Election year impact on (non-political) advertising

With political campaigns reaching record spending in 2016, the flood of money can have spillover effects to marketers of non-politics-related companies.

At first glance, the influx of advertising presents a headache for many marketers. For TV, competition for inventory depends on geography and time to primary and general elections. As campaigns spend more on digital media, digital inventory could also be impacted. There are some basic advice for marketers here and here, but are such lists comprehensive?

Fortunately, there are a few technological advances which reduce the burden for marketers. First, if your marketing campaign has broad targeting, an optimization platform like that a Facebook will find efficient CPC/CPM automatically for you. So, if certain regions are more expensive (e.g., FL or OH), the optimization engine will take that into consideration and look to show your ad to people with lower CPC/CPM thresholds. Second, if your campaign overlaps with periods of high political spending, but not solely contained within that period, ad systems with pacing should help your campaign speed up / slow down spending relative to CPC/CPM volatility. These algorithms can help smooth out your spending for optimal impact, despite the influx of political money.

In conclusion, as presidential election campaigns spend more money on TV and digital outlets, marketers should consult with their measurement experts at agencies / ad platforms to understand whether there are systems in place to adjust and optimize for changes in pricing and inventory.

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