The Evolution Of Marketing In Presidential Campaigns

As the primaries heat up, politicians are leveraging digital marketing and social media to capture the hearts (and votes) of U.S. voters.

Having a strong digital presence is now table stakes for political candidates.  So, let’s take a look at how political candidates, over time, have adapted to incorporate digital marketing into their campaigns to effectively communicate their message.

When Digital Marketing Meets Politics

What does this look like in practice? Let’s answer Belgium Phone Number that question by taking a look at how political candidates have structured and used their websites and how that has evolved to mirror marketing best practices. Then, we’ll look at how candidates have adapted their strategies to take their message to social media platforms.

The Website

In 1996, just five years after the first website was



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built, Bill Clinton and Al Gore took advantage of the web to promote their campaign. These running-mates launched their own site, which is still up today, stating their tagline and offering additional resources. At the time, presidential campaigns had little insight into who would come to their website. With no data to back up their actions and no measures to test by, their website laid out everything—from debate information to biographies to downloadable bumper stickers—in hard-to-navigate columns.


By the 2000 and 2004 elections, websites were much more robust with new modules, calendars, newsletters, and lots of content. While these new capabilities were great and candidates seemed to embrace them, the sites suffered from looking cluttered and lacked a clear call-to-action. In the two examples below from the Bush/Cheney website in 2000 and then again in 2004, you can see the evolution of call-to-action and site organization

A marked departure from the clutter of the earlier websites, Barack Obama’s 2007 website harnessed the power of a clear message and call-to-action. Taking a page from the marketing playbook, instead of overwhelming his readers with more information, he created a clear message and call-to-action (join the team), with a more organized display for additional information. Overall, you can see a drastic shift in the site design to be less cluttered and provide clear visuals.


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