CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS: Consultant Predictions for 2020: Buckle Up

Thursday, January 2, 2020 - 11:00am

To get some insight into the next 12 months and beyond, we asked a group of practitioners to break early from their year-end holidays and flex their prognostication muscles.

Here’s what this group of consultants from different corners of the industry had to tell us about the year to come:

Brian Ross Adams, founder, Trusted Messenger Marketing:

2020 is going to make 2016 look like child's play. On the digital side, expect the continued rise of misinformation and bots, more calls for social media regulation, absurd Tik Tok videos, and general havoc. To quote Clubber Lang when asked his prediction for his upcoming fight with Rocky, he answered simply and truthfully, "PAIN."  

Trump will continue to dominate social media and every news cycle because he understands that the most important thing to be in today's age is entertaining. Buckle up.


Ashlee Rich Stephenson, national political director/vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

The USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement) will clear the Senate with bipartisan support and be signed into law in 2020 — delivering a generational victory for the American economy and solidifying an incredible political win for both sides of the aisle, along with the president, during what has been a polarized Congress.  

In addition, I don't think it's unreasonable to predict the Democratic Party won't select their nominee until the convention in Milwaukee this July. From changes in the delegate allocation process to a still very large field that includes, but certainly isn't limited to, a vice president, two billionaires, well-funded senators representing the growing liberal left and a breakout young star in a midwest mayor, this is sure to be an incredibly fascinating next six months.

Cheryl Hori, founder, Pacific Campaign House:

Between Twitter putting the kibosh on political ads, Google restricting targeting, and Spotify hitting “pause” on all things political, increased regulations and restrictions will shape how digital campaigns are run in 2020 and beyond. 

Digital advertisers will have to start getting creative about where they’re placing digital ads. Are there untapped platforms that haven’t historically been leveraged for political? This year, my firm took out ads on Waze, Reddit, and worked with influencers on Twitch. 

And in order to beat the algorithms, there will be a premium on content that’s “sticky,” sharable, and made to go viral -- which, whether we like it or not, means more polarizing content. 

Finally, the new restrictions create even more barriers for minority groups to be heard. Already faced with fewer resources, the new restrictions mean they’ll have an even harder time identifying and serving ads to their target audiences. How will you find LatinX, LGBTQ, black, or AAPI voters on YouTube? You won’t.

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