Election Aftermath: 2 Key Challenges for Marketers and their Solution

While the option that celebrates and promotes the diversity of our country won, the election result shows a very divided citizenship. Purpose Driven Marketing: Two things  to know. 1.: Brands need to allocate a larger amount of their media spend to media properties that invest in professional journalism. 2:. The Total Market Approach makes even less sense in this environment.

1. Challenge: Social Media’s Harmful Role Spreading Entirely Fabricated Content

The spread of entirely fabricated  partisan content presented as factual through social media is very harmful to a functioning democracy. Evidence abounds: According to a 2019 study published in Science by MIT Sloan professor Sinan Aral and Deb Roy and Soroush Vosoughi of the MIT Media Lab. They found falsehoods are 70% more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than the truth, and reach their first 1,500 people six times faster. This effect is more pronounced with political news than other categories.  Separately about two-thirds of Americans (64%) say social media have a mostly negative effect, according to a  Pew Research Center Survey.

Solution: Purpose-Driven Marketing; Brands Invest in Professional and Trustworthy Media

Independent, truth-seeking professional journalists apply reporting methodologies and a code of ethics that makes them accountable and transparent. 

Rafael Cores
Rafael Cores, VP, Digital Content, Impremedia

Rafael Cores, VP, Digital Content at Impremedia tells Portada that “the vote has always been polarized, what perhaps is new is that there is more divisiveness so that one side that does not understand the other.” Cores emphasizes the value of strong editorial guidelines and professionalism:  “At Impremedia our editorial line has always been that  we are on the side of our community. We analyze carefully the policies that impact a majority of the Hispanic population and we report the attacks this community receives regardless from whom they are coming from. We try to provide information that is based on facts and not on opinions or false assertions.”

Independent professional journalists need to play a much more important role in providing facts and content to decision making (votes) citizen. Truth seeking journalism must be a value that unites America. However, the cost of professional content and news production and distribution is very high making the running of a profitably operated property a very challenging proposition, but for very few companies (e.g. The New York Times and The Washington Post) as tech powerhouses Google, Facebook and Twitter command more than 80% of the digital ad market.   In other words, we are talking about what economists describe as a market failure in the form of  free market outcomes that result in an uninformed citizenship. Purpose-driven brands can solve this by investing a larger part of their media mix in professionally managed media properties that are trustworthy. Consumers should reward these brands by buying their products and services in a similar way that they reward them by speaking out against racism (e.g. more than 35% of consumers aged between 19 and 26 years have  stopped shopping from a brand that has not spoken out against racism according to a survey by Oberland).

2. Challenge: The Total Market Approach Is Useless

As expert Dan Goldgeier asserts, a divided country means a divided audience for marketers. That is certainly also the case in multicultural marketing. According to the Associated Press, 63% of Hispanics voted for Biden and 35% for Trump. For Muslims the split was 64/35 and for Catholics 49/50. With the exception of African Americans (90/8), a substantial political divide is always present when marketing to different multicultural segments. The Total Market Approach, understood as an overall marketing strategy that includes diverse segment considerations, too often produces fully integrated cross-cultural approaches based on “common denonimators” that ultimately sterilize  campaigns that fail to engage the target consumer. One key condition for effective purpose-driven marketing is that marketing communications successfully engage their target audience. That does not happen in most Total Market Campaigns.


Larissa Acosta
Larissa Acosta, Segments Team Leader, Integrated Marketing, Wells Fargo

Solution : Segment Based Marketing Leading with Diverse Insights

“The change that I would like to see for 2021 and beyond is to move away from total market strategies that try to find places of commonalities and a move towards diverse segment lead strategies that are intentional and focused on the most authentic and relevant messages to build brand affinity and product usage with diverse segments as the designed target,” Larissa Acosta, Segments Team Leader, Integrated Marketing at Wells Fargo, tells Portada.

“Effective Marketing is about people and relationships. The more we focus on the consumer, their needs their wants, the greater are our opportunities to affect business outcomes. In key categories including financial services diverse consumers represent the engine growth. Multicultural audiences represent 3.2 trillion in spending power. Smart marketers who really understand the business opportunity will seek ways to lead with diverse insights,” Acosta concludes.