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The Election: What Marketers Should Learn About the Multichannel Mix

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The Challenge: During this tight presidential campaign, both parties are deploying an unusually diverse and integrated multichannel marketing mix. What lessons should you be learning from these strategies?

Traditionally, TV, print and radio have been the mainstays of presidential campaigns. However, they are not enough to engage today's multichannel consumer. Increased use of social and mobile media is essential to engage potential voters. This has significantly complicated the media mix challenges for campaigns.

A recent study conducted by Borrell Associates reflects this, showing that while candidates still primarily utilize traditional media, campaign ads dropped from 61.9 percent to 57.3 percent for TV since the last election. However, other channels received increased funding across the board, demonstrating a shift towards more diverse multichannel marketing. This is particularly apparent in online media, which received six times more funding than it did in 2008.

Mobile: The Newest Addition to the Mix

Both camps understand the importance of social media in engaging today's constituents, with staff manning Twitter and Facebook accounts for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. These efforts are complemented by email to drive voter behavior and raise funds for ongoing campaigns. All indicators point to stronger focus on digital media and increased diversity in political marketing in the future.

Mobile payments
Obama campaigners created a new program called "Quick Donate," which makes donation easier by allowing supporters to contribute via text message.

Social sharing
The "With Mitt" app engages Romney supporters by helping them apply templates to photos of themselves at assemblies. The pictures can then be uploaded to Twitter or Facebook via the app.

Key Takeaways for Marketers

1. Think holistically about your multichannel marketing mix.
Whether you're a presidential candidate or a corporation, you need the power of all elements of the media mix to engage today's multichannel consumers. Consumers who engage across three or more channels spend six to ten times more than single channel buyers.

2. Engage your customers per their media of choice.
Campaign staff uses Facebook and Twitter to provide followers exclusive content and hear what they have to say about the candidates. This creates a degree of engagement and rapport with consumers that traditional media can't match. How can you motivate your customers and prospects to opt-in and engage with you across multiple media?

3. Be self-aware.
An increased number of marketing channels leads to an increased amount of exposure. It allows you to be transparent and candid with your customers, but it also means that you should take greater care to maintain decorum and monitor the content you distribute.

Ernan Roman is recognized as an industry pioneer and was recently inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame for creating three transformational methodologies: Integrated Direct Marketing, Opt-in Marketing, and Voice of Customer Relationship Research.
He was also named by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the "100 most influential people in Business Marketing."
www.erdm.com
ernan@erdm.com

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