Navigating the Political Climate in 2020

Chanel Wayne

By: Chanel Wayne

Director, Strategy

There is much speculation surrounding 2020 and what the future holds as it relates to social media and the wider marketing landscape. What used to be a sure bet as far as channel selection now gives marketers pause as we try to process all of the anticipated changes moving into 2020 and keep a pulse on emerging platforms such as TikTok and Quibi. Add in talks of an economic slowdown, trade wars, data privacy laws and the looming election and you have a recipe that will surely give most planning teams a headache just thinking about the road ahead and the work cut out for them as brands try to remain relevant and cut through the clutter.

Below are a few recommendations based on some of the most pressing issues facing marketers in 2020.

Combating Political Spending

Our life is short, but I believe that it’s important to care about our earth and the next generation. We waste an incredible amount of resources and indulge the self. I’m guilty of indulging the flesh, but after living in Japan for a couple years, I became more conscious of my wasteful habits. I was forced to recycle and mind my consumption and I realized we just have to change our thinking. I try to make an effort to compost my organic waste, bike to work and try to recycle everything that can be recycled. It’s easy to be lazy but important to be conscious of our earth. Small changes matter.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

Facebook Ads Library reports nearly $1 Billion spent on political ads since May of 2018. This includes everything from Presidential candidate hopefuls to humanitarian organizations and politically charged media companies. As the election draws near, this number is sure to surpass the billion-dollar mark with candidates making their best efforts to sway voters and realize their political aspirations. This will effectively increase the clutter and potentially drive up costs particularly amongst undecided voters.


Consider excluding swing states from national campaigns and developing a swing state specific strategy that plays off of key issues related to your product to cut through the clutter.

Creating Opportunities on Emerging Platforms

Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash
Photo by Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

Given the myriad of distractions, it is important now more than ever to treat 2020 as a testing year. Because so much of 2020 hysteria is based on speculation, few things are for certain which means drastic measures such as completely pulling budget from certain channels or adjusting seasonality for other channels will not necessarily net the result you are looking for.


In order to remain relevant with consumers, it is important to try new things but remain true to the brand that you have built. There will be new technologies and opportunities to test, be open to these new options while also keeping a close eye on performance to judge business value. Allow for budget flexibility to test your team’s theories across channels and validate or disprove hypotheses before making drastic changes to your media approach, particularly if your tried and true tactics have proven successful in the past.

California Consumer Privacy Act

California Consumer Privacy Act
California Consumer Privacy Act

The CCPA will hit fast and hard on January 1, 2020. The law aims to protect California citizens from the misuse of their personal information and hold businesses accountable for their actions in relation to user data. While still unfinalized this law will drastically impact how businesses handle data and the rights available to consumers.


Understand if your business will be affected by changes from CCPA. If so assemble a task force to address the concerns but do not leave it solely to one department as it is likely the changes will impact departments across the organization.

Lastly and most importantly remain calm and when in doubt test your way through the unknown.

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