Wednesday, January 12, 2011

From the video:  "CallFire is in the virtual call center business. This puts our software at the forefront conversation for Political Phone Banks in the United States.  During each election season we experience double, sometimes triple the virtual call center usage we see at any other point in the year.  Moreover, our solutions team consults with political marketers to design powerful telephone surveys and notification campaigns critical to campaign managers interested in voter preference and geography relevant analytics.  These campaigns also provide less educated voters with digestible information required to make a next-day voting decision.

Over the course of 6 years in cloud telephony consulting, my team and I have participated in countless confidential conversations with technologists and campaign managers.  Often we discuss the marketing and advertising strategy used to garner support for their candidates.   Time and time again, we find political advertising strategies are not terribly different from a good brand advertising strategy.  Here are a few political advertising strategies that I have seen used over the last few years."

Political advertising strategies
  • Creativity - differentiate your candidate by developing a persona
  • Use fresh voter registration data lists and don't annoy voters
  • Market your candidate in search results on Google and Bing
  • Place site-targeted ads for your candidate on Political Websites
  • Use Voice Broadcast target geographies with tailored messages
  • Accept campaign contributions online, via phone & snail mail
  • Enable volunteers to make voter-outreach calls from home
  • Use data from phone or social media surveys for targeting
  • Tailor communication by age, location & political affiliation
  • Use a “Google surge” or “Network blast” in the days before an election
  • Partner with an experienced Political Technology company (references below)
  • Read our entire blog post on Political Marketing Tips in the Cloud
Keep It Simple Stupid
CTA (or Call-To-Action) & KISS (or Keep-It-Simple-Stupid) are probably the most overused acronyms board rooms and marketing meetings around the world.  But lets face it - most politicians have a lot to say, so it is extremely important to distill your candidate's values in a clear and concise manner.  In the case of telephone marketing, a 30-40 seconds message works best, with the option to learn more if the listener desires.  In the case of social media advertising, some Twitter studies indicate that clickthrough rates are largely affected by CTA.  Advertisers who push products or services often use CTAs like  “click here for a Free Trial”, or “Learn more.”  In the dozens of political sound files I have personally listened to, almost all of them had a similar CTA.  Namely, “Vote for me, [candidate name] on election day” or “Press-1 to Donate Now”.   If you’re interested in optimizing a voice campaign, read the top 5 methods to making a successful Political Voice Blast.
Study historical data
There exists a plethora of political data on the web in the form of case studies, blogs and raw data.  So, why make the Political Advertising mistakes someone has already made for you?   Although this advice seems elementary, remember to DO YOUR RESEARCH.  We assume that's why you're reading this blog now.  Here are a few links to get you started:

Case studies uses Cloud IVR to collect voter data (LINK) Equality California uses Cloud Call Center to harness the power of volunteers at home (LINK) Thomas Kennedy wins Citrus County using Voice Broadcast (LINK)

Professional references Patrick Michael Kane – Technology driven political advocacy expert, CTO & founder.  Former lead technology consultant for,, OFA and clients.  Website: Brian Donahue – Political Consultant & Founder of Mr. Donahue has managed 4 Federal election campaigns and served on 2 presidential campaign staffs and Headed national 72-hour Task Force for RNC. Mr. Donahue also served as the Executive Director for Bush-Cheney ‘04. Website:

Media Dan Siroker Video - “How We Used Data to Win the Presidential Election” Stanford University & Dan Siroker – the former Data Analytics Manager for the Obama campaign.
 Video: Brian Donahue - Political Strategist: Election Assistance Commission – Data from the 2008 election. See the results.