Election 2012: Two IAB Studies

As the 2012 election cycle approaches its peak of activity across all campaign levels and as the market for election advertising is estimated to top $10 billion, the IAB released timely findings from the “Elections 2012 and Political Ad Spend Survey,” conducted in collaboration with Campaigns & Elections Magazine. The results show an increase in political ad spending across digital platforms, while also revealing that proof of digital political ad effectiveness is needed in order to up those interactive ad dollars during the next election cycle. In tandem, the IAB Data Council unveiled an in-depth whitepaper entitled “Election 2012: Big Data Delivers on Campaign Promise,” which demonstrates that highly effective microtargeting—made possible through the use of Big Data—plays an increasingly vital role within the sphere of digital politics.

Key findings from the IAB whitepaper include:

  • Microtargeting is playing a leading role in all three basic goals of political messaging, and growing among campaigns and outside groups, political consultancies, as well as public relations firms—all of which coordinate and direct political ad buys ; serving as part of a new norm of buying a qualified audience, rather than simply buying on qualified websites
  • Strong, growth in the online political ad spending market is likely to continue, tracking with what is estimated to be a 20-40 percent increase at the presidential campaign level alone
  • Several specific trends point to continued refinement of techniques and evolution in the online political microtargeting market