Campaign Strategy (Part 2)
There are a number of reasons why campaigns either succeed or fail.  Over the next few days, we will look at these beginning with targets.  Perhaps the number one reason that campaigns fail or succeed is the definition of the target.  A target is not as simple as being a person, a demographic, or a type.  Those are all characteristics.  The target for a campaign must also be defined in terms of the actions you want to occur that will allow you to win. 
Take for example the current political campaigns which are certainly a business.  The target is defined as voters who will vote for the candidate and allow them to win the election.  Sounds good initially because there is an action required of the target but this is so general, it will inevitably cost much more than a targeted campaign.  If a political campaign were run like a business campaign, some of the parameters defined might be as follows.
1.      How many votes are needed?  If you are looking at the actual vote count the answer is an easy one more than all other candidates.  However the US uses an Electoral College system in which the popular vote in essence is a vote for the electors who will cast the vote in the vote of the electors on the second Wednesday in December.  That certainly changes the target.  But if it was based on raw votes and there was no plurality rule, your campaign needs to reach less than 62% of eligible voters – the ones who vote. 
2.      How do you find voters who will vote?  Of the approximately 207 million people in the US who are potentially eligible to vote in the next election, it is estimated that less than 150 million will vote.   Since voters must be registered to vote and their voting history is recorded and publically available.  In fact the US Census Bureau has great data, to do data mining in which you can begin to build a better target group.  You will also be able to find out how many newly eligible voters generally vote to help you define your target as well as voters who can no longer cast a vote.  With probable voters defined, you can now begin to think about how to reach them and get them to vote for your objective. 
3.      How do you find the ones you need to win?  With voters defined, there is more information than can tighten the work of your campaign.  Looking for consistencies as well as inconsistencies of actions will define your approach, methods and strategy to enhance the outcome of the vote.  For example - A certain percentage of the voters who vote, do so along party lines without fail.  This has averaged approximately 37%.  So the target voter is now making sure that the portion of the 37% that can be counted and the portion of the 63% that can be influenced are moved to your side of the vote.
As you can see in this example (used because it is a current issue and applies well to almost any business model) rather than needing to target potentially 207 million people the actual target is less than 60 million people who will potentially cast a vote.  It is those votes that will determine the election.  It is still a large number but through the use of data mined, targeted strategies can be employed which always produces a better outcome with greater efficiency and less cost than a general campaign. 
If we were looking at this as a business rather than as politics, we would have to question spending.  Perhaps spending very little in general campaigns and the bulk of the money on targeted voters would be a better use of funds. 

In this example, spending attempts to reach everyone in the general population in hopes of reaching voters.  Spending a small amount on general campaign costs for example 5 - 10% of the dollars per vote on general efforts and 90 - 95% per targeted voter, the same proportionate dollars that were needed to win votes targeted might reduce the cost of the campaign by over fifty percent.  While that number is extrapolated and might be high, any number over 10% when you are talking the quantity of dollars spent in these campaigns would most likely get the attention of every person in a “C-level” role of a company.
The bottom line – in campaign strategy, no matter what type of campaign – business, political, military or any other – an undefined target will always be costly and reduce the chance of winning.


Campaign Strategy

Campaign Strategy (Part 1)

Campaigns are all about a methodology that produces a win.  It does not matter whether it is a marketing campaign, military, political, fund raising, branding, customer loyalty or a big sale: the bottom line is the same did you win or lose?   How you get to the win is where the strategy comes in. 

The series of steps, interwoven activities, milestones and planning are a kind of a puzzle.  Unlike a simple sale where there is little that leads to the exchange of dollars, campaigns often begin with a battle for the mind of those involved in the objective.  Campaigns are process driven machines that not only consume energy but create energy and drive results.

Within each campaign, there may be multiple sub campaigns that are occurring sequentially or simultaneously.  There are many moving parts at any given time all tied together with the central objective and focus on the win.

Right now, we are witnessing political campaigns for the presidency of the United States.  If these were dissected, we would find that they are a lot like any business campaign.  Like most business and military campaigns even once the prime objective is accomplished the campaign has a long tail of after effects that are set in motion during the campaign.  Effects may be either good or not so good. 

Great campaigns bring long term value and results because the machine and all of the energy does not cease when the objective has been won.

This month, our series “Campaign Strategy” will explore the components of campaign strategy – what works and what does not and how to make campaigns work for your business.