During the 2016 presidential election, we watched as digital media rose to be front and center. Spending for the 2016 political campaigns topped $1B, contributing 9.8% of media spend. This was a big leap compared to the last presidential election season in 2012, which was close to $270 million. This election was far different in many ways than any election before its time.
In the January Marketing Land column, Magnetic’s CEO James Green, takes a look back at the election season and a look ahead at what’s to come in the Trump-era.
Digital Moves by Trump
Trump’s approach appeared to be: rile up the ranks, give people plenty to share and be horrified about and create an echo chamber which would, in turn, persuade people to vote. The Republican party took far more advantage of the digital channels and platforms than the Democratic party. We saw this through digital targeting, social advertising and the rise of fake news.
Content Could Replace Ads
Looking ahead to the Trump-era, there are issues we should expect, such as a continued rise in content to replace ads. We live in a society where perceived authenticity holds greater weight over right or wrong. Although Google is only a voice command away, we are increasingly less likely to check the veracity of someone who we believe is telling the truth. This idea could force marketers to double down on content marketing and endorsements and to move away from fact-based advertising. Consumers don’t want to be told that this product is the best, they want to know that their friend or hero is using the product and loves it.
Expect the Death of Net Neutrality, Yet No Major Shifts in Privacy
A big concern of the Trump-era is the death of net neutrality. Arguments will be about the government getting out of the way of business and around Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Time Warner or AT&T invests role in today’s infrastructure. One side will want to give these companies more liberties than others in terms of what content they can and cannot control.
It is also incredibly unlikely that a Trump administration will write any laws about privacy. The US is already the Wild West when it comes to privacy regulation (especially compared to Europe) and Republicans have pledged to be business friendly. On the flip side, this means that the courts are likely to be the place where privacy laws are played out.