Campaign Tools: Let Campaign Strategy Drive Your Choice

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Let Campaign Strategy Drive Your Campaign Tools Decisions

Campaign Tools: Know Your Strategy Before You Pick!

There are so many campaign tools out there it can be hard to choose which one to use. Here are a few questions that you should ask before you lay down money for a campaign tool.

How many votes do I need?
Having a real vote goal is essential for winning campaigns. Identifying the win number and a vote goal will allow you to figure out how many votes you need to win and create a strategy around them.

Who will vote? 
A big part of the exercise of developing a vote goal is analyzing voter files and past voter turnout data to understand the potential electorate on demographic and geographic grounds. Additionally, it will allow your campaign to understand the electorate on an individual level to best identify who are likely supporters and what engagement tactics will be most effective.

How will I win this election? 
Strategy first and tactics second - knowing who to target and what message will move them allows you to think about how to implement the right message strategies.

What is my strategy to win? 
There are several ways to target potential voters that can be pursued simultaneously. Do you want to persuade existing voters that participated in the presidential election? Are there former supporters of your opponent that can be swayed to defect to your campaign with targeted messaging? Understanding how different demographics can be targeted, engaged, and persuaded should be a core basis of your campaign strategy, 

What tactics should I use? 
Deciding on tactics before having a defined strategy is a common campaign mistake that can lead to significant difficulties throughout your campaign. An effective campaign will identify their strategy first and then develop tactics. This ensures that tactics fit identified target voters, campaign messaging, and platform points. Otherwise, a campaign runs the risk of being handcuffed to tactics that may be ineffective or at worst, contradictory.

What resources will I have? 
People, time, and money are the core resources required for any political campaign. Knowing what resources are available to your campaign, and to what extent, is essential to make effective tactical decisions without over-extending your campaign.

What tools will help me enhance my campaign strategy? 
OK, now we can finally talk about tools. Depending on what type of campaign operation your organizing, you’ll need a diverse array of tools to streamline your efforts. For instance, if you’re running a major canvassing operation, you’ll need tools that accomplish the following: donor tracking, volunteer coordination, and relational organizing.

Pare back before you pay:
Before you shell-out money for tools, make sure you accurately assess your campaign resources. This will ensure that you select tools that fit within your budget and have the necessary people to implement and maintain them. Before committing to tools, look at benefits and discounts offered by your state partner and partner organizations. You should also think about how many labor hours a tool will require. If the return on investment isn’t greater than other options, it may be beneficial to pursue other options that are more important to the overall campaign strategy.

Have more questions about choosing campaign tools? Ask them here.