Republican vs. Democrat: Who’s Winning in Digital Media?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Meliah Cranmer

With both the RNC and DNC around the corner, MMGY Global is curious to see how each convention will support its candidates with digital media. One would expect that the DNC would be the leader in digital media strategy due to success that then Senator Barack Obama had in 2012. But will that necessarily be the case? Will each take the invaluable leap into spending ad dollars in digital media? Who will have more website visitation? Who will spend their ad dollars wisely? And how in the world does this relate to travel?

Will the DNC and RNC Retarget?  

In travel, much like in other industries, the most sought-after consumers are those who have already visited your site and not yet booked a trip/flight/hotel/etc. These consumers have shown interest in your destination or travel product, but have not yet converted. There are several strategies in order to reach these consumers and get them to convert. The most basic strategy is retargeting, including dynamic creative that displays specific products that consumer was looking at on the site. In order take advantage of these types of strategies, a site will typically allow several pieces of tracking code to be placed by digital media partners—these codes can easily track and reach a valuable audience.

So the question is: Will the RNC and DNC use retargeting as a strategy? Will they capture website traffic and target consumers after the conventions? By allowing digital media partners to place tracking on their convention sites, they could capture the current site visitors all the way through the conventions and target those consumers online and across devices up until the election.  The goal here is to convert a consumer into a vote.

Who’s Winning the Retargeting Battle? 

So who is currently up to speed on retargeting? The RNC currently has 10+ pieces of tracking on its site that will ultimately help them reach site visitors during the crucial election timeframe. The DNC is surprisingly far behind with only 2. The RNC shows a distinct advantage of reaching consumers with more first-party data at this moment. However, when it comes to the leading candidates’ sites, both have 12+.

Who’s Winning the Paid Search Battle?

While the DNC may be behind on collecting their own first-party data, they are certainly ahead of the game in paid search strategy. Depending on the travel company, competitive bidding can be used as a strategy to gain a great share of those traveling to a particular area. For example, MMGY client South Dakota includes a competitive conquesting strategy in their paid search where bids are made for keywords that include competitive destinations.

So -dak -comp -search -example -forweb

The DNC employs a similar strategy when consumers are looking for information surrounding the RNC.

Rnc -comp -search -example -forweb

The Data Doesn’t Lie

Perhaps the candidates will help bring their party conventions up to speed in the digital media world. One thing is for sure: In 2012, the Obama team understood what the technology startup community has known for years — “data doesn’t lie, and analytics are the key to success.“ This election year will be one to watch as we wait to see how each party will take advantage and utilize digital media strategies that travel companies have been using for years. 

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