What We’re Most Looking Forward to in the 2020 Campaign Cycle

Four trends from Campaign Tech East worth watching

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What will be “the next big thing” for campaign digital? Last month, we met and swapped ideas with some of the best minds in digital politics at Campaign Tech East. Here are a few of the emerging digital campaign trends we’re most excited about for 2020.

The Continued Rise of P2P Texting

We’re on the record: we love SMS campaigns. With a 98% open rate – significantly higher than the industry benchmark standard of 21% for emails – it’s hard not to love them. You can reach a wide demographic quickly and cheaply with dynamic, personalized content.

But P2P SMS messaging on a large scale for political campaigns is still relatively new. It was first used at scale by the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign through the app Hustle, and we can’t wait to see how campaigns innovate in this space this cycle.

Incorporating AI into Campaign Outreach

As marketing content pivots to become more conversational than broadcast, marketers need a lot more manpower – or better tech. That’s where AI comes in.

More and more campaigns utilize chatbots to quickly engage new targets on their websites and social properties. AI won’t eliminate campaign volunteers and interns – but it will make sure that simple questions are answered more quickly in order to free up your human staff to make meaningful connections with potential supporters.

And chatbots aren’t the only AI getting involved in campaigns. More algorithms are improving how digital ad dollars are spent, such as “responsive” automated search ads that tailor to individual search queries.

Meaningfully Integrating Old Media into Your Omnichannel Marketing

Guess which age demographic says they have the most positive response to political direct mail? Millennials. 60% of the youngest voter segment said mail was ”impactful.”

In an age of heightened skepticism of social media platforms, direct mail can be a credible form of political outreach. The challenge for digital marketers? Finding ways to integrate all forms of voter contact into one massive omnichannel contact effort.

In the past, campaigns tended to treat traditional and new media as competing budget items. Now that folks are waking up and starting to see them as complimentary pieces of one omnichannel marketing strategy, we can’t wait to see the innovative ways they are synthesized in the 2020 election.

Leveraging OTT Platforms Effectively

In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, how do campaigns reach cord-cutters well? Over-the-top (OTT) platforms. These streaming services are ideal for engaging more “off-the grid” likely voters thanks to their online-streaming placements and sky-high video completion rates.

Yet many campaigners fail to leverage these high-value platforms well. Too many ignore the proper frequency capping needed due to limited reach on OTT platforms. And instead of being persuaded, voters end up complaining about being “spammed” with campaign ads in their streaming platforms.

As OTT platforms continue to grow, we look forward to seeing greater insights on how to leverage this medium and whether television or digital players dominate the space.

Curious about some of our other thoughts on the 2020 elections? Check out our reviews of the Democrats 2020 campaign logos.

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