Back when I started my career in producing political media in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the standard equation for winning campaigns at just about every level of elective office was to raise a ton of dough, hold onto it until the voters were paying attention and then buy the heck out of broadcast television with pointed messages that (generously) simplified the debate into tidy (sometimes) :30 spots.
Sure, direct mail still works (for now), cable tv can reach some and radio can be effective (sometimes) … but broadcast tv is still far and away the king of finding voters and persuading them. But it’s not a hard argument to make that the world of political media and political communications is shifting rapidly to a brave new world of social media, digital and mobile marketing.
There have been all sorts of recent signs that the traditional way to get elected won’t work in the digital future. I’ve been preaching to campaigns for ten years that they need to get ahead of the wave put more resources and focus on leveraging digital space as a way to look under rock and find, engage and turnout their tagrte voters. And as online, mobile and other digital formats continue proving their incredible ROI more and more campaigns will be putting time, effort, staff and hard media budgets into it.
TechPresident has this interesting article focused on the Romeny campaign’s growing infatuation with digital marketing (including the stat that they are putting 10% of their media spend to online in the primary).
There is a great lesson here for any organization that needs to be laser-focused on their target audiences: The old order is falling away… social, online, mobile will be the new order in finding prospects, enagaging them in a conversation and converting them into a customers.