Running a campaign and increasing your public appeal is no easy business. Today, most elections are so competitive that just having the right qualifications is not enough! You must rely on many GOTV operations, one of which is CRM.
What is a (political) CRM?
This term is frequently used in marketing as an abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management. For use in politics, however, it has been appropriately rephrased as Citizen Relationship Management. In both cases, the meaning remains the same: to build relationships with your target demographic, consider their statistical attributes, and find ways to strengthen and expand them. Simply put, political CRM is the union of PR and data analysis.
Types of (political) CRM
The different aspects of CRM for elections are reflected in its different types.
1. Analytical CRM is the application of statistical techniques to draw trends from voter files.
2. Collaborative CRM is the procurement of third-party services to collect the necessary data and feedback.
3. Operational CRM involves integrating the efforts of your PR team, volunteers, and on-field campaigners.
4. Platform CRM deals with the IT side of things, i.e., developing and implementing database software called CRM software.
5. Strategic CRM is all about focusing your efforts on the citizen and building a voter-centric model. The use of specific tags and filters to prioritize target demographics is also included in this type.
How to Use Political CRM
An election candidate may opt to do CRM for elections in either a traditional or modern manner. The latter uses state-of-the-art CRM software to increase the efficiency of the process ten-fold. You should follow these steps when adopting a modern approach.
1. Choose the Right CRM Software
Your choice depends on which teams are going to use available voter files and other data. Also, the scale of your campaign will determine the need for more complex software. A small campaign may not need the many high-end features of a complex program to meet its GOTV needs.
2. Centralize Data Collection
The most important step in CRM is, perhaps, collecting the data and storing it in a central archive. This archive can be viewed only by the personnel with the right clearance. Statistical analysis can be viewed and used by the rest of the team, but direct access to sensitive, personal information is limited to select individuals.
3. Identify Trends and Preferences
The ultimate objective of data analysis is to identify and establish trends and patterns. Political CRM observes how voters reacted to certain political conditions or aspects of past campaigns and uses this information to predict how they will respond in future elections.
4. Understand Your Audience
Good CRM for political campaigns takes voter data and gives you the power to analyze it. This helps you get a broader picture of your target audience and how to reach them.
5. Segment the Audience
Your audience consists of all types of people. CRM enables you to generalize and classify their needs and, thus, categorize them. These categories may be based on geography, beliefs, industry, jobs, etc. It makes it easier for your volunteers to target specific information to only those that would be interested.
6. Customize the Plan and Target Specific Groups
To maintain and increase supporters, your communication must be compatible with that of each specific voter group. Keeping their needs and opinions in mind, you can design a unique plan for each segment. This is far more effective than a single, general plan for a diverse audience.
7. Broaden Your Audience
With the right CRM analytics, you can easily ascertain whether a community tends to support you or not. In the latter case, they may disagree with a particular policy proposal, or simply misunderstand your stance – whatever the case, you often need to persuade such groups to win a competitive election. Political CRM software helps pinpoint and tag the likely cause and aids you in winning them over.
Benefits of Using a Political CRM
Your CRM to help strategize your campaign is also beneficial to the electorate through:
1. Voter Empowerment: Mass data collection and analysis ensures that every voter’s opinion is taken into account while contributing to campaign policy.
2. Centralized Administration: Voter requests go directly through a centralized channel, i.e., the political CRM software, making it easier to address their concerns.
3. Rapid Mobilization of Services: Priority filters in the software enable the volunteers to promptly respond to requests and help out potential voters in understanding the candidate's stance, the election process, registration, etc.
CRM software is a huge asset to any campaign in the 21st century. It helps the relevant parties understand the viewpoints of one another and communicate clearly. Political CRM not only streamlines the GOTV process but also strengthens the candidate-voter relationship which is the heart and soul of democracy!