How a Polarized Electorate Influences Political Advertising Decisions

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It’s no secret that our country is undergoing significant change at breakneck speed—changes in technology, changes in demographics and, of course, changes in the media. All of these factors have played a part in the increasingly polarized nature of our political discourse.

During an Advertising Week panel Monday, political advertising experts and members of the media discussed how these changes are affecting how political organizations choose where to place their ads.

“Politics is one of the earliest adopters of using data for targeting on the paid media side,” said Brent McGoldrick, CEO of GOP-contracted data analytics firm Deep Root Analytics. “Your average congressional campaign does a lot more with data and analytics targeting than your average brand.”

McGoldrick continued, “Part of that is because in politics, we have great first-party data. Say what you want about political campaigns, but every political campaign from president down to city council has a list. They know who their customers are, and I’m really struck when we work with brands, that unless they come from certain verticals, they often don’t have a very good concept of who their customers truly are.”

Global Strategy Group founder and president Jefrey Pollock, a Democratic strategist and pollster, had a slightly different take. He contended that political campaigns have been a bit late to the game in how they utilize new technologies to target potential voters, but that progress is being made.
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