Whatever the politics, experts will tell you that political campaigns are won based on the “ground game” — the outreach strategy a campaign uses to drive donations, broaden constituencies and finally get people to pull the right lever. Both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns featured dynamic ground games, which set a new gold standard for using new media in politics.
Toby Fallsgraff and Marie Ewald were, respectively, Email Director and Deputy Digital Director for the 2012 campaign. Here are some things that might surprise you about this super-efficient machine. They didn’t always know what they were doing. They kept changing things and trying again. Sometimes what was working stopped working. They were very bad at predicting what would get results. They tested, they kept trying. In other words, a digital campaign–even one as sophisticated as this–works a little like a toddler: try, fail, try again, test results, learn, fail, try, eureka, oops, try, fail, test, succeed! Or like an adult, come to think of it. Steve Daigneault writes informatively about it at M + R Labs.