I’m pretty sure I have a post-election hangover. After being barraged with candidate ads, e-mails and flyers for seemingly the past 10 years, I’m still a bit blurry-eyed today. Staying up until Tuesday became Wednesday probably didn’t help either.
As I watched the local news this morning, I was downright shocked to remember that commercials don’t always end with a soft-spoken, “The ‘Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” committee is responsible for the content of this ad.”
There’s plenty of folks out there today explaining why and how everything happened the way it did. Spouting off about the importance of the Latino vote, or the women’s vote, or the young people’s vote or the extraterrestrial vote.
But regardless of who won what, one thing is clear — candidates had vast amounts of data at their disposal like no other time in history.
Instead of targeting “white women,” they could target “white women,” between the ages of 40-45, who are married, watch Grey’s Anatomy, and are typically easily persuaded to vote for candidate A. Or, they could figure out which fundraising techniques work best for “Latino men” between the ages of 25-29 who drive Ford Trucks, live in Oklahoma, and have a college degree. And of course, they could send a barrage of text messages to supporters in just one county in Florida.
There’s a lesson there for candy companies. In case you haven’t heard, marketing is changing, and it’s changing fast.
I want to assure you, this is awesome news.
In the past, companies were forced to rely on, say, the number of overall viewers of a particular TV show to guess how many people might see their ad without flipping to another channel during the commercial break. Now, if they run a video on YouTube, then can analyze everything from the number of viewers to whom they shared it with, what second exactly they got bored and closed out of it, and what continent they were sitting in when they did it.
Now, obviously, as a print reporter, it is my duty to inform you that print ads are incredibly important to your overall branding efforts. And you should run them. Every month. On the back cover. Or your company will go out of business.
But, as a human being, it is also my duty to tell you how incredibly valuable your online advertising efforts are. How amazing it is that you can target your website ads so that everyone interested in an article about chocolate sees it. And then, not only can you count how many people saw it, you can also count how many people clicked on it.
A wise man once told me: You have to know the situation before you can address the situation. The good news is, now, more than ever, you truly have the ability to know the situation.
The question is: How will you address it?