I read a piece this morning about how political campaigns are doing a bad job of using the data available to them. The main thrust of the article is this:
It doesn’t make the most sense to continue advertising to a voter after they’ve already made a decision about which candidate they’ll choose on Election Day. While inefficient government spending seems as inevitable as death and taxes, it is still shocking how much budget is wasted marketing to voters who have already demonstrated an affinity one way or another.
You might be sitting there smugly saying to yourself that it’s typical of how politics is out of touch with the real world. After all, many campaigns are marketing organizations that come together for a relatively brief period of time with a basic short-term goal: convince 50.1% of voters to buy your product by a date certain. Our businesses, on the other hand, are in it for the long term and need to garner on-going and repeat business so we’re forced to be better at marketing. But are we?
I’d suggest that we’re really not. Many of us spend a good chunk of our money trying to convince another brand’s partisans to switch to our brand while spending inefficiently against the “undecideds” that are more open to choosing us. That thinking is why a lot of money targets the young. In theory, they are less locked-in to any brand. But why stop there?
We need to spend less time selling what’s already been sold and focus on growing our consumer base. Yes, reinforcing and thanking your current user base is important but it should take far fewer resources than finding and convincing those who are both open to a brand message and ready to buy. You probably aren’t going to turn off your “base” and you’re never going to convince the other brand’s base no matter what you do. You with me?