3 Key Takeaways from Campaign Tech East

On May 2nd and 3rd, some of the brightest minds in civic technology and digital campaign strategy gathered in Washington DC for the annual Campaign Tech East conference. For two days, digital strategists, technology experts, and content marketing professionals discussed the 2016 election and the dramatic evolution in how we execute and win campaigns.

As the preeminent platform for civic empowerment and email supporter acquisition, Change.org was excited to be part of the conversation this year in a panel discussing “Exploring the Value of Emerging Channels”.

I joined Lenny Alcivar, Director of Client Strategy at Targeted Victory, Carl Sceusa, Chief Technology Officer at IMGE, and Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer at Fluent on a panel to discuss emerging social and digital channels and how to strategically decide which platforms will further your campaign goals. At a time when digital marketing trends are rapidly changing and most campaigns have to balance finite budgets and staff resources, choosing the right platforms to carry your message can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Platforms like Change.org have proven, through the integrity of our mission and the quality of supporters that we help clients identify, that we are a critical component of any campaign strategy. The advocates that engage with your mission through Change.org Sponsored Campaigns will become the supporters, donors, and ultimately, voters that you will need to win your primary or in November. Many of you didn’t get a chance to join us at CTE16, and we don’t want you to feel left out of the conversation.

Three key takeaways for campaigns and elections in 2016:

1. Growing & cultivating an email list is still important.

Campaigns can lose sight of this important step, instead choosing to waste time debating the merits of emerging platforms or trends. A good email list, grown through direct opt-in advertising and cultivated over time through a personalized email marketing strategy will pay dividends in the future and is one of the few elements of your campaign that delivers on cross-departmental campaign goals and can be sustained from reelection to reelection.

Check out these two campaigns who are using strategically Change.org to identify supporters and grow their email list:

2. Focusing on the fundamentals is...well, fundamental.

Each of the panelists kept coming back to one important theme: master the basics first. Even though the two day conference focused on the next frontier of digital marketing strategy, all were in agreement that campaigns still need to focus on getting the fundamentals right and to prioritize investment in tangible and long-term resources, like email.

Don’t forget the great resource Change.org has for mastering fundamentals like writing a great fundraising appeal.

3. Find vendors who will be part of your team

Make sure you choose vendors and platforms who will serve as an extension of your campaign and hold them accountable to that . At Change.org, we are committed to partnering with clients to identify the solutions and strategies that will help them achieve victory.

Check out our recent white paper: How to Remain Relevant in 2016 When You’re Not a Candidate or PAC where we share strategy on how to elevate your issues throughout this election.

Every election cycle brings new social platforms and digital marketing trends and there was a lot of debate at CampaignTech about what the platform of choice for this cycle will be. And while we may not have figured that out just yet, there is one thing that we can all agree on. Email is still the best way to raise money and mobilize your supporters and Change.org is excited to help your campaign achieve that in 2016.

Written by Julia Smekalina, Director of Business Development