The Ground Game

With the election now almost a month behind us, there’s still a lot of talk centering on how the President managed to win both the popular vote and the electoral college even while his opponent’s polling numbers seemed to be on the rise. In the days leading up to election day both candidates appeared confident, with their internal polls showing that each had a real shot at victory. Then came election night. In the end, the President managed to win by a healthy 126 electoral votes and by more than 3.5 million in the popular vote.

So how’d Obama do it? I’m going to push the demographics discussion aside and for the most part leave the ideologies out of it – in short, the President out-hustled his challenger when it came to engagement. From donations to get-out-the-vote efforts, the President’s team time and again had the answers his supporters were looking for, motivating them over and over again to do more in support of his campaign.

This ability to eek out ever more from his supporters is at the heart of what made his campaign so successful. And it’s what can make your effort successful as well. Whatever your goal, PAC donations, advocacy outreach, the concept is simple – we as consumers are all looking for a message that strikes a chord with our beliefs, and, once we find it, a simple and easy way to act upon it.

I may talk a bit too much about microtargeting in the future – but it’s because it’s a topic I really believe in and a method that’s proven to get results. Look at donations to Obama’s campaign. Ask a user who’s donated $100 previously for $20 and they’re much more willing to do so than someone who’s never donated previously. Add in related data around what emails they read or what other actions they take and we can tailor the next ask accordingly.

The same rules apply to advocacy efforts. Find what your stakeholders are looking for, and what each one individually responds to, and, in essence, they’re yours to work with moving forward.

They say you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. What if you knew the horses’ favorite flavor of water? Or tea? Or gatorade? That’s the kind of information that you can leverage back out to get the results you’re looking for.

At the end of the day, find a tool, like CQRC Engage, that can give you that Microtargeting advantage and your effort has a lot better chance at succeeding – whatever your goal.