How British businesses can harness digital in the same way as political parties

Offer something that customers want

If you want people’s attention, you need to offer something in return. For the Conservatives, the challenge was to make politics personal and relevant to people’s lives. One of the key ways they did that was building interactive websites that told people how the Conservatives’ policies were helping them and their family.

This helped the Conservatives more than quadruple the size of their email database – to from 300,000 to 1.4m people – in under two years.

This should be an easy one for business. There are so many great ideas in organisations for providing their customers with meaningful insight. Digital just makes this easier and quicker.

Make sure you offer something customers want – and you will be rewarded with insight from them that will help you engage with them about the issues they care about. 

Make your supporters part of your team

Every business, every brand has its hard-core supporters or super-fans. During the election campaign, the Conservatives focused and harnessed the incredible enthusiasm of their supporters through their Share the Facts website and mobile app. 

Harness your brand supporters – help them to become brand advocates. Engage your employees – another lesson around integrated marketing and communication. Many organisations can count their employees as customers too. 

Every business is in campaign mode now

It doesn’t matter whether your business is politics, pallets or polo shirts, every organisation needs to start operating in campaign mode. 

Businesses tend to think of campaigns as time-based projects. Digital changes all this because the channel is open for your customers, competitors, employees and the media 24×7. So, like an ongoing political campaign – in the digital world you need to be in campaign mode all the time.

Tom Edmonds was the director of digital and creative for the 2015 Conservative Party election campaign. He is also the co-founder of digital consultancy Edmonds Elder and can be contacted at tom.edmonds@edmondselder.com.

Terry Corby is a partner at The Foundation, a firm of growth architects, who help clients build famous customer centric organisations and solve their most difficult growth challenges. He can be contacted at tcorby@the-foundation.com.

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