5 2023 Predictions for the Digital, Political, and Public Affairs Industries

Leaders from GP3 Partners share what changes they think are in store for their industries this year.


As we kick off a new year, we asked a few of the members of GP3 Partners for their predictions for digital in the political and public affairs space in 2023.

Here’s what they think is in store for the year ahead.

2023 Prediction #1: Shifting Landscapes in Ad Tech & Data Privacy

Shannon Chatlos, GP3 and SPM Partner who leads digital and integrated media strategies, has several predictions on how big shifts in ad tech and data privacy will play out this cycle. Here are a few things she thinks should be on your radar:

In 2023 signal loss (ad tech speak for no more cookies) is on the horizon. The ad tech community will have several platforms and solutions, but few will specialize in the political arena. There will be a focus on utilizing data clean rooms; GP3 partners are meeting regularly to ensure our clients are prepared for this technology shift.

As addressable digital media becomes more challenging to execute due to data privacy concerns, expect funds to be directed towards CTV and social media in 2023; Shannon anticipates the budget allocated towards direct buys and the “walled gardens” will increase this cycle.

Another media trend for 2023 will be Retail Media. What’s Retail Media? Think advertising on Amazon’s or Walmart’s platform. This will become a huge opportunity for some, but it will likely leave political, advocacy, and public affairs out of the equation. For everyone else, there will be huge opportunities to align their brand within the retail platforms who are jumping on the media bandwagon.

For the past several years, we’ve seen large ad tech companies with programmatic platforms pull out of the political marketplace. All of us have been burned a few times now. For that reason, there will be a shift away from using multiple programmatic platforms; buyers are much more likely to use programmatic partners that have a specialized political team.

2023 Prediction #2: Investing in Content Marketing

Eric Wilson, Senior Vice President at Bullpen Strategy Group, predicts that content development will be more critical than ever for campaigns, brands, and organizations that want to shape narratives, policies, and debates in 2023.

This requires serious investment in all three stages of the content development process:

1. Research – Thorough research and comprehensive media monitoring are the foundations of building a content system.
2. Curation – Effective content is both valuable AND relevant to the target audience.
3. Deployment – Consistent distribution is essential to building and maintaining an audience.

In the coming year, Wilson says we’ll see campaigns and organizations make meaningful, sustained investments with teams like GP3 Partners whose experts craft and distribute compelling content to owned audiences via newsletters, blogs, and video.

2023 Prediction #3: Leaning on Influencers Big and Small

With the rise in alternative platforms like Rumble, Parler, GETTR, and Truth Social, social media audiences are fragmenting.

These days, there are far too many options for a single campaign or organization to maintain an effective presence on all of them. Instead, Wilson predicts fewer “official” profiles and an eagerness for campaigns and organizations to work with various influencers across platforms.

This can take on a number of different shapes – from partnering with big name or niche influencers to encouraging campaign staffers, employees, and other key stakeholders to tap into their own networks.

This will significantly lighten the load for campaigns and companies. Instead of having to learn best practices for 10 different platforms and having to create content for all of them, campaigns and organizations will simply have to maintain libraries of content for others to remix and share on the platforms they are active on.

The focus in 2023 will be working smarter, not harder.

2023 Prediction #4: Emphasizing Premium Fundraising

Last cycle, Republican candidates and organizations had a clear mission driving our fundraising asks: Taking back control of the House and Senate.

But the GOP was only able to deliver one of those on Election Day.

On the heels of a disappointing midterm, IMGE Executive Vice President Courtney Weaver says candidates and political organizations are going to have to offer subscribers something that is actually worth them pulling out their wallets and donating to the cause in the 2023 off-season – especially with rising inflation stretching paychecks thin.

Hint: a bumper sticker isn’t going to cut it.

Enter premium fundraising asks.

Weaver predicts a rise in exclusive, high-dollar, or limited-edition items like signed merchandise, opportunities to meet or hear directly from the candidate, and other top-shelf offers.

2023 Prediction #5: Focusing on Providing Value to Donors

It’s not just about providing higher-value items, though — it’s also about providing consistent value to your donors.

After several cycles of the shakedown-style of digital fundraising, we now see that small-dollar supporters aren’t donating as easily as they once did. It takes more than an urgent ALL CAPS message to motivate supporters to open their wallets.

Weaver believes one of the ways we can address this problem is by focusing on providing more value to supporters and then tracking what drives donations.

You’ll see even more content showing supporters they are appreciated, whether that’s celebrations of user milestones, exclusive content, or members-only events.

We don’t have the momentum of an election in 2023, which means we’ll need to be more strategic to keep audiences engaged. Expect more behavioral-focused content plans structured around user engagements and subscriber milestones rather than a boilerplate fundraising calendar.

Want to learn more about how Strategic Partners & Media, Bullpen Strategy Group, IMGE, and all the firms in GP3 Partners can help you navigate the coming changes in 2023 and the years ahead? We’d love to chat.

Reach out today to get the conversation started.

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