Guess what? Digital works

Last week, we brought you a blog post about how it takes a coordinated effort among everyone involved in your paid media drive to achieve the results you’re looking for.

This week, we’ve got the numbers to back it up.

Take a look at some of the numbers from this poll by The California Group, done a couple days after the special election in Florida 13. The poll, done for Push Digital and our friends at Campaign Grid, shows that if you’re not investing in digital, you’re missing out on an incredibly cost-effective way to target and influence voters.

It’s particularly telling that while many still assume that the Internet is more effective in targeting younger voters, the numbers actually show internet advertising creates more movement in the key demographic of voters aged 45 and up.

Here’s a quick chart of some of the topline findings. The full release from The California Group follows.

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FL13 Post Election Survey Shows Widespread Reach and Depth of Online Advertising

A post-election study conducted by the California Group for Push Digital and CampaignGrid shows nearly half of those who voted not only saw online advertising, but the advertising was memorable and helped turn out voters on Election Day. The live phone call poll interviewed 417 voters on March 13 who voted in the March 11 special election in the 13th Congressional District of Florida. Push Digital and CampaignGrid both ran online advertising in the FL13 Special Election, and the poll tested online advertising regardless of the vendor.

The Florida 13 special election showed wide penetration of online advertising. 25% of respondents reported seeing Congressman-elect David Jolly’s ads, 37% of respondents reported seeing Democrat Alex Sink’s ads, while 43% of respondents said they saw an ad for one or both candidates in the two weeks leading up to election day.

What is behind the difference in reach? While FEC reports lack the specificity to accurately account for all of the digital spend, filings at suggest that Sink and her allies outspent Jolly and his allies online by more than 2 to 1. Online advertising, from both sides, achieved 43% penetration using less than 5% of the money spent on television advertising.

Online ads were shown to be effective among those voters who saw them. Poll respondents who saw Jolly’s online ads voted for Jolly at a rate of 55% to 40%. Jolly lost the group who had not seen his ads by 3 points.

Sink’s ads, while seen by more respondents, were less effective. Among the 37% of voters who saw Sink’s ads, Sink led Jolly by only three points. Among the group that did not see Sink’s ads, she trailed Jolly by two points.

Poll respondents were asked their opinions on several aspects of online advertising.

Of those who had seen an ad by either campaign, 33% said the ads were helpful in reminding them to vote on election day. 23% said the ads helped them make their voting decision. 40% said the ads were memorable. 27% found online ads to be better than TV ads.

On the Republican side, 31% of respondents who had seen David Jolly’s ads said they were helpful in reminding them to vote on election day. This number grew to 36% among women.

38% of respondents who had seen David Jolly’s ads described them as memorable. Among older respondents, the number increased. 42% of respondents 55-64 and 46% of respondents among the 65+ age group found Jolly’s ads memorable.

23% of respondents who had seen David Jolly’s ads said they liked them better than TV ads. This opinion was particularly pronounced among women who liked online ads more than TV ads by a ratio of almost 3 to 1 over men, 36% among women to 13% among men.

Push Digital and CampaignGrid primarily targeted Republicans over the age of forty-five. Among this target demographic:


All Voters Among GOP 45+
Seen Jolly ads 25% 30%
Helpful in deciding my vote 22% 27%*
Found the ads memorable 38% 53%*
Helpful in reminding me to vote on election day 31% 30%*
Better than television ads 23% 27%*

* among GOP 45+ who had seen Jolly’s ads

All Voters Among Dems
Seen Sink ads 25% 30%
Helpful in deciding my vote 15% 16%**
Found the ads memorable 28% 36%**
Helpful in reminding me to vote on election day 29% 37%**
Better than television ads 22% 30%**

**among Dems who had seen Sink’s ads

About the California Group
The California Group has advised Presidential candidates from Richard M. Nixon through George W. Bush. The company’s clients include California Governor Pete Wilson, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.