After an election cycle that saw record spending and more calendar-shifted voting, consultants from all campaign industry areas are grappling with volume and timing questions.
As the mid-term election draws closer, pollsters are debating whether too many calls to voters in areas already hit hard by survey calls skewed their results. In an increasingly fragmented audience environment, media consultants and ad buyers argue about the level of digital and TV spending required to get results. In addition, consultants are also skeptical about what volume can be maintained after practitioners saw a ramped-up frequency to reach audiences stuck at home because of the pandemic.
The volume question was clearly answered for Republicans, at least in terms of mail. Ian Rushton, a partner at Bridges Consulting, noted that an average of three pieces of mail was sent a week during the last primary season as compared to two pieces a week in the past.
“Most people were hitting voters with the same frequency, but we were hitting voters more often, and we got positive feedback on that.” During the pandemic-induced recession, campaigns that opted against contacting voters for donations missed an opportunity.
“Direct response channels produced a great benefit for campaigns that pushed forward even after everyone thought fundraising appeals would plummet,” said Rushton. “The returns were astronomical during the pandemic. Most of my clients doubled or tripled their budgets as a result.”
Campaigns that maintained their volume of messages throughout the pandemic made softer appeals to voters. However, without quality messaging, volume can be irrelevant or even hurt a campaign. It’s paramount that campaigns and consultants craft targeted messages that resonate with their voter demographic. Jonathan Bridges, Bridges Consulting’s managing partner said, “Response rates vary greatly based on the quality of the interaction. We can’t stress to our clients enough to know their audience. Ask yourself, what are your voters’ needs, what is affecting the quality of their life? Then you take that targeted message and choose a medium that effectively connects with your voters.”
For example, a candidate recorded a 45-second message on their phone, uploaded it to Facebook, and then crafted it as a text message, then we could even place a robocall using the sound file. This communication strategy is really effective because it will hit voters directly and they will see your messages multiple times.
Bridges Consulting urges campaigns to think beyond traditional volume and consider targeting messaging that incorporates digital messaging, including texting. Let’s discuss how we can create that interactive experience with your voters that go beyond the mass robocalls. Contact us to learn more.