Thought Leadership

Preparing for the Fast Break to the next “Super Tuesday” in November

March 14, 2024
Stephanie Kundert

In more ways than one, March Madness is here!

As college basketball fans finalize their brackets, political observers, strategists and pollsters are gearing up for the next “Super Tuesday” on November 5th – and the likely re-match between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. For Americans who reside in the purple “battleground” states – including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – this means enduring a tsunami of political advertising along with campaign calls, texts and emails over the next several months. Arizona alone is projected to see $821 million worth of political ad spending this year (a 20% increase since 2020).

If you are a company or organization operating within and/or looking to expand your footprint in these states this year, how do you avoid having your share of voice “boxed out” until after Election Day? Consider a tailored, hyperlocal strategy involving these three key steps to ensure a smooth “fastbreak” to the end of 2024:

  • Identify specific geographic and/or audience targets within your priority states
    • Rather than executing a costly – and potentially ineffective – statewide media program in which you will be competing with political ads and candidate outreach efforts, focus on the markets and/or audiences within these states that matter most to your business objectives. A tailored program with messaging unique to specific audiences often can be more effective and impactful than flooding the airwaves and web pages.
  • Assess your existing network and resources
    • Take this opportunity to reevaluate existing memberships and relationships within the community, including local chambers of commerce, nonprofits and civic organizations (e.g., Rotary Club) and explore opportunities to engage their unique audiences.
  • Focus your resources on hyper-local engagement
    • This could include sponsoring a youth athletic tournament, coordinating an open house at your local facility, hosting around table with key local opinion leaders or partnering with a community center on a townhall in addition to securing content within membership newsletters or the “community announcements” pages.

Although challenging, operating within political battleground states during a major presidential election year is not insurmountable when the right strategy is executed, allowing you to successfully maneuver through the maze of pop-up digital ads and robocalls and ultimately achieve your objectives for this year.

Stephanie Kundert is a Senior Vice President at Direct Impact, the nation’s leading grassroots firm. She helps clients ranging from nonprofits to Fortune 100companies navigate the local political landscape while providing guidance on stakeholder engagement, coalition building and effective messaging strategies to generate awareness and build support for key policy objectives. A native of Wisconsin, Stephanie managed several state and federal political campaigns across the state’s purple campaign trail during three election cycles.

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