Marketing Tips for Political Campaigning
Is your team building a winning political campaign for the 2018 Mid-Term Elections? Let’s look at several tips for building a strong campaign strategy for your candidate.
Do Your Research: Provide adequate time and research to understand the playing field on which your campaign is figuratively walking. Who are your competitors and how will they campaign against you? What’s the worst thing the media can dig up and promote about your campaign? Now, turn the mirror toward the other players and note the same of them. Prepare yourself for the worst and hope you’ve done a better job at this than your opponents.
Due Diligence: With your research done and your prospects in mind, run your team’s SWOT analysis and be ready to address all facets of each category. You’ll use the detail gained from this exercise to formulate your campaign marketing strategy. Your campaign’s opportunities and strengths will direct the proactive attributes of your marketing efforts. Understanding and preparing for your threats and weaknesses will prevent your campaign from getting derailed in reactionary diversions.
Build A Proactive Marketing Plan: By understanding your budget, strategy and timeline you will be ahead of the game compared to many political campaigners. Many who run for office are very good at many things, but fall short on marketing themselves, their ideology and their platform to potential voters.
Campaign Like a CEO: Like anyone in business, be sure you are well capitalized with adequate funds to market your campaign’s message. In a mid-term year campaigns will need to be aggressive with enough resources to communicate to vast numbers of prospective voters. Much like companies who have a great product or service, if their prospective customers don’t know about them, they will not buy.
Get Moving: One of the key benefits of having a campaign marketing plan is to be ahead of the game and have an ability to maximize your marketing potential. As voting has changed in recent years, so has the timing of how successful candidates execute their marketing plans.
“Absentee and early voters need to know your story. Plan and target your communications early enough to reach them. If you dismiss the value of absentee and early voters, you can surely bet, this decision will work against you”, says: Chuck Flantroy, Director of Sales for Kessler Creative.
Over the past 12 years, the Kessler Creative agency which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, has provided direct mail, letter-shop, postcard, digital marketing and wide format printing services to hundreds of political campaigns throughout the U.S. over the past 12 years.
Expect Change: When developing your campaign marketing plan, keep in mind; it is a living and breathing entity which will need to be ready for change as needed. Tied to the hip with your campaign messaging, always have contingency plans as backup. Your plan should remain flexible and fluid, ready to pivot, react or redirect at any given time. Taking the time to think through the barriers or threats which could rise over the transom, can make the difference between winning and losing.
Direct Mail Campaigns: Here, Chuck recommends taking the time to build a well qualified mailing list made up of know supporters and registered voters within your district. He suggests tailoring your candidate’s list using specific criteria targeting your best prospects. “The mailing list should strategically consider geographic, demographic, lifestyle and political affiliation criteria for targeting your best prospective voters. If candidates anywhere in the country are interested in direct mail campaign assets, digital printing or wondering how to get a list of registered voters for your specific area, we [Kessler Creative] can quickly and efficiently assist with these services”, says Chuck.
Understand Your Target Audience: Politics is rough business. Often, before you even decide to run for office or spend a dime on your campaign, a minimum 48% to 52% of prospective voters just don’t like you and they will never vote for you. Select your prospecting list adequately. Avoid spending time and money on prospects who will never vote your way and don’t take it personally. It’s just how the game is played. Target prospects who share your ideology, encourage them to vote and put a laser-like focus on the 2% to 3% which could go either way.
Speak to Your Best Prospects: Political climates may be uncertain, but your message targeting doesn’t need to be. Working with a reputable marketing company who can provide target specific data will sand your campaign time, money and boost your results. By measuring the data from winning political mailing campaigns, the agency can provide feedback as to who’s been reached, and if a call to action included, they can track overall response rates.
Have A Digital Advertising Plan: Chuck was also clear in noting; digital advertising is no longer something new. It’s a necessity for marketing any product or service in today’s world. Having a viable website and digital marketing plan presence is a necessity for today’s political campaigns and a great way to interact with prospective voters at local levels.
Finally, Track Your Progress: The key to any plan is an ability to measure. Building the plan is only a starting point. Implementing and executing the plan are the challenging steps. But you’ll need to be sure to measure and track every facet of your marketing plan and make tweaks and changes as needed. Your messaging might need to change, but stick to your plan and use it to keep your campaign on track. Create goals to judge and track success as a critical part of your campaign marketing plan.