Why Political Marketers Need to Focus More on Marginalized Voters

In this upcoming presidential race, it’s a fatal oversight

illustration of business men and women in an open field looking out into the distance with a telescope
Going into the 2020 election, political marketers need to target every potential voter without discrepancy. Getty Images
Headshot of Marc Stephenson Strachan

Just when we thought the smoke had cleared from the 2016 presidential race, here we are, in the blink of a proverbial eye, readying for the 2020 campaign.

Candidates on both sides of the aisle have linked their Madison Avenue consiglieri and strategist, with their street teams and war room colleagues. They are running projection polls, algorithms and side deals to connect their clients with the right segments of the population in the right ways. Reading the tea leaves is a bit complicated and requires some extra outreach to successfully maximize the potential impact on election day.

Political marketers need to grasp the reality: the multicultural vote, consisting of ethnic cultures, LGBTQ+ folks and various other factors, is key to win in 2020. African American, Hispanic American, Asian American and LGBTQ+ voters are critical to their chances of victory next November. Collectively, these consumers represent 30%-50% of the population in some key markets. Marketers can no longer be blind to the fact that without these votes, no candidate can win today.

Political marketers can and should double down on media that has proven to connect with these constituents. They can buy targeted media (radio, digital, social). Local radio is a huge grapevine tool. They can tactically utilize local OOH in key neighborhoods in key DMAs where the multicultural populations are high and easy to geotarget. They can reach out and connect with community influencers, opinion leaders and youth organizers. If candidates can get voters to believe in their messages and show them respect, the results will be golden.

Keynote marketers and advertisers need to realize that not all people of the same cultural backgrounds or lifestyles act and react the same. You must apply the same marketing rigor, depth and breadth of work to break through and connect. Industry focused and vetted organizations like Adcolor, the 4A’s and the AAF that can assist you in making sure you stay on the (true) straight and narrow will assist political marketers with connecting with these key audiences in meaningful and impactful ways. They’ll help with creating content environments, helping to identify and hire talent and advising on where to show up. They can also likely assist in your searches.

The longstanding excuse of “We don’t know where they are or how to reach them” is no longer acceptable or tolerable in this upcoming presidential campaign.


Marc Stephenson Strachan is chairman of ADCOLOR, Inc. and a senior marketing and advertising industry executive.
Publish date: December 16, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/agencies/why-political-marketers-need-to-focus-more-on-marginalized-voters/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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