6 Steps to Making Elections More Customer-Centric


Written by Kevin Joyce

November 1, 2018

In the week before the election we are being barraged with political advertisements on the TV, radio and social media. Apparently, the advertisers don’t know that our household has already made the purchase! We voted by mail a week ago! I am not having a good customer experience this week. What would customer-centric elections look like?

#1 As soon as I lift my pen to sign, stop selling

The instant I submit my vote, all political advertising through all channels targeting me on candidates and issues on the ballot would cease. (Can I get an Amen to #1?).

#2 My persona recoils from negative ads — so stop it

I would gladly share enough of my persona traits so that you can tailor educational advertising to me on the various issues and candidates on the ballot. Negative ads lower my opinion of the organization and individuals behind the ad more than I let it affect my opinion on the issue. Bottom line, don’t even try negative advertising with me.

#3 My buying journey stage varies by issue and candidate on the ballot — so tune in

Some issues and candidates get a lot of media attention and are hotly debated. You can probably see which items I read about on the websites of the major news outlets. So I may be in the evaluation stage on those items. Other items may be more esoteric, and I may still be in the awareness or consideration stages until I finally have a pen in my hand. Adapt your messaging to my buying stage for each issue and don’t waste my time feeding me information I cannot digest, don’t want to ingest or for which I simply have no appetite.

#4 The voters’ pamphlet is a telephone book — replace it with something online

It weighs a pound and has 224 pages. I cannot click on anything in it! There is no online version of it that I can search or highlight. It does not include a workbook where I could jot down my conclusions prior to voting. It is out of date the day after it is delivered because of discovered errors and candidates dropping out. The arguments for, and opposing, all propositions are in black and white text. No images or graphs. I’m a picture sort of guy. This isn’t working for me. Please create an online voters’ pamphlet and allow lobbyists and government officials to observe my digital body language engaging with that document so they can adapt their advertising.

#5 Stop with the direct mail already

My recycle bin is the next stop after I retrieve mail from my mailbox. Junk mail never enters the house. I find it hard to believe that when most US homes have internet, government employees and lobbyists still think direct mail is a good investment. Learn a little about my persona (see #2 above – I’m in Oregon; I love trees). Stop killing trees and start using your heads to meet me in the media I actually use and give me something I can click on to learn more.

#6 Make voting easy for me

This is not rocket science. Make vote by mail available to accommodate working hour restrictions. Put voting locations in places near population centers, near public transit, near parking, and keep them open long enough for me to get there on a work day. Don’t make me wait in line for an hour. I have no problem bringing a government issued piece of ID to verify my identity, but don’t go crazy expecting every government document to spell my name and address exactly the same. It’s government’s job to ensure there is consistency in their paperwork. Remember I’m the customer. You could check the consistency of your records and fix it, even before I get to the polling booth. Imagine that!

Closing words

Can we get to a point, with digital transformation, to where the elections serve us, the customers, just a little better? Will voters be prepared to reveal more of their digital body language and personas to government officials and lobbyists so that the information they (the voters) receive is more relevant and timely? There are obviously many other aspects of elections that are not customer-centric so by all means share your thoughts. Just remain bipartisan and customer-centric in your comments.

Hopefully this got you thinking about how your company could become more customer-centric. If you are ready to transform marketing to a customer-centric approach, give us a call.

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