The Breakfast Club: Thought Leader Series – The Marketing Of Politics & Policy: Q&A From Mark Skidmore, Partner & Chief Strategist of Bully Pulpit Interactive


In advance of AD Club’s The Breakfast Club: Thought Leader Series – The Marketing of Politics & Policy event this Thursday, November 12th, we asked our panelist Mark Skidmore, Partner & Chief Strategist of Bully Pulpit Interactive about his views on the climate of marketing in politics, the do’s & don’t’s of political advertising, which social platforms will be most effective in the next election, and more. Let’s see what he had to say…

How do you predict that people will allocate their marketing dollars in new ways in this upcoming election versus in 2008 and 2012? 

In 2008, digital advertising was primarily focused on mobilization and fundraising. Most of the budgets went to search-based advertising, re-marketing and contextual networks. In 2012, we saw the rise of individual targeting which helped propel digital into the world of persuasion. Going into 2016, we are more focused on measuring the impact of advertising on changing a voter’s intent and behavior.

What are a few key things brand marketers can learn from political marketers? (Perhaps the do’s and don’t’s?)

Due to our roots in politics, we take a strict data-driven, audience-based approach to everything we do. We try not to rely on personas, demographics or geo-targets as our only layer of data in a marketing campaign. Even in national consumer-facing campaigns, we believe there are always more efficient ways to spend ad dollars, more granular ways to measure reach and frequency, and more sophisticated approaches to understand how each audience segment reacts differently to our message.

What’s the best example of great how data translated into great storytelling that resonated with voters? 

One of our biggest takeaways in 2012 was that engagement does not necessarily equal persuasion. In other words clicks, likes or RTs tell us very little about whether someone changed their mind about an issue or a candidate. A good example is the infographic on job growth under President Obama. While it was not the most liked or shared post, it was the most persuasive piece of content in moving voters in favor of President Obama.