Sunday, March 20

Participatory Democracy or Integrated Marketing?

On my way to the airport on Friday, I got a telephone call from Friends of Kerry. It had been some time since I had received a telephone call from the campaign - and I was surprised to get a request - not for money, but for having my name included in Kerry's Citizen's Roll Call for saving the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve.

Interestingly enough, this did not start out as a call for money, but for my name to become part of the petition - very similar to the petition handlers I often see on the streets of New York or London. Granted, I was then asked for a donation - which somewhat disappointed me (but then again, how else are they to generate funds) - but this could be the first step in terms of building a true integrated marketing campaign - leveraging what occurs on the web, on the phone, in direct mail and events in the news - to bring the concept of participatory democracy to the next level.

One thing that any of the Democratic organizations could be doing - is integrating the actions of what occurs on the web, direct mail, phone and email. This requires a substantial effort in managing process information (e.g. did the person sign the petition, did they donate, did they mail in a donation) but the potential benefit of being able to comment to me on the phone ("Mr. Dickert, thank you for signing our Roll Call - your involvement helps Senator Kerry make a difference in this Senate...") makes that little difference that can help both in donations as well as future involvement when volunter action is called upon.

To date, I have not seen this effort in the DNC - my understanding is that the web site and the fundraising systems are separate at present (or share a slight interface), but the integration of these systems and databases - and the timely management of the data within them - would help identify the valued Influentials that are incredibly cruical to the Democrat's cause. By building this relationship, and using a little integrated marketing techniques - we can foster more participation - and help every Democratic campaign to win.

Minor anecdote - I was recently visiting a friend's home in London and picked up a call for him. The telemarketing script was incredibly enagaging - and, while I knew the effort was telemarketing, the use of an engaging script and engagement words were spectacular. We in the US could learn a little from this effort - understated but engaging.

1 comment:

Jon Garfunkel said...

Should we induce the Friends for John Kerry really called 260,000 people to thank them? Or maybe they called special friends. Or people who would go blog about it.

Who asked for a donation-- Friends of John Kerry? For what campaign...?

Agreed, certainly, that constituent feedback needs to be better aggregated.