It’s election time in the humble, little Western-European country I live in. The political landscape is more complex than ever with many different parties positioning themselves, including the Pirates Party, the 50+ Party and the Party for the Animals (the latter predicted good for 3 of the 150 seats in the parliament). With such diverse and tough competition, it is understandable that party campaign bureaus consider every channel available to reach out to the hearts of the voters. Unsurprisingly in 2012, social media is widely utilized with many political leaders increasingly busy on Twitter and Facebook.
Does it help? Hardly.
Recent research of the university of Nijmegen suggests that an active Twitter account will add a maximum of 500 votes. Even in my country, that’s insignificant. The hypothesis of the researchers is that only a very specific subset of the population will follow politicians through social media. And if they do, they already know whom to vote for. In practice, live-broadcasted TV panel debates turn out to be much more influential on potential voters.
It confirms our earlier findings in the Digital Shopper Relevancy study – and let’s assume for now, that voters behave in no significant way differently from shoppers -: channels will quickly emerge, and in order to reach shoppers and voters the like, all these channels need to be considered. However, as we noted a few weeks ago, a relevancy strategy is key, both to avoid being a Me Too party (would certainly work as a name in the regional political landscape, come to think of it) and to optimize impact on the target ‘shopper’ population.
So yes: by all means take a multi-channel, all-channel, whole-channel, omni-channel perspective. But realize that the need for mastering all channels is a myth that might seriously absorb your energies and focus. Instead, map your relevance strategy on the right channels in order to find a unique route to the ‘market’.
I vote for that.