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“The GOP’s 2016 Digital Revolution” by Phillip Stutts, Campaigns & Elections

One of the first things our firm did after the votes were counted on November 8th was send out an email announcing we’re hiring for several new positions.

Sure, we know there are a lot of talented operatives now looking for work. But we’re also confident that our firm will be able to employ them long term. That’s because, unlike some critics, we believe the consulting industry, and digital in particular, has a bright future.

This cycle we ran digital for two Super PACs backing President-elect Donald Trump, whose own campaign also made online advertising a priority. Moreover, below the presidential level, down-ballot Republicans running blends of traditional and bleeding-edge campaigns cleaned up against Democrats running the Obama campaign playbook.

Consider these numbers: The GOP held 41 Senate seats in 2008. Today they hold 53. The GOP held 178 House seats in 2008. Today they hold 239.  The GOP held 22 governorships in 2008. Today they hold 36.

The GOP now holds an approximate 900 state legislative seat advantage over Democrats, and control 69 of the 99 legislative bodies.

That quick victory lap aside, my message, as a digital media consultant, is plain and simple to the GOP side of the industry: No rest and no patting each other on the back for too long. It’s time to work harder than ever, innovate and grow – especially on the digital media front.

In February 2015 I hosted a digital media panel where we examined the rapidly closing gap between the Republican Party’s digital operations and the Obama machine. No one doubted that Obama had won past battles, but it was also clear from listening to the NRSC’s Tim Cameron and the NRCC’s Tom Newhouse that Republicans would overcome the Obama advantage by investing and innovating (it also helped that the GOP’s top of the ticket is the greatest marketing agent in the world). That’s exactly how Republicans flipped the script…

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