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With the election fast approaching, many companies are wondering how and if they should adjust their marketing strategy between October 29 and November 5. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic and the rollout of universal mail-in ballots, this election year is even more complicated in terms of strategizing a company’s messaging and marketing needs.

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing during an election year. Businesses need to use the data they have at their disposal to make the most informed decision on how their plan should move forward (or halt altogether). By evaluating analytics, audience, and consumer confidence, businesses can create an effective marketing strategy that helps them win in Q4 — regardless of who wins the presidency.

Shut it Down or Stick it Out?

As America faces one of the most critical elections in the country’s history, businesses may wonder if they should shut down their marketing efforts during the final week of October through the first or second week of November. With mail-in voting now on the table, Americans likely won’t know the election results until weeks or even months after November 3. This leaves companies to wonder how they can plan effectively for their marketing needs with so much ambiguity surrounding this timeframe. The only way to make an informed decision is through careful analysis of analytics, audience, and consumer confidence.

Consider Your Analytics

Established companies that have already gone through a few election cycles may be better equipped to strategize for their marketing needs. Not only will they already be familiar with what works and what doesn’t, but they’ll have the analytics from years prior to make necessary adjustments to their plan.

Younger companies — specifically those launched within the last year or two — face a bigger dilemma. They haven’t experienced how an election year may impact their marketing efforts, and therefore lack the information necessary for creating a data-driven plan. Instead, they’ll need to analyze competitors within their industry and evaluate how they have handled marketing during past election years. Alternatively, they can rely on the data they do have (such as audience demographics and consumer confidence) to create an impactful strategy.

 

Consider Your Audience

This election might arguably be one of the most anticipated in American history. That said, crafting the right messaging is especially critical during this time. In order to resonate with the target audience, companies need to have a firm understanding of their interests and demographics. Businesses that have high demand services are more likely to weather the upcoming election storm, while goods and services that are considered luxuries and “nice-to-haves” may be put on the backburner during the election week. In that case, it may be a great idea to front-load Q4 from a budgetary standpoint and ease back into advertising in mid November. 

Consider Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence is another key factor in determining how to lay out the marketing strategy during an election year. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting businesses at every level, consumer confidence has suffered a sharp blow in 2020. This isn’t to say that companies can’t create an effective marketing plan during this time; however, it will be much more difficult. Some marketing agencies may recommend shutting down advertising efforts between October 29 and November 5 for this reason, we recommend considering all the facts before making a decision. 

Hire a Marketing Strategist

If planning a marketing strategy during an election sounds horrifying, don’t give up hope! Companies can still experience marketing success by hiring a strategist. A great marketing strategist will be able to assess the company’s data and make the best decision to help them meet their business objectives. Consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a fractional CMO or skilled agency, so they can handle your marketing strategy and guide your business to victory.