As U.S. households are bombarded with campaign marketing materials as well as ongoing TV commercials and online messages from politicians and political hopefuls, data shows a clear decline in consumer spending — especially during presidential elections.
The good news, according to data marketing firm Epsilon, which conducted the analysis, is that there “is an opportunity to reach a consumer’s mailbox 4 to 5 weeks prior to the presidential election as the proportion of sales is higher during this time compared to the three weeks directly preceding the election.”
“Marketers question if they should try to compete with political advertising or hold their campaigns until the election season ends,” the researchers noted. “As campaign season continues, this is top-of-mind for many organizations. But rather than playing a guessing game, marketers should turn to consumer spending trends in past years to inform their decision-making.”
The data analysis showed the pace of sales growth is reduced by more than half during the week leading up to the election as compared to the prior month. Moreover, the analysis showed that average transaction values also declined by about five percent just prior to Election Day. However, sales and average transaction values quickly recover.
“Marketers should expect a lull in sales leading directly into the election, but they should continue marketing efforts throughout this time because the turnaround in sales comes pretty quickly as the election ends,” the researchers said in their report, adding that “as the election comes to a close, consumers turn their focus back to their holiday shopping and spending resumes to ‘normal.'”
The firm also recommends companies and brands “refrain from being overly promotional as customers react emotionally to the election. Leverage data to craft the right message and the right offer for your customer base.”
As previously reported here, presidential elections can also negatively impact the stock market and trading activity.