How local political advertising relates to your small business advertising

Observing local political advertising can reveal insights on how to conduct advertising campaigns for your own small business.

You can watch small business advertising techniques at work in your town or city as local political candidates strut their stuff to woo voters.

Within a rather short time frame, local and state electoral campaigns are a great chance for small business owners like you to see the process of how good and bad advertising works. Election day results are similar to the judgment day for an advertising campaign!

Think about it. The candidate's goal is to get elected. Your goal is to get new customers. Both processes require a certain amount of positive votes and results.

To get started, there is research to be done and crafting of the message.

Product positioning has to be determined, along with what appeals to make to various sub-groups of voters or appeals to make to target sub-groups of new customers.

As you try to predict the winners, take this great opportunity to observe how various politicians communicate their messages to specific groups of voters.

Compare this to your own small business advertising.

Consider the candidate "the product" and his / her campaign advertising and public relations campaigns.

Of course, candidates try to appeal to their audiences throughout the campaign. How they present themselves and what media they use and how is worth watching in the final weeks of local political advertising.

Postcards have become very popular because of their lower cost.

Sure, there will be upsets and predictable wins and everything in between. You'll be able to observe whether or not those "dirty campaign tactics" worked or not on election eve and in the following days. (P.S. most don't, at least on the local level!)

Using combinations of different media types makes the candidate appear to be everywhere. Repeat the same message across all media used. That's good advice for small businesses as well.

You'll find each politician strives to stimulate personal referrals, debates / forums (as you may use seminars to educate), and different media such as direct mail postcard series, newspaper ads, lawn signs, radio, tv as the budget allows.

The local political advertising season always demonstrates the need for advertising to repeat, repeat, repeat. Studies show it can take from 6 to 9 impressions before your ad gets the attention of your potential customers (i.e. the voter the candidate is hoping to convert).

The repetition factor came to mind one recent mid-election weekend here in Connecticut when – all of a sudden – almost overnight, literally – yard signs appeared for a new candidate for State Senate, running for his very first time. Not only did he have a difficult to recognize last name, but he was pretty much unknown in some of his district towns.

But this was no amateur effort. It seemed as if suddenly the distinctive yard signs appeared. You could see them from one yard to the next as you drove down some of the main streets, Very hard to miss. Not one sign here and there. It was repetition of lawn sign media superbly orchestrated.

Some people love to watch the politicians battle it out and pay fairly close attention. At the other end of the spectrum, some voters sort of listen and make vague emotional judgments. This illustrates how different people often react differently to the same message.

So whatever your political persuasion, remember you still need to promote your small business with advertising.

Learn from what you see happening in local political advertising campaigns in your town or city, especially during the last few weeks before voters have to make their election choices.

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