I'm back from an 8 day vacation in the Happiest Place on Earth - Florida version so I have a lot of posts to catch up on. Don't worry I'm going to avoid binge posting!
Back in June I wrote the reason Lonegan lost was the complete lack of use of modern internet marketing tools to get his message out to Republican Primary voters. Well, the Daggett campaign followed up that "case study" with an even worse internet effort which was confirmed by Ali with these words of political marketing folly "From our research, we have discovered that NJ voters are primarily reachable via TV and other media -- not internet -- and that is why we have focused our efforts where we have"
Look I've only been working as a consultant for 4 years in the political marketing arena and I focus almost exclusively on online advertising in this space. That runs the full range from search marketing, emails, displays ads, media buying, Facebook, and everything in between. I do focus on search and media buying, but that doesn't stop me from working in other areas. I've also been during pure online advertising since the late 90s (search, display, media buying) but where I was a little weak to start was translating into politics. However, I have a great teacher in Becki Donatelli and listen to everyone else I've had the pleasure of meeting and that includes smart people from the Democrats. One book I keep around is Joe Trippi's book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Joe's book chronicles Howard Dean's rise and then fall in the 2004 Democratic primary. What powered Dean's rise may now seem a little quaint - MeetUp, blogs, campaign blogs and videos, heck even a fund raising bat on the homepage, but the message is applicable to every campaign starting way behind with little name recognition.
IF YOU ARE RUNNING AN INSURGENT CAMPAIGN YOUR ONLY AVENUE OF WINNING IS MAKING THE INTERNET THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF YOUR METHOD FOR GETTING YOUR MESSAGE OUT.
Steve Lonegan lost the Republican Primary to Chris Christie because he didn't use the internet and relied on tired and worn out marketing tactics like direct mail. Chris Daggett lost any momentum he gained via the debates because his campaign chose to ignore the internet at the insistence of their media company who of course made more money by NOT pushing their message out via cheaper and more effective channels. Without going into too much detail in tactics, here are my top 5 priorities insurgent campaigns MUST do
- Start very early
- Kick out traditional media agencies until there is enough money to buy effective GRPs in target markets
- Only use the internet for paid advertising because it is the most efficient, shows measurable results, and is the great equalizer when you are facing better funded campaigns
- Invest in great creative developers especially ones like my friend Justin Germany who can create web ads and when you are ready, great TV ads.
- Grassroots organizing is just not about going door to door and making phone calls, it involves using internet tools like Facebook, Google, wireless, and blogs to identify supporters, communicate with them, find like supporters, and then mobilize them.
That's how you run a modern insurgent campaign - not by listening to old style media consultants who insist the only way to run your campaign is by using old and really useless techniques. Don't end up like Steve Lonegan and Chris Daggett - people who wasted their opportunities by relying on 1970s styled marketing