Strategy is as Critical as Tech to Bridge Digital Divide in Conservative Campaigns
All too often we’re hearing about the divide that exists between conservative and liberal campaigns, with President Obama’s reelection campaign pointed to as the exemplar of how far conservatives have to go to “catch up” to what the liberals are doing. Unfortunately, this gap is often identified as just having something to do with technology or talent. While I have no doubt that we need to work harder to bridge the gap with our friends on the left in both of those areas, the critical value that gets papered over is the importance of strategy.
National Journal published a profile by Shane Goldmacher on their Nextgov website of our neighbor to the south, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel’s current campaign team. It is an excellent piece and deserves your attention.
Reading through Goldmacher’s artice, one quote from Jeremy Bird – former Obama for America National Field Director – really stood out and brought this point home:
Is your online presence connected to your offline get-out-the-vote operation in a meaningful way so you can take this operation that’s online and turn it into voters?
Bird goes on to point out that many vendors offering to help these campaigns close the technology gap on both sides of the aisle are more often than not offering patchwork solutions that aren’t really integrated with the campaign strategy.
Indiana has the luxury of a “year off” from elections before things get ginned up again next year. Our candidates can invest all the money they want in marketing services and technology products and not make much of a difference in our results. We spend a great deal of time collecting data from voters through phone banking efforts. All too often we don’t take the time to process the data we’ve collected in an effort to improve upon how we are communicating with that voter or identifying where they fall in the process… we just mark the call complete and slot them for a follow up call, either prior to the election if they’re undecided or on election day if they’re favorable.
Understanding the importance of designing strategies that connect these new technologies and products with what we’ve been executing for years is critical to achieve our main goal, turning out voters who will elect candidates we support. This effort has got to be our chief focus or all the gains we have made across the state could be for naught.