Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why devote resources to the web?

If only one third of Americans use the web to research political campaigns, why should campaigns invest in a meaningful web presence? (Put aside the value of small-d democracy for the moment; let's focus on winning.)

According to a 2004 study done by the Institute for Politics and the Internet (pdf),

Online Political Citizens are not isolated cyber-geeks, as the media has portrayed them. On the contrary, OPCs are nearly seven times more likely than average citizens to serve as opinion leaders among their friends, relatives and colleagues. [...] Normally, 10% of Americans qualify as Influentials. Our study found that 69% of Online Political Citizens are Influentials.
You read that right, the folks who are doing their political research online are seven times more likely to influence others.

If you believe, as I do, that word-of-mouth marketing gets faster/better results, it's pretty clear that influencing the influencers is a strategic investment in success.

Perhaps even more important than the large sphere of influence these people enjoy, is the fact that people who come to your web site are actively seeking out your candidate's message; 100% of the people who land on your web site meant to go there.

What percentage do you estimate intend to read your direct mail or listen to your radio ads or watch your tv spots?

So, if your web presence incorporates and amplifies your campaign message, you can multiply the effectiveness of your online investment by the influence exerted by web visitors and by the willingness of your web visitors to pay attention to your message.

Invest wisely,

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