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2021 Political Tech Landscape Report

This is Higher Ground Labs’ 2021 update to our Political Tech Landscape Report. 

This report comes at a challenging time for our democracy. Disinformation, polarization, military aggression, and the enduring pandemic continue to shake the fabric of our civic life. 

With this backdrop, our community has swung into action. In 2021, we saw significant activity across the political tech space. This includes the largest-ever acquisition of a political tech company, the consolidation of key campaigning tools, and rapid innovation in data sharing and paid media models. The upcoming midterms are shaping up to be a critical test of novel social media, hybrid GOTV, and Web3-enabled fundraising strategies that could power campaigns up-and-down the ballot for years to come.

This report serves as a higher-level update to our last full report in 2020. Recognizing the need to capture the developments and innovations in our industry each year, this off-cycle report is an intentionally shorter version of our last full on-cycle report.

Our 2021 Landscape Report tracks developments within the political technology industry across eight major categories: Media & Messaging, Data Analytics & Modeling, Research, Volunteer & Activist Mobilization and Voter Engagement, Fundraising, and Movement-Wide & Organizational Infrastructure. It highlights emerging trends as well as areas of need and opportunity. 

The executive summary:

      • Influencers and organic content fill the void left by targeted ads

    Social media platforms impose limitations on individual targeting for political ads, forcing campaigns to explore alternative influencer-focused messaging strategies.

        • Experts dig in on Latinx voting motivations

      Given recent underperformance at the ballot box, stakeholders dedicate more resources to studying the rightward shift of the Latinx voter base.

          • M&A activity ramps up across the political tech space

        Headlined by the acquisition of NGP VAN’s parent company EveryAction, M&A activity notably increases, demonstrating the growth and maturation of the political tech market.

            • Web3 technologies begin to touch the political space

          A small number of campaigns begin to accept cryptocurrency donations, responding to our nation’s growing interest in emerging Web3 technologies. Skewing younger and non-white, cryptocurrency’s early adopters represent highly sought after demographics for the Democratic party.

          We hope that you continue to utilize these insights to make informed vendor decisions, enhance movement-wide strategy, and invest in the tools best suited to drive future victories. If you need support in your campaign tech selections, get in touch with us.

          Note: Our annual landscape map is a collective, co-created documentation of our evolving space. Please use this form to contribute updates, suggestions, and corrections any time. Thank you for your help!



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