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Canvassing App: what is it about?

In this article we talk about canvassing apps, what they are and why they are useful.

Hendrik Giesecke
12/10/2021
7 min read
Canvassing App: what is it about?

Door-to-door canvassing is a very old practice of solicitation at home. It consists of a salesperson, a donor recruiter or a political activist going to people's homes in order to sell or to make contact. In the age of digitalization and exploitation of public data, door-to-door applications have been created to facilitate this practice and increase the skills of the people who use them.


Origin of door-to-door applications


Inspired by American election campaigns, notably that of Barack Obama in 2008, and then imported into France, door-to-door applications promised campaign teams to renew the dialogue with voters. The idea of door-to-door applications is not to upset this practice, whose fundamentals are well established. Rather, it is to improve the practice by organizing efforts via digital means, and by giving campaigners stronger campaigning tools.


The progressive disappearance of field activists


These door-to-door applications were quickly presented as an effective response on the ground, to better structure its local anchoring and win votes. These applications are an excellent example of phygitalization (combining the advantages of physical presence with digital applications and features). Presence on the ground is necessary, but it is increased thanks to door-to-door software. Moreover, it has become necessary to better organize one's teams on the ground since the number of activists (and members) has been constantly decreasing in France since 2007, all political parties included. It is also to counter this trend that door-to-door applications are more and more popular among political organizations.


The lack of exchange between brands and consumers


For many brands, digitalization has reduced the number of exchanges with consumers. No more in-store exchanges in the digital age. Intermediation also creates a communication deficit. Indeed, a brand distributed in large and medium-sized stores has very few exchanges with its customers.


In such a context, creating a link with your target and potential consumers must be done through other channels. Door-to-door canvassing is one of them. Qomon offers companies that want to conduct qualitative and quantitative research solicitation at home a door-to-door application that facilitates their approach. In concrete terms, they can target the members of the study in advance by crossing socio-economic data and electoral data (electoral lists, results of the last elections at the polling station level).


Then, they can set up a survey directly in the application, so that the interviewers can easily ask questions to the people they meet. There is nothing better to get opinions on our brand than to carry out a notoriety survey or a more complex opinion study.


The lack of donors


Door-to-door applications have the great advantage of offering precise targeting of potential donors. For example, NGOs can target "affluent" people on a block or neighborhood level who are likely to become donors. They can also discriminate between populations based on their vote, their age, or their family status. All these criteria make it possible to verify that the population of a place corresponds to the persona of the NGO, to the image of the potential donor.

Features of a door-to-door application


Many applications have been created over the years. We are not going to mention them all here. But, we will focus on the features they offer.


Organizing door-to-door canvassing in advance


As an electoral campaign coordinator, or as a donation manager in an NGO, you can organize your door-to-door campaign in advance on a defined geographical sector by using dedicated applications. Not all of them offer exactly the same features. The most complete to date remains Qomon. Indeed, you can easily choose which activists to involve in this operation. At the same time, you can select very precisely a geographical area (on the scale of a street number).


Then, your door-to-door campaign takes the form of a friendly event to join on the same principle as the events on social networks. The idea is to make your activists want to join and participate.


Targeting who to meet


Thanks to the extremely precise data of some electoral campaigns’ CRMs, you can know in the field which door to knock on for each address. For example, in a building with about 20 apartments, you know precisely that there are only 13 voters registered on the electoral rolls of the municipality. This saves a lot of time and efficiency for candidates, who have to deal with the decreasing number of activists.


At the commune level, door-to-door can also be anticipated according to the polling stations considered a priority by the candidate. This targeting at the level of a district, a municipality, a polling station is done thanks to a very precise crossing of the socio-economic data with the electoral results. Thus, a good number of door-to-door applications (this is the case of Qomon) are able to specify the electoral trend of a district as well as the average standard of living or the composition of households in this district.


Beyond the purely electoral approach, door-to-door applications can be used by NGOs or foundations that want to meet a specific age group, or people living in a specific neighborhood. The idea will then be to canvass only the targeted people thanks to the door-to-door application.


Door-to-door feedback


Door-to-door applications mostly work in the form of a downloadable mobile app that can be easily launched from one's phone. Activists on the ground can then operate it when in contact with the inhabitants.


Thus, companies or public authorities can use Qomon's door-to-door application to carry out an awareness campaign on a specific subject. They can also collect the opinion of targeted inhabitants on specific themes that are the subject of debate: such as the place of nuclear power in the country, or the way we consume energy.


It is important to specify that these door-to-door applications have the obligation to comply with strict rules concerning personal data protection. This is obviously the case for Qomon, which scrupulously respects the laws and standards in force!


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