Don’t Blow Your Budget During Election Season

Katie Barth PureCars

Election season presents unique opportunities for car dealers, and unique obstacles. With billions of ad dollars being spent this election cycle, it’s even more important for dealers to strategize their ad spend so their message doesn’t get lost in the flood of election campaigns, statistics, and memes.

Shift from Traditional to Digital

Throughout the election cycle, dealers are competing with political advertisers for airtime. As the election draws closer, more than 25% of commercials running will be political ads. The result for dealers is a steep drop in airtime, with automotive ads appearing 50% less frequently during peak election times. Dealers that rely solely on traditional TV advertising risk overspending for ads which will, in turn, be overrun by political advertisements.

With political campaigns flooding local TV markets during peak hours, dealers need to evaluate their ad strategy, and consider reallocating some of their ad spend. Not surprisingly, costs to run ads during popular times, like during the local news, skyrocket as the election approaches.Turning to digital advertising is becoming increasingly important, and during election season especially, increasingly necessary for dealers.  

Don’t Just Spend More – Spend Smarter

Simply running ads on digital platforms alone is not enough. It has been estimated that $1.1 billion will be spent on digital advertising during the election season. Dealers need to design an effective digital strategy to compete with the influx of political campaign advertisements, focusing on three key factors:

  • Relevancy: While consumers are overwhelmed with a multitude of messages, it’s crucial to ensure the right message is reaching the right consumer.
  • Targeting: Strategically targeting both your inventory and shoppers will help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your time and ad budget.
  • User Focus: Consumers have more control over than ever over what messages they are exposed to. It is important to focus on the critical moments shoppers express intent by bidding on the right keywords, being the right places, and serving them ads for the exact model they’re shopping for.

With a carefully crafted digital strategy, it is possible to reap the benefits of advertising before this November 8, without expending your entire budget. Advertising during an election doesn’t have to entail spending more, as long as you’re spending smarter.

About the Author

Katie Barth