WASHINGTON, D.C.-If there’s a misconception that political content is not the best platform in which to advertise political campaigns, “We completely disagree with that,” is the response from Politico’s Randon White. Just about a month ago, qualitative research showed that 60% of the Politico audience was undecided on specific policy issues and that 30% were undecided voters, White said at the recent Beet.TV politics and advertising summit.
“That platform is a perfect opportunity to insert a brand’s message as these readers are making up their minds about what they’re going to do in November,” White said in response to a question from moderator Julie Van Ullen of OpenX.
Politico’s been quite busy since the 2012 election cycle, expanding nationally to a portfolio that now boasts seven state-specific newsletters and three state-specific websites. Last year it announced the creation of Politico Focus, an in-house content and data studio offering content creation, data services and research insights.
Politico Focus “helps us craft stories and narratives for our advertisers in the political voice for the Politico audience specifically,” said White, who is Head of Programmatic for the Virginia-based publisher that was founded in 2007 and has grown to employ 300 reporters, editors and producers.
The company’s approach to political advertising mirrors that of advertisers. “The way that we conceptualize our packages for campaigns are really the way a campaign would think about it,” noted White. “We started early on a year ago with lead generation and direct response to build lists,” progressing to geo-TV and persuasion campaigns.
Working with campaigns means “being flexible and able to understand what is the best content that makes sense for them,” said White. This includes figuring out “where are these readers coming from, when and why are they on Politico at this certain time and building products that meet these needs.”
Advertisers are encouraged to leverage multi-screen usage around debates and “key moments throughout the year where there is this massive tune-in factor” by reaching people watching television “and using that second screen online to read Politico and read the updated analysis, that play by play,” White said.