How Programmatic Curation Could Redefine Your Midterm Election Strategy

By Megan Sullivan-Jenks, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, The MediaGrid

U.S. election cycle is primed for a dramatic change among media buyers. As midterm campaigns gather steam, we examine how programmatic curation could deliver a decisive edge in reaching those all-important voters.

According to estimates from AdImpact, U.S. political advertising spending in the 2022 midterm elections is set to be close to record totals for the U.S. presidential race – approaching $8.9 billion or beyond. These projections for the 2022 midterms are close to a 130% increase in spending versus the midterms of 2018. 

Compared to previous election cycles, increased adoption of CTV and improved audience targeting will be a driving force for political media buyers and a key to their success.

Let’s take a closer look at how curation might help. 

Curation in the context of politics

Political campaigning is never an easy task, especially when it comes to reaching specific like-minded audiences. But programmatic curation could deliver the strategic edge media buyers have sought in their political advertising campaigns. 

Over the last several years, there’s been growing complexity in the programmatic supply chain. Programmatic curation provides media buyers with the tools they need to package differentiated supply and audience targeting strategies which focus on performance and efficiency. Media buyers (or curators) can package deals to create unique value –  combining better inventory, identity or data segments, preferential publisher access or rates, and more – with hand-picked supply from across display, video, mobile, and CTV. 

Unlike in previous election cycles, media buyers can play an active role in inventory management. Media buyers can now fine-tune both the inventory and the audience with curation, rather than wasting impressions and budgets on low-value scattershot placements or being limited by inventory scale. These curated packages are built as private deals which can be executed via a deal ID using any DSP. 

In a saturated marketplace with increased political ad spending, curation represents an opportunity to stand out by building – or restoring – 1:1 publisher relationships by focusing on high-value inventory and maximizing the supply path. 

The true value of packaging supply and audience

Gone are the days of blanket audience targeting for political campaigns. 

Media buyers for political campaigns can now be more strategic across their voter base to direct influence more accurately. For example, The MediaGrid’s proprietary Search Intent-Based Targeting solution enables media buyers to tap into audiences based on their unique search history via programmatic buying. Media buyers can combine search terms with the recency of those searches to create an audience segment which can be packaged into a deal ID – instead of being limited to the audience data that all other political campaigns use. 

For example, if you were running a political advertising campaign based on environmental policy, keywords like “sustainability” or “environmental protection” could be included to reach relevant voters. 

You can also leverage your voter database to create digital audiences matched with digital IDs to package with supply inventory – without sacrificing scale or low match rates. These could include swing voters, active military/veterans, and high-propensity voters. Activating this audience data is a powerful tool for impacting voter decisions among your voters across display, mobile, video, and connected TV.

Amplifying political campaign scale via CTV 

With one-third of U.S. Senate seats contested, the 2022 midterm elections will be competitive – both locally and nationally. 

This year, the stakes are high, and media buyers will turn to CTV to drive both meaning and impact. Over the past two years, streaming services have seen a 26% growth in usage, while Americans have been spending time at home using their internet-connected devices. For political campaigns, this presents a massive opportunity. 

As more political campaigns look to the power of CTV to connect with voter audiences, there will undoubtedly be a scramble for high-quality inventory.

It’s here that curation comes into play

Curation of CTV inventory will be crucial for media buyers who want to stay a step ahead of their opponents and not fall behind due to the lack of reach and scale delivered by CTV. By consolidating premium CTV inventory into curated deals, media buyers can scale their access to selected inventory which meets premium criteria or negotiated rates. That makes it easier for buyers to access relevant inventory at scale with transparency and efficiency – and that’s a winning combination no matter how you spin it. 

The bottom line here? Whether political campaigns for advocacy groups, house/ senate races, independent expenditures, local/state elections, and local/statewide propositions, curation with The MediaGrid can find the right approach to precisely engage any campaign’s targeted voters. It’s the ideal addition to any full-spectrum media plan and will deliver the best results when used in combination with other promotional channels to reach the largest possible voter base. 

Get in touch with our team today to learn more about curation or become a curator – and start charting your path to political success in 2022 with the power of curation.

The Publisher Brief: Prebid 7
June 29, 2022
On The Grid: July 2022
June 29, 2022