New study reveals shocking truth about political ad spend

research political ad spending


research political ad spending

Nearly $8 billion will be spent on political ads this year, a record to date. However, all that loot can be misplaced. When I asked 1,001 Americans what they decide and who they vote for, advertising is the 7th most influential source of information. That’s right, $8 billion was spent on the 7th most influential driver of voter behavior.

What has a greater impact on voter behavior? It depends on the age of the voter. Among Baby Boomers, news and personal experiences with the candidate are the most important, for example.

But where it really gets interesting is with Millennial voters. This group is affected 115 % more through word of mouth (candidate referrals by friends and family) than through advertising.

New research from @Convince shows that year-old voters are affected by 115 % more Word of mouth than #ChatterMatters ads Click to Tweet

It’s no exaggeration to say that my new research shows that political advertising is largely wasted on Americans under the age of 40.

These are just a few of the dozens of statistics and findings in Talking Matters: 2018 Word of Mouth Report , based on extensive, proprietary survey data.

W I don’t talk much about politics on our blog because honestly, it’s divisive. Our political climate is created with division and polarization and, as authors, it is our job to hopefully help you escape all the news of the day by providing gives you content that goes above and beyond on Twitter.

But, as Americans, there is one common thing. Regardless of political parties, sides of an issue or stakes involved, we love spending money on political ads. In fact, billions of them. This year, political candidates will spend more than $8 billion on political ads in pursuit of their quest to get an office or run policy initiatives.

That’s a lot of powder, enough to support numerous school improvements, fill countless potholes, or provide a range of needed services to returning veterans. Our question is: does all that political ad spending really change hearts and minds enough to garner a vote in favor of it?

We studied this and more in Chatter Matters, our Word of mouth Research . We asked 1,001 Americans for opinions on decisions they make, such as buying products or voting. We were surprised by some of the results and frankly agreed by others.

Overall, based on our research, Americans tend to research more about their political decisions as they age. While that’s good (if not great!) for our democracy, it’s not great news for political advertisers. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between the effectiveness of political advertising and the age of voters.

Political ads are more than twice as influential to voters in Generation Z as they are to Americans over 60. Where do older Americans get their voting information? 7% of Americans 60+ say news coverage influences their voting decisions, compared with just 30% of Gen Z. For millennials, political ads also have limited effect: they mouth affected% more than advertised.

word of mouth voting behavior

In general, word of mouth from friends and family is the second driving force behind voting behavior, behind news coverage. Advertisement? It came on a distant Saturday. Does this mean that money spent on political ads is misplaced? Only people who spend money can answer that question. But the trend is clear, and for those looking to reach older voters, it looks like ad spend could deliver unproven returns.

Word of mouth from friends and family is the #2 driver of voting behavior, behind news coverage. #ChatterMatters Click To Tweet

What makes us talk, recommend, buy and vote? Find out in Chatter Matters. You can Get your free copy of Chatter Matters now . Stay tuned for more videos in this series.

And if you’re looking to learn more about word of mouth marketing, my new book with Jay, Chat trigger may be just right for you.

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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