Running a full advertising schedule in an election year can be tough to achieve. And for our retail clients, TV advertising is the stream on which their revenue flows. If you have an event this weekend and you need your advertising to drive store traffic now, getting make-goods won’t help make up for a lost opportunity for sales now. So though we’re in the thick of the campaign today, here are a few techniques we use to give our clients a better chance the TV buy they bought is the one that runs.
Vary day parts. If you’re getting bumped by politicians who love news and early fringe, opt for other day parts. You’ll be able to amass the points you need even if you are away from normal programs and times.
Vary spot length. You may be at less risk for preemption if you run :15s, rather than the classic :30 second TV spot. Depending on your message, we’ve found recurring :15s can be extremely effective for advertisers.
Rely on your relationships. Presumably you’ve created top notch working relationships with your reps. Good partnerships with the stations and their people can make the difference in a fluctuating and challenging environment. Strong reps will help you get the best you can, even if it isn’t exactly what you expected.
Be vigilant. Be aware of what’s happening in your markets. Political advertising is constantly changing messages, and weights. What’s happening in one market may not be the same as that occurring in another. Keep on top of the candidates and issues in each market so you are prepared for shifts of political dollars in – and out – of the market.
Be nimble. Be ready to assess opportunities and commit to changes in your buys as quickly as possible. The faster you can get answers to the reps trying to help you, the better.
Plan ahead. If you didn’t address this situation when you placed your buys this year, make sure you do it next time. We typically place our buys 52 weeks at a time, and any expected phenomena, such as an election and its inherent media stressors, is thoroughly examined, planned for and discussed. The stations with which we work know exactly what we expect from them. Yours should too.
Reinforce other media use. This may be the time to heavy up your print, radio, and digital buys. Or create a social media campaign. Consider creating or strengthening your presence in traditional direct mail. If it’s too late for this year, make a note for next time.
Last but not least: it’s ending soon. Stay alert. Respond decisively and quickly. Grow your relationships. Make your notes for future planning. Then relax. It’s over soon – and then, for retail marketing, we’re right into the glorious, critical holiday season!
How about you? Any other tips you have for dealing with the political season?