] feel about this one issue, but how do they feel about what’s happening to their life at large?” Gibson said.
This more collaborative approach stands apart from recent history.
“It’s been a frustration of mine in this industry for many, many years — often times teams can get really siloed,” Gibson said of her work pre-2020. “What the TV team learns is not shared with the mail team, or the digital team. Right now, everybody’s got to share everything … There are so many unknowns that any kind of intel can be make or break.”