Parties spent Rs 250 cr on programmatic advertising this poll season: Bhargav Patel, IQM

IQM Corporation’s CEO, Patel, explains how their 70% match rate gives political campaigns a competitive advantage to reach voters with targeted information that empowers them to get out the vote

Bhargav Patel IQM

Ever wondered why you get to see only the kind of political ads that you might want to see on the apps you use? It is programmatic advertising. Your political leader knows where you are, what you read and what you want to know.

New York based IQM Corporation which is a media buying and audience intelligence platform designed specifically for political action since the company was founded in 2014 have run more than 500 campaigns from across the political spectrum and have served over 100 million impressions daily.

IQM Corporation’s CEO Bhargav Patel tells us how their extraordinary 70 per cent match rate gives campaigns a competitive advantage to reach voters with real-time, targeted information that empowers them to get out the vote.

Edited excerpts:

How different will the 2019 Indian General Election be from the 2016 American Election?

While everything from demographics to choices to budget is different in the two elections, the biggest similarity between the two is how the elections that made Trump win played with ‘America First’, this poll season India too has gone all the way with an ‘India First’ motto.

With analytics, AI, and big data, how do you see the advertising and marketing landscape change in India especially during the poll season? How do you help politicians with these tools?

People have opened up to the idea of using technology and this election season we are seeing a surge in numbers and acceptance to use AI, big data and programmatic advertising as part of campaigns.

Programmatic advertising help campaigns precisely target audiences and get a clearer picture of how voters are reacting to media, messages, and ads viewed across devices. IQM's AI-driven models help political parties measure and influence voter mind set thus empowering campaigns to make more informed decisions on messaging, frequency, and where to publish a candidate’s digital content on digital platforms.

To sum it up we enable political parties to advertise in a highly targeted manner across all digital platforms outside of social media. Also with our media consumption analysis at constituency level political parties can decide strategies across all other medium such as OOH and TV.

What are the platforms where this form of advertising is being used? What is the most popular platform for using it?

So, we work with almost all major ad agencies across the world and these platforms can be anything from a stock buying platform to a Saavn, Gaana and Spotify. However India is cricket obsessed country and everybody is hooked to the IPL around this time so Crickbuzz has become a very popular medium for political parties to use programmatic advertising.

What are the direct advantages of using programmatic advertising for political campaigns?

The three direct advantages of programmatic advertising in political campaigns would be—

  • Not delivering the wrong message to the right person which is basically not confusing the voter who has already made up his mind about voting for you.
  • Literally follow the voter at an individual voter level and understand what the kind of content he is consuming and give him a specific journey with your political message so that he votes for you.
  • First party data match

Who are the people you have worked with this elections in India?

IQM is partnering with Indian parties for their campaigns and helping candidates develop more compelling messages across the entire digital landscape targeted to their base, intelligent enough to persuade voters to go to the polls. While we cannot disclose client names we can say we have worked for our clients in states like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh at a constituency level.

What part of campaign budget is being used for programmatic advertising and how much is being spent on it?

If we include social media then 15 -17 per cent of total spend is on programmatic advertising and without social media it is about 5-7 per cent. Almost Rs 250 crore has been spent on programmatic advertising this poll season.

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