The Marketing Strategy Used to Win The Election
In today’s political climate, winning an election is about far more than simply being a strong
candidate. Elections are won and lost in large part due to the strength of a candidate’s
Recently, our team had the chance to assist a Kentucky politician with his 2020 marketing
strategy, proving just how effective targeted digital marketing for politicians can be.
“During the campaign you need to have somebody that will take the journey and ride with you every step of the way in order to win.”
– Ken Fleming
Meet Ken Fleming
In 2016, Ken Fleming (Republican Party) was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives – doing so with limited advertising efforts. In 2018, he ran for reelection to represent District 48, but was defeated by his Democratic opponent. The political environment was experiencing a major shift in ideology which allowed Ken’s opponent to capitalize and win the seat.
As 2020 approached, Fleming knew that his advertising strategy must shift and leverage digital channels. By focusing on the core issues that his voter base was facing, Fleming was able to create a hyper-targeted digital strategy. By leveraging segmented audience data, aligned with the right message and audience, an aggressive digital strategy was launched across core online channels. At the end of the day on November 3, 2020, digital advertising was the catalyst to victory, and Ken Fleming was victorious as the District 48 Representative once again.
Election results from the 2018 versus the 2020 election.
Democratic Rep 50.7% 11,851
Ken Fleming 49.3% 11,525
Ken Fleming 51.1% 15,677
Democratic Rep 48.9% 15,014
Website traffic soared once the digital marketing campaigns launched in August 2020, reaching all-time highs.
• Fleming hired our team at J&L Marketing to execute an omnichannel digital marketing campaign with a focus on the following key digital marketing channels:
• Programmatic Display Advertising
• Facebook Advertising
• Instagram Advertising
Through each of these channels, we modified our digital strategy and served ads to each audience segment based on key messaging points and party loyalty. By layering in the voter’s party loyalty, in conjunction with demographic characteristics, it allowed us to target the most relevant voters with the most relevant messaging to inspire them to vote for Ken Fleming.
Once we launched, we also performed continuous optimization and adjustments. Per feedback directly from Ken, and what he was hearing in the community, we would adjust budgets and our targeting strategy appropriately. This allowed us to constantly focus on the audiences and groups that needed the most attention and allowed us to drive the most relevant voters to our website as we could. Once visitors went on the website, we would then retarget them with relevant creatives in order to keep Ken on the top of mind when Election Day rolled around.
When developing our creative, we knew that the imagery and message would need to be specific and strongly tailored towards our specific demographics and party loyalty affiliations in order to be impactful and motivate the voters.
“Most political candidates have the ideas or connections, but don’t know how to use the data or compile the messaging (they are deficient in those areas). Having the ability to extract data and work with the candidate will ensure success.”
For example, for women, our messaging centered around how Fleming surrounds himself with strong women in his life and how he is a family-oriented man.
For elderly voters, messaging was geared around more security and protection, with health being a primary focus.
For our working class audience, messaging was focused on how Fleming’s father worked for Ford for 35 years, where he learned that it takes cooperation and working together to make our community great.
We monitored campaign performance daily, and utilized Ken’s feedback from the field as well as performance data in optimizing campaigns. Metrics we focused on were:
• CTR (Click-Through-Rate)
• CPC (Cost-per-Click)
• Bounce Rate
• Facebook Advertising
• Instagram Advertising
• CPM (Cost per 1,000 Impressions)
• Cost per Conversion
• Social Engagement Measurements
Far More Than A Set-It-And-Forget-It Strategy
At J&L Marketing, we believe that political advertising often falls short due to a lack of ongoing management. A strategic digital marketing campaign must involve a constant assessment of data, targeting specific audience segments.
We believe in a team-oriented and hands-on process. By having weekly touch base meetings, we can proactively adjust based off our collective decision making. We strive to work together in a partnership and give our clients peace-of-mind in their digital strategy and execution.
This is far more than a set-it-and-forget-it strategy of old. Today, harnessing the power of audience segmentation, politicians have the opportunity to highlight specific messaging to the ideal group of voters.
Not only is this form of political advertising more effective than simply serving up a television ad to the masses, but it can help lower marketing spend. Marketing dollars are used efficiently to serve up messaging exactly where it will be most beneficial.
In the years ahead, there is no doubt that digital marketing for politicians will continue to be vital to the success of any candidate. According to Statista, political spending on digital advertising is the fastest-growing advertising medium in the country.
For politicians looking to more effectively campaign, creating a digital marketing strategy is a must.
At J&L Marketing, our expertise in audience segmentation and targeted messaging is an ideal match for politicians looking to harness the power of digital marketing. If you’re interested in understanding how to better reach your voter base, reach out to our team to discuss your team’s political campaign advertising potential.