As we have made the case before, the key to Obama’s win was not that they had better technology, it was that they made digital and technology a priority then integrated it into their core decision-making.
Over the last several election cycles, Republican digital operatives have come away from campaign after campaign frustrated that digital is still a footnote among priorities. It’s easy to say that digital politics have fallen behind, that commercial marketers are well ahead of where we are. Fortunately or unfortunately, it seems we are not alone. Gerry McGovern, a Dublin-based expert on UI and UX, recently conducted a study of web professionals that found:
“In a substantial number of organizations, management—particularly senior management—is still disengaged from the Web. A lot of managers do not take the Web seriously. They don’t think strategically about it. If they do think about it they think about technology; buying a new content management system or portal. But they rarely focus on helping simplify the customer’s life. When it comes to employees there is a near-contempt for the idea that part of a manager’s job is making it easier for employees to do theirs.”
What if we, in politics, thought about “simplifying the customer’s life” — or in our parlance, “simplifying the voter’s life”?
What if every Victory program, campaign tactic, speech, ad, website, or email had the objective of simplifying the decision for the voter? If we were transparent, authentic, and relational in our communications? If we refused to accept 2-3% response rates?
Remember all the numbers flying around before the election about how many calls had been made? That’s measuring inputs, and clearly isn’t an effective measure of success. What if we measured outcomes? How many voters were swayed? How many persuadable voters turn into volunteers?
As McGovern goes on to say:
“Delivering more simplicity for customers often means doing less but doing it much better. And it means measuring outcomes, not inputs. You can’t measure simplicity by using traditional measures of production. Nor can you measure simplicity based on some internal judgment. And it can be just as dangerous to ask customers whether something is simple or not. You measure simplicity based on customer use. You observe outcomes. You measure your customers’ ability to complete top tasks.”
What if we delivered simplicity? What if we delivered clarity and authenticity? Is there a market for that in politics?
I hope so.