The 2016 presidential race has barely even begun yet it has sparked considerable buzz. With 14 candidates running for the Republican ticket and another three battling for the Democratic nomination, there have been a handful of debates already.
Obviously, one of the most important aspects of running for president, or any political office, lies in the campaigning. Front-runners spend millions of dollars on marketing tactics, showcasing to potential voters what their campaigns have to offer.
When it comes to campaign materials, print products might be a candidates' best friend. In fact, Campaigns & Elections contributor David Wardlow just came out with a list of reasons why print isn't dead in the world of political campaigns. Print salespeople should gear up for an influx of print demand during the upcoming political cycle. The presidential race won't be the only election going on over the next couple months. Take advantage of all the political hype and sharpen your sales pitches with these six strong reasons to use print in a political campaign.
1. Long live the campaign: Print products have much more of a shelf life than a tweet or a status update. Wardlow explained that direct mail, rally flyers, and platform slates can remain on desks or bulletin boards for months.This increases the lifespan of political marketing efforts. Direct mail can be especially impressive in this regard. A study by The United States Postal Service found that the average consumer spends 30 minutes reading through mail. The sheer level of time commitment given to mailed items suggests that people put their full attention into reading mailed marketing efforts. Moreover, recipients act more immediately on direct mail items. According to TheDrum, 79 percent of consumers act directly on mailed marketing compared to only 45 percent taking immediate action for emails. Slap a call to action for the campaign on a flyer and watch conversion rates increase. In short, print products can better grab the attention of the campaign's target audience and potentially be viewed by friends, family and co-workers in passing due to their physical nature.
2. Personalize the message: Voters like to feel connected to their candidates. By nature, a tangible piece of paper is much more personal than a digital update sent out to the masses. Wardlow suggested that print products allow candidates to put a face to a name. The transaction becomes a personal face-to-face connection. Instead of rooting for a message, the voter is now rooting for a person. Beyond the emotional aspect, there is a tangible return for political candidates. A study by The Rochester Institute of Technology discovered that personalized print marketing materials ultimately result in greater return on investment. Print distributors can customize products to address direct mail recipients by name. A campaign can make marketing dollars stretch by using print flyers to make personal connections.
3. Make it memorable: Print advertisements can go a long way when it comes to emotional response. According to a different study by USPS, when presented with a digital and print advertisements participants had greater emotional responses to the print advertisements. Moreover, the print ads triggered activity in the brain connected to value and desire. Candidates would be smart to use these facts to their advantage. Potential voters will undoubtedly remember a piece of campaign material that triggered emotions better than another ad without the same effect. Triggering value and desire in the brain can also connect that candidate's campaign efforts with the same feelings. Overall, it's an easy win for campaign runners.
4. Target marketing: Candidates can also use print products to target specific demographics directly. Wardlow reported that candidates should use print materials to focus on swing groups. Try customizing the flyers to include key issues that these individuals are historically known for caring about. Campaigns can outline their platforms clearly and let your voters know where they stand. Who knows? Persuasive print products could give these swing voters the push they need.
5. Display endorsements: Wardlow suggested using these print materials as a platform to showcase candidate endorsements. Print products tend to stand out in a consumer's memory amidst the usual digital buzz. Make sure to use these items as a way to convey trusted support. Whether it be a beloved figure in the community or a well-known celebrity, endorsements can help the key admirable qualities of these figures translate onto the candidate at hand. If people spend more time with print marketing, let it be time spent connecting the person running to these already well-liked endorsers. The value can be immeasurable.
6. Relay credibility: Did we mention that print advertisements are the most trusted form of marketing? Well, it's true. Business 2 Community contributor Amie Reardon reported on a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association that found out of all the marketing mediums 56 percent of consumers considered print to be the most trusted. Credibility is obviously key for any person running for office. These individuals want voters to believe in their messages. In this case, print flyers are a no-brainer. These items relay information on a platform the people can trust. Wardlow noted that candidates with print products tend to convey trust in a more concrete way than those who choose to go strictly digital.
Print isn't dead. It's just taking more of a backseat role. When it comes to political campaigns, a combination of print and digital strategies can work in tandem to optimize your efforts.