eCampaign comes to a close – but will the conversation continue?

This morning, Matt Carter sent the last email from the Labour Party 2005 campaign – thanking me for my support and hard work this campaign. And, as suggested, the Labour Party sent two emails on Election Day – one from my good friend John O’Farrell and one from John Prescott. Again, it was focused on the goal – get-out-the-vote. The question is – did it work?

How do you measure the effectiveness of a campaign
Funny thing, the Internet. In the Valley, the world revolves around the perception that the Internet is a separate world (World Wide Web, blogosphere) – having its own dimensions, rules, mores and constraints.

In dotcom version 1, the understanding of the offline/online mix was torn between total takeover (read: The Internet will completely destroy the offline world with efficiencies not possible in the physical realm) to physical redemption (offline brands takeover online successes) to successful synergies (read: Dell, Walmart, online banking, etcera). But politics – this is another effort. This is an effort of brand persuasion that, based on the actions of the “company” over the past period, you have to overcome perception with messaging either positive for the company or negative for the competitor. Im political terms, this is called increasing the positives, or increasing the negatives.

And, in this world, keeping customers from buying period can be a benefit. Where does this lead? Into the discussion of how the Internet effort is NOT an individual effort within the marketing and campaign mix. From the lessons of business, the Internet campaign must be designed to integrate with the rest of the campaign message – and can leverage the concept of targeted messaging due to the synergy of lower-cost database mining, customer profiling, and email communications.

Labour won, but so did the Conservatives
Today, Michael Howard stepped down from the head of the Conservative Party – but he should take some pride in the fact that his campaign was more successful than others gave the Conservatives credit for. Using the skills developed in America and Australia, and combining the skills from effective retail direct mail marketing – the Conservatives were able to win in the constituancies that either Labour or the LibDems were focusing their efforts. Instead of treating the country as a whole and only using broadcast as a means to communicate their message – the Conservatives seem to have been especially effective in tailoring their message to the targeted communities to win over support. And, not being a resident in one of the targeted constituancies, I could not see any content being sent that was focused. The next step will more that likely be the refinement of the email campaign – where messages become tailored even more so as the databases that drove the direct mail campaign are turned onto the email lists.

It is this refinement that I wonder about – and will the Parties start to realize the conversation is just beginning? Instead of shutting down efforts in the short-term, will they continue their efforts to maintain the communication channel? Labour, Conservative and LibDems all have more information of their supporters – why not think of them as the influentials that they are – and build the relationship?

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