The meteoric rise of digital advertising and the ubiquitous Internet has often caused people to “silo” the digital and “real” world. But more often the case than not, these realms are beginning to merge into a seamless experience. Think about “The Internet of Things.”

InReality just released a new study
 that shows 75% of in-store shoppers use their mobile device while shopping. That number was approximately 1% a mere 10 or 15 years ago. That’s a huge change. Our instant, constant access to the information superhighway has changed nearly everything.

But we wanted to share this for a different reason. Advertisers can’t silo the digital and real worlds. They are quickly becoming one of the same. So that digital advertising campaign’s ROI can’t be judged solely on online purchases or engagement, or whatever KPI’s are used.

While it’s still pretty difficult to quantify, this study shows that digital advertising can and will have real world, in-store impact as well. This isn’t news, necessarily.

But it’s a totally different way to view the sales funnel.

Richard Nixon Campaign Sign

The principles of campaigning don’t change. The means do. Adding digital to a campaign’s arsenal—or beefing up an outdated system—can make candidates more visible and more responsive to the people they want to represent.

Be More Places at the Same Time with Smart Targeting

Candidates will still need to press the flesh at the grocery store. When it comes to politics, people truly feel the need to “know” a potential representative, and consider them genuine. Digital campaigning can provide a complimentary addition to both getting to know a candidate as well as increasing “touches” with voters.

Now, to reach voters, candidates can be at several grocery stores instead of just one. In fact, candidates don’t even have to be at the grocery store. They can be at the manufacturer. Or the union hall. Or the transportation company. To put it another way, candidates can be almost anywhere voters are: online. And they need to be.

Consider that Americans spend 11 hours per day with digital media. You have a lot more time and more opportunities to reach voters digitally than you do running into the right people at the grocery store.

Think about this: in an increasingly mobile age, candidates won’t have to fly around the state, rushing through the meager 20 minutes they get at each county fair. Now they can be at every county fair, spreading the word about their agriculture policies.

Creating and deploying cost-efficient, effective digital ads is the new retail politics. Candidates can give their specific, relevant message to voters who are engaging in a digital version of the real-world, retail situation of days gone past.

That’s how you press the flesh in 2014.

The Personal Connection

Candidates can run video ads that provide the same eye-contact, sincerity, and emotional appeal of a TV ad for a fraction of the cost. Better yet—they can associate their message with content the voter is already consuming.

Of course, interaction is diminished in any virtual situation. But there’s no reason a creative campaign team can’t come up with engaging ways to educate voters about a candidate or her opponent.

A smart trigger campaign combined with a volunteer rewards system could actually increase the amount of “face-time” a voter gets with a campaign, and by proxy, the candidate. The Internet doesn’t have office hours, and it doesn’t get tired.


Last week, Intermarkets’ new creative copywriter attended the Digital East conference in Tysons, Virginia. He compiled these top 5 marketing insights from the digital east conference for marketers.

Have you been using these strategies and ideas? Do you have anything to add? Let us know!

Digital East Top 5 Insights Banner

  1. Be Media Agnostic

For most marketers, the platforms you utilize to publish or advertise are means, not ends. While your tactics need to reflect each specific platform, your strategy doesn’t really change. At the end of the day, B2C marketers use platforms to drive conversions, and B2B marketers generate leads.

It’s vitally important to take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of the platforms you are using, whether it’s Facebook, AdWords, or WordPress. But all of these platforms have one thing in common: you use them to spread your message. You need to go where your consumers are, and that means using the mediums that work for your audience, not the ones you like best.

  1. Is There a Knowledge Problem?

Marketers know they need to speak to the level of their audience, but this is easier said than done. We deal with our areas of expertise all day, every day. But do our customers? Is there a simple, yet crucial piece of information we’re leaving out, simply because to us, it’s elementary?

Take a look at your communications with your clients and leads. You may be missing just one small piece that can really improve your business.

  1. Consumers Can be Creators and Brands, Too

In the past, creators, consumers, and brands were all more or less distinct. Today, that line is blurring like never before. Social media allows consumers to become creators. Creators can become popular enough to become a recognized brand identity. Heck, people and companies can be all three.

To know your audience, it’s important to understand the different roles they play as well as how they see themselves. This also makes sense for B2B firms. After all, businesses that are customers are also creators.

  1. Don’t Talk To. Converse With.

“New” media, (read: social) allows for a two-way conversation between producers and consumers in real-time and in public. It’s both a major challenge as well as a golden opportunity to grow your business and connect with your customers in new ways.

As Robin Wheeler of Twitter pointed out, 63% of customers reported more positive attitudes towards brands that simply engaged with them on social media. Companies are just groups of people. Don’t present yourself as a faceless monolith. You understand your audience, you engage in voluntary exchanges with your customers, so talk to them! Which leads us to the final insight:

  1. H2H

You may have heard this already, but human-to-human is the new buzzword. But it’s more than just a buzzword. It’s a way of thinking about your business and your customers, and it’s the way you want your customers to think about you. It’s the basic premise that, at the end of the day, all interactions take place between individuals.

When John Doe buys a widget from the Widget Company, he’s buying a product that was designed by people, marketed by people, and sold by people. Obvious, right? But the Widget Company is after more than John’s dollars. WC, whether they want to or not, needs to please John. They need to please John to keep him as a customer, to protect their reputation, and to promote their product.

What’s more, is that the people who comprise WC want to please John. They want to because he’s a person, and they are people. They expect the same when they act as consumers. Nobody wants to deal with a brand logo.

We’ll have more on this, but the bottom line is your customers want to know there’s a person on the other end, not a robot.

In 1963, David Ogilvy wrote Confessions of an Advertising Man. No doubt you’ve heard of it. More than likely, you have a well-worn copy on your desk right now.

Ogilvy would have been the first to tell you that he wasn’t a particularly talented copywriter. His genius shone through his strategy—his strategy was to find out what worked and use it. Much of what he wrote in 1963 still applies today.

Native Ads > Banner Ads

Advertorial Image
Credit to David Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather

This infographic from Sharethrough showcases the power of native ads. In fact, native ads outperform banner ads in nearly every category: 52% more views, 18% higher purchase intent, a 13% increase in word-of-mouth sharing, and so on.

Of course, David Ogilvy said the same thing in 1963: “There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers.”

Today the principle remains the same, even if the statistics have evolved.

Generally speaking, prospective consumers don’t like ads. But if you can make your ads look like editorials, you’re going to see a much higher success rate. Back in 2013, native ads led banner ads in viewer frequency, views overall, and brand favorability to name a few.

In short, native ads will get you more eyes and more conversions more often.

This Section is About Descriptive Headlines

Recently, Facebook declared war on click-bait headlines. It turns out, 80% of Facebook users want a descriptive headline. They want to know what they’re actually clicking on.

Back in 1963, Ogilvy told us a few things about headlines. First, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” According to Copyblogger, this statistic is still true. The reason for Facebook’s change is simple: click-bait headlines take readers away from substantive content. Sure, you might get a million eyes on your “Guess What Happened Next” headline, but you won’t get conversions or subscribers.

Descriptive headlines, on the other hand, tell the reader exactly what they’re in for. If you make readers guess what the ad is about, you’re wasting time and money.

Second, “Never use tricky or irrelevant headlines… People read too fast to figure out what you are trying to say.” This style works for outlets like The Onion, but most of the time it won’t work for your Senate election or your product promotion. Your headline should draw people to your content because they want to go there. This consumer intent is key to strong conversions and loyal subscribers.

 “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” — David Ogilvy

Make your headline about something. Don’t alienate or upset customers you haven’t even won over yet.

Like we’ve said before, the 2014 election is a prettttty big deal. It will decide which party controls Congress, and significantly set the stage for the 2016 Presidential Election. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to break the mold and use today’s innovative digital tools to give your campaign the edge it needs to win.

Social media will prove to be an even more crucial tool for political campaigns in 2014 than for campaigns back in 2008 and 2012. Social media is a key source of voter information. Social media is one of the major activities on mobile devices. And social media is a great way to connect with voters on a personal level.

If you’re just getting started (or you’re in over your head!), we’ve put together this list of 7 best practices for social media and political campaigns to get you started. We hope you enjoy!

Consistency is key.

The number one rule of social media is to be consistent. By this, we don’t mean “keep doing the same thing”—you should always be experimenting with new trends, features, and strategies. Consistency is most important when talking about frequency. Your social media followers will expect you to tweet, blog, or post on a consistent basis—and if you don’t, they’ll go listen to someone who does.

No Ghost Towns

If you join a network, be prepared to be active on it. This is the corollary to consistency being key. It’s important, when choosing social media platforms (and there as SO MANY to choose from), to be picky about where you put your efforts. You don’t want to overextend yourself, or start using a platform only to drop it a few weeks later. That’s wasted effort, and social media is all about the long game—you’re building a relationship with your audience, and a relationship takes time.

Each Platform Has a Distinct Language—Learn to Speak It!

One of the most common social media mistakes people make it sharing the same message in the same way across all the social media platforms. The platforms are different—from the reasons people use them to the way they use them. Understanding each platform’s subtleties is the first step to creating messages that will resonate with your audience. You can find a good breakdown of the “Big Four” (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr) here, although some would argue that Instagram has overtaken Flickr in relevancy. Other important networks to consider are LinkedIn (especially for campaigns that focus on business issues), Pinterest (especially good for reaching women and people in the education space), and Google + (for reaching people in the tech space and for SEO purposes).

Listen to Your Audience

Have you ever heard the old adage, “Listen twice as much as you speak”? This is still true in social media! Social media shouldn’t be a bullhorn you use to blare your message out at the world—it’s more like a ticket to an event where you have the chance to connect with your voters, donors, and supporters on a one-on-one basis. Setting up a social listening strategy can help you to keep abreast of what’s already being said about you, participate in the conversations that matter, and gauge the temperature of your audience to better direct your publishing strategy.

Use Social Advertising to Expand Your Reach

Another title of this section could have been, “Social advertising isn’t cheating! It’s using your resources wisely.” As forces like the Facebook algorithm change and increased competition have made it harder to connect with an audience organically, social advertising has become a viable way of drawing in audiences when you want them to take a specific action. And that’s the main “best practice” with social advertising—only employ it when there’s a specific action you’re prompting users to take (i.e. “Donate now!” or “Tell your friends to go vote today!”). Social ads have actually been proven to make or break an election—learn how to use them in your favor!

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Social media platforms are becoming increasingly visual, and your posts should follow suit. Social media is a war of attention, and a beautiful photograph or an informative graphic is a great way of winning the battle for your audience. Even on Twitter, the wordiest of the platforms, tweets with images see a significant improvement in clicks, retweets, and conversions. And you don’t have to have an in-house designer to participate (thought it doesn’t hurt!). There are lots of online tools, many of them free, to easily create engaging graphics—check out 14 of them here.

Keep Learning!

The most important guideline of all! Social media changes fast, and what’s in this week could be out next week. There are always new platforms popping up, and old platforms are constantly evolving. One of the best ways to keep on top of this is to follow leaders in the space—you can find many of them on Twitter, or by searching for social media best practices and seeing which names keep popping up. Also make sure to keep and monitor a list of other campaigns that are doing social media well—when they change course, you’ll know to reexamine your own approach.


7 Reasons You Should Be Advertising on the Drudge Report

You know the Drudge Report—the deceptively simple website that has been breaking stories like the Monica Lewinsky scandal since its 1997 rise to fame. Boasting 21 million uniques* each month, the Drudge Report is the primary online source of breaking news and information for savvy readers, the media, political insiders, and influential opinion leaders.

Read on for seven reasons that the Drudge Report is a uniquely effective place to make an impact and drive ROI:

1. The Drudge Report drives more news traffic than Twitter or Facebook.

The Drudge Report may present like a news website, but it drives traffic like a web portal. A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that the Drudge Report drove more links than Facebook or Twitter on all the sites to which it drove traffic. The site’s influence “cuts across both traditional organizations such as ABC News to more tabloid-style outlets such as the New York Post.”

Why This Matters: By advertising on the Drudge Report, you can reach a more robust audience before they disperse and follow links elsewhere.

2. 90% of the Drudge Report’s traffic is direct.

While most websites receive the majority of their traffic via referrals (a.k.a. links from other websites), the Drudge Report draws visitors on its own accord. The industry average for direct traffic hovers around 37%, but a full 90% of Drudge Report readers count the site as an important enough part of their daily routine that they seek it out, bookmark it, and save it as a favorite.**

Why This Matters: Reach readers where they go first and often—become a part of their daily routine!

3. Readers spend an average 25 minutes or more on the site.

Speaking of daily routines, Drudge Report readers spend more time perusing the site than most of us do reading our morning papers. In fact, the Drudge Report’s average time on site is a full 20 more minutes than the industry average time on site of 4:50.**

Why This Matters: 25+ minutes is a lot more time for your ads to make an impact!

4. The Drudge Report is the #1 referral source for top news sites across the web.

This list includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • ABCNews.go

Why This Matters: When you compare the costs of advertising on these and other sites to the Drudge Report, where much of the traffic originates, you’ll see a clear difference in value. Drudge Report advertising reaches high-demand audiences at a fraction of the cost, decreasing your bottom line while increasing your ROI.

5. The Drudge Report is politically balanced.

According to comScore data, the majority of Drudge Report readers are actually Independents, followed by Republicans and Democrats.

Why This Matters: For brand advertisers and agencies, this means you’re able to reach the audience without worrying about political affiliation. For political campaigns, the Drudge Report is a great place to reach the swing voters who can make or break a campaign.

6. In fact, the Drudge Report is the most neutral of all news outlets.

In UCLA Policial Science Professor Tim Groseclose’s groundbreaking book, Left Turn, he ranked popular news media outlets on a scale of Very Liberal (0) to Very Conservative (100). His conclusion? “According to my analysis, the Drudge Report is approximately the most fair, balanced, and centrist news outlet in the United States.

Why This Matters: The Drudge Report’s neutrality has inspired millions of loyal readers to see it as a trusted news source—advertising on the site associates your message with that same level of respectability.

7. The Drudge Report is considered by journalists to be a crucial source for breaking news.

David Chalian of ABC News says, “Because of the sheer number of people who look at it and because of the attention it gets from the media, what appears on Drudge can, for a few minutes or an entire day, drive what appears elsewhere, making it, a force in the political news cycle for both the press and the campaigns.”

Why This Matters: The Drudge Report is the perfect place to get your message into the hands of the people who control the story.

Ready to get started?

Founded by Matt Drudge in the early days of the web, the Drudge Report continues to deliver lively and  provocative content to millions of people every day. Visit our site here to see how advertising on the Drudge Report can benefit your company!


*Quantcast, 10/12/13–10/19/13

**, 11/21/13