Vice President of Data and Digital Advocacy Solutions Marc Klein joins our #StrategySession today with insight into the role of data in today’s advocacy campaigns.
Like so many things in today’s technologically driven world, marketing is shaped and changed by the use of data. We see this in our day-to-day lives: in the products advertised to us on social media, in the way that we buy and sell goods, even in the way we grocery shop as our regular store sends us coupons for the products we buy most. We can use these same trends for issue advocacy, benefitting both businesses and consumers.
Let’s take a look at New York. Our state legislature meets yearly from January to June. Those businesses and activists seeking to impact change at the state level wait until the legislature is in session to try to facilitate action.
At that point, though, it is often too late to get the message across. The time frame for legislative action is limited.
What, then, can groups looking to create change do? The answer is simple: seek to create awareness, then persuade and activate their audience before the legislative session is ever called to order.
We regularly see missed opportunities with advocacy issues. Just the other day I heard a radio advertisement with a call to action. You’ve heard it before: “Call this number and tell your legislator to take action,” and “Let the Governor know.” Unfortunately for the advertiser, I was driving at the time and could not take note of the number to call and wasn’t in a position to respond. Rather than use data to target, persuade, and activate their audience, this particular advertiser spent thousands of dollars to advertise to people like me who couldn’t instantly act on their call, as well as an immeasurable number of people who weren’t interested in their message. Using good, quality data could have saved the group time and significant financial resources while also improving the outcome of activating an audience that agrees with their premise.
There is a simple solution that involves updating the way we advocate for issues: technology. Government affairs can harness the power of data to impact the change they want to see. Results would be both impactful and direct. Technology can and should work hand-in-hand with traditional grassroots advocacy.
Additionally, many ideas get lost behind the trepidation of losing an impending election. Instead of being motivated by fear, data can tell us how to effectively persuade, motivate, and activate, even on the most controversial of issues. By using data, we can prompt the people who will be directly impacted by our issue and we know exactly what language to use to encourage them to action.
Don’t just take my word for it. George Lence, co-founder and President of Nicholas & Lence Communications, thinks so, too. He said, “If we have a conversation with voters about the value of our issues, they will make sure that their elected officials know that it’s important. We have the ability with data-driven technology to tell the story before the competition does, and we can tell it to the people who are directly impacted by the issue for which we are advocating.”
Or David Weinraub, who is managing partner of Brown & Weinraub, PLLC, a strategic consulting firm in Albany, who said, “Businesses that want their issue at the forefront of legislative minds at the State Capitol need to start having the discussion before the legislative session ever begins. Once our legislators are assembled, there is a lot of business at hand. We have to work on the education piece before the gavel ever hits the rostrum. We can use technology to make that happen, merging the old world of issue advocacy with the new, technologically-savvy options for engagement.”
Technology has changed the way we communicate and how we conduct business.
Marketing and government affairs can and should embrace data-driven technological advancements to have greater outcomes at a reduced cost, saving precious advertising dollars.
Learn more before you go:
Is Your Advocacy Campaign Ready?
A New Way of Thinking: Advocacy Audiences
Download Our Advocacy “How to” Guides