Did the 2016 Presidential Campaigns Prove the Importance of Digital vs. Traditional Marketing?
Digital Marketing Investments Through October
Both candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton invested millions of dollars into their marketing campaigns throughout the 2016 presidential race. How much of that budget was invested in digital marketing? According to reports by Bloomberg, Trump’s campaign invested 59 million dollars into digital and Clinton’s campaign invested 17 million. Bringing the difference in budget between the two of 42 million dollars.
Clinton spent a total of 237.4 million on media buys while Trump spent only 68 million. Bringing that particular traditional marketing difference to 169.4 million. Based on this data, Clinton out invested Trump in marketing dollars by over 127 million dollars. What can we learn from this? Outspending a competitor will never trump a true marketing strategy.
A True Marketing Strategy
Can 2 marketing strategies, hundreds of millions of dollars apart, still compare in the number of people reached, engaged with or, in this case, turned into a voter? With in depth research and tracking, this can be done. First point of focus goes into acquisition cost. Where can you find a highly targeted demographic at the lowest cost? It's like day trading attention. Do you invest in a 30 second commercial space with little to no tracking and the risk of your audience being on their mobile devices? As of August 2016, nearly 60 percent of all online searches are being done on mobile devices. Chances are, there are 2 screens in the room. One on the wall and one in hand.
Data is now a commodity in most industries and, with it, you can dig deep to take a granular approach with technology and the internet. So, why are people still investing trackable marketing dollars into areas they cannot track making the quote by John Wanamaker, who died in 1922, still relevant - “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Reaching the right people at the right time with the right message is critical in any marketing effort and it seems Trump did this and won the areas he needed to win the electoral vote. In business marketing terms, Hillary got the most engagement while Trump converted the most and we all know conversion is critical to win in life, business and, of course, even in a presidential race. Trump proves digital marketing is underpriced compared to traditional marketing. It can also be much more targeted, allowing for lower acquisition costs and higher conversion.
Content is King
A recent article by Advertising Age said it best, “The better candidate doesn’t win, the better marketer does.” Content is everywhere you look. In any industry what you say or write is taken lightly unless it is backed with strategy, research and targeting. Look at the slogans of each presidential candidate, for example. “Make America Great Again” and “Stronger Together.” Which one these can you engage with? No matter if you're happy or angry, which one is going to catch your attention and increase your awareness?
No matter if you were a Trump supporter or Trump hater, the slogan “Make America Great Again” spoke to you. It was everywhere and controversial to both sides - to those who feel like America is already great and also to those who believe America needs to be made great again.
Marketing That Converts Into Revenue
IMEG, Internet Marketing Expert Group, is a company with a core focus in understanding customer buy behavior and using it to convert marketing dollars into revenue in our clients’ businesses. We just happen to use digital marketing, data, technology and online marketing tools.
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