In the average election year, many campaigns report waiting to finalize their tech platform until after Labor Day. According to our market survey, 34% of buyers begin to engage with tech vendors four to six months before the elections. While many factors contribute to the delay in selection, there are significant opportunity costs with this timeline. For example, when campaign teams wait to implement their tech stacks in September, they lose valuable time needed to fully set up and roll out their platforms, train volunteers, and get the full use out of their tech investments. By the time the election comes in November, many staff and volunteers are just getting used to their new tools rather than highly effectively using them to get out the vote.
By moving up this timeline and aiming to invest in campaign tech by Independence Day, July 4th, campaigns gain precious, extra time to understand and fully utilize their tools. This implementation runway is often crucial for campaign organizers and volunteers to feel confident in the tech they are using and ensure proper data management. Successful broadcasting, fundraising, and volunteer programs need to be prioritized earlier in campaigns to maximize tools. Campaign tech expert and former Biden campaign advisor. Tessa Simonds (now at Blue State), recommends that these tools should be treated like email programs, because they are equally essential and foundational to campaign success.
More than that, investing earlier not only bolsters your own campaign or initiative, but it also contributes to the larger ecosystem. HGL’s portfolio companies form coalitions for progressive causes, so organizations can collaborate for the greater good. When campaigns begin using these tools earlier, they can help shape integrations, promotions, or other product features that enhance all causes in the space. Your campaign’s data and technology administrators can use this lead time to set up more robust integrations and data flows that will support expanded strategic outreach in October and November.
In regards to this cultural shift, Higher Ground Labs co-founder Betsy Hoover said in a recent HGL webinar that “[Moving up the campaign tech implementation timeline] would be a game-changer in the impact that this technology can have and the strength of our infrastructure heading into the midterms.”
Many campaign managers have to hit the brakes on selecting tech due to budget, hiring, or strategy uncertainty earlier in the cycle. However, if we have a broad conversation about the benefits, we can collectively support a culture change in this space that will empower digital leaders to implement tools, collaborate across teams, and solve problems sooner.
So, tell us on Twitter, how would your campaign be different if you invested in tech by July 4th?