Combining Traditional Canvassing Strategies with Sophisticated Analytics
Political candidates never stop finding ways of formulating an organized campaign strategy with effective messages. Their main goal of course is to get the nod of potential voters. The key is to craft a campaign plan that conveys clear offline or online messages to target audiences. Likewise, it is important to find the appropriate messaging that works for the candidate and catching the interest of the general public.
How Microtargeting Works
Voters’ decision-making is normally connected to their perceptions and aspirations. Judgment, in this case, is guided by their opinion of a candidate. This is why political handlers create candidate profiles that appeal to the electorate. Whether these are text messages, speeches or literature, the bottom line is to stick to one message for consistency.
As the method of online messaging became more popular, the practice of microtargeting continues to transform how politics in the United States works. Microtargeting refers to the marketing strategy that focuses on using people’s data, specifically their preferences, connections, demographics, and purchases, and classify them into small groupings for content targeting. Said platform provides pollsters and interest groups a clearer picture of candidates.
At the same time, microtargeting supports new methods in the delivery of customized messages using traditional (direct mailing, door-to-door canvassing, and phone calls) and new media (SMS, targeted email, Internet advertisements, and social media networks’ targeted sharing). This platform means that a certain person and his or her neighbor may receive different campaign materials from the same candidate. For example, the advertisement you click may not be the same as the ad that your spouse will see.
Microtargeting and Delivery of Messages
Why is the platform ideal for election-related activities? Microtargeting provides the campaign staff with data required to create a comprehensive profile of audiences. Then, delivery of online messages can be made through the recipients’ preferred devices. This is important when it comes to boosting political campaigns intended for cross-device targeting which involves the identification and delivery of messages to audiences across various platforms.
With the available voter information, campaign strategists are capable of layering information mostly gathered from surveys to create or develop niche audiences. These tacticians can interpret opinions as well as voting routines of different segments within the community. In the United States, many political strategists utilize this information to connect online messages with persons who will likely support their candidates. For all intents and purposes, microtargeting has become a potent tool making sure that campaigns send relevant messages to the population.
On the other side of the spectrum is the system of physical door-to-door canvassing aimed at convincing voters and possibly swaying election outcomes. Political canvassing is the practice of candidates’ volunteers engaging voters in a certain district. The approach also involves voter interaction in public places although home visitation is the most effective way of confirming that a potential voter actually resides in the area being targetted.
Campaigners also use a variety of tools other than canvassing during the entire period which include the following:
- Phone calls
- Email messaging
- Text messaging
- Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp are the most common networking outlets)
- Websites and Blogs
- Management software
Canvassing scripts are also essential. A typical script that creates an impact should include the following elements:
- Get people to talk and interact.
- Offer compelling arguments.
- Participate in open-ended conversations that will require longer discussions.
- Think further than the prepared script to elicit reactions from household members.
It all depends on the requirements and availability of funds during the campaign period. While each tool performs separate functions, one complements the other as the users go through their respective timelines. By combining the sophisticated technique of microtargeting and traditional door-to-door canvassing, stakeholders create a smooth flow of engagement from Day 1 of the campaign until election day.
Here’s a typical scenario: Door-knocking in residential areas reinforce online messaging efforts using data obtained from phone banking campaigns. Through phone banking, candidates can connect with voters and supporters through their mobile devices. A single call takes no more than 3 minutes. Hence, it is possible to contact several voters in an hour. Phone banking and canvassing combined can be effective in raising the number of supporters. Meanwhile, canvassers must use their data in targeting constituents and send them the right messages. After the door-to-door, follow-up emails can generate a positive call to action.
What to Say … is Essential
To win an election, campaign planners must be capable of crafting direct, concise and personalized online messaging. Messages must make the potential voter feel respected and important. Unlike mainstream advertising (TV, radio and print), targeted messaging through door-to-door outreach is more likely to produce successful interaction every time the canvasser talks to an individual. However, messaging should concentrate on advocacies based on real issues, values, problems in the neighborhood, and other relevant concerns or problems.
A political campaign’s perspective on a particular issue may not change although messaging should be directed on topics that people are interested in. Again, messages are based on survey data and other information derived by the campaign staff. Some common issues are status of veterans and senior citizens, education, environmental protection, and prices of basic commodities.
It all Boils Down to Execution
Political candidates have many options and tools available to them. The point is how to merge and optimize all these resources. The correct tools, strategies and data together with consistent voter outreach techniques may be the things needed to give your campaign the upper hand and secure the win come election day.