Campaign Technology – an accelerator, not a revolution

It’s tempting to agree with some in the campaign business who say technology is revolutionizing campaigns – after all, even the most humble political endeavors use Twitter, Facebook and the other latest flavors in their online strategies.
Resist the temptation.  All the tweets, email blasts, and tricked out instagram snaps won’t win you the election (they can be important, but they are only part of the plan).  The winning approach still requires hard work; time spent efficiently raising money, building support and, most importantly, contacting voters.
But certain campaign technologies are accelerating campaigns – adding excitement and great efficiencies that enhance proven techniques to help secure the win.  At CliffordMoss, one of our favorite technologies enhances the best technique for persuading voters and getting them to vote:  face-to-face conversation.
Though political scientists and political strategists are not known for bringing science to our craft – the data on what persuades people (voters) is clear.  The single greatest way to deliver a persuasive message about who to support and why is through face-to-face contact.  Canvassing is king. 
But the royal treatment can also be a royal pain.  Though we love canvassing -- the ring of a foreign doorbell, the excitement when a perfect voter answers, a great conversation that concludes in a YES ID and a lawn sign – the work is slow, data intensive and requires significant human capital.
Technology is helping with the downside.  On several 2012 campaigns, CliffordMoss used smartphones loaded with a canvassing application (several are available on the political market) to send teams into the field.  This approach allowed us to eliminate paper lists, limit data entry and improve efficiencies.  Our canvassers hit more doors, got better data and we were able to track their work in near real-time to monitor progress and results (see video clip above). 
Technology isn’t revolutionizing campaigns.  Indeed, winning is still about the basics: raising money, securing support and talking to voters.  But technology is certainly changing the game - making the most important (and grueling) work easier and more efficient.