With the Iowa caucuses about a year away it's time for potential Presidential campaigns to put together a data strategy. Below are some tips for 2016 Presidential campaigns from the staff at L2, America's leading non-partisan voter data provider.
1. Seek out a data partner, now.
When looking to purchase data on the national level you are making a major commitment that will have long-term consequences on your campaign strategy and budget. Think of your data provider as a partner and make sure they're accessible and easy to work with, have technology and speed that gives you an advantage over other campaigns and data that is unparalleled in quality. Quality is often overlooked especially by firms that provide dozens of services that happen to include data. Bundled services that appear to "save money" usually end up costing campaigns more because the data is an afterthought, it's low quality and yields poor results.
2. Know your strengths and target.
Once you've picked the right data partner start identifying potential targets both for donations and political support. We all know New Hampshire and Iowa rely on door-to-door politicking but since you can't hit every door, even in smaller states, identify your issues then find those potential supporters. Using L2 VoterMapping you can easily find strong supporters or opponents on a slew of issues then dig into their voting histories. L2 VoterMapping and L2 Data can also be used to search through contribution information and help you find those individuals and households most likely to show support.
3. Plan for the long game, everyone else is.
New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina are critical to gaining momentum early on but in a year without an incumbent or a clear front runner (at least on the Republican side), states that come later in the game might be just as critical. Budgeting for and purchasing a national file is necessary because in order to have a chance at survival in a Presidential primary your team needs to plan ahead and find the best opportunities to keep the campaign alive. L2 data can be used to make sure your phone banks are calling the right homes, your canvassers are knocking on the right doors, your email messaging is going to the right inboxes and your TV buy isn't being wasted blanketing a market when you could be targeting by cable zones.
4. Don't rely on the party for data.
Every campaign is looking for an advantage, let data be yours. Party data or data straight from the state or county might seem appealing from a cost perspective but if every primary candidate is sharing the same, typically low quality data, this takes away any possible strategic advantage. L2 data is both high quality and provides additional commercial fields allowing candidates to target beyond party ID and gender. Being able to target on issues, interests, past contributions can make sure your financial and logistical resources aren't being wasted.
5. Don't just follow the herd.
Some of the biggest data and platform companies will try and sell you on the myth that there are no choices in the world of political data. Partisan data providers demand cult like allegiance with some demanding you turn over data your campaign collected in addition to massive fees for data and platforms. At L2 we pride ourselves on attention to quality, speed and technology. Our goal is to make sure you have the highest quality data, when you need it and that you're seeing the greatest return on your investment.
For more information on L2 Data or L2VoterMapping email Paul Westcott or call 646-457-1439.