Tag Archives: Obama 2012

Applying "Inside the Cave" Beyond Campaigns Products, , ,

After reading our report on the Obama campaign’s digital and analytics operations, Inside the Cave, you may have thought to yourself, “That’s fascinating, but how can all this help my organization?”

To answer that question for non-profits, I teamed up with Obama for America’s Michael Slaby to produce “From Politics to Public Policy: How Campaign Lessons Can Amplify Your Work.” The paper was sponsored by the Joyce Foundation, a leading foundation based in Chicago.

We’re quickly seeing the differences in digital methods employed by campaigns, corporations, and non-profits disappear as everyone zeroes in on the same question: “What can I do to make sure the right message hits the right people, and only the right people, at the right time?” With more tools than ever at our disposal, the answer to this question might seem simple. But, as we saw in 2012, tools cannot reach their potential without insight and rigorous testing — even when it means putting sacrosanct gut feelings up to the test.You can read the full paper here or read summaries in the Standford Social Innovation Review.

As always, feel free to get in touch if you have questions. You can reach me at patrick (at) engagedc (dot) com.

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Going Inside the Cave Analytics, Fundraising, Social, , , , , , , ,

In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 presidential campaign – like any campaign – two things happened: the winners went to bragging and the losers started pointing fingers. One thing became clear. Obama for America’s digital, technology, and analytics teams were indispensable in securing the president’s reelection.

OFA was, far and away, the most sophisticated political organization on the planet. And Republicans needed to learn from them. So we set about gathering insights, data, and anecdotes from hundreds of news articles, blog posts, interviews, podcasts, and presentations. Our findings have been collected and organized into a single slide deck called Inside the Cave, which you can download here.

The Cave is what OFA called the windowless room that housed their analytics team. Like digital in 2008, analytics came of age in the 2012 campaign. OFA’s analytics team had 50 staffers. By comparison, the Romney-Ryan campaign had a data team of 4 people.

Veterans of OFA have been surprisingly forthcoming in providing details on how they leveraged the latest in technology and digital strategy to make their campaign as effective and efficient as possible.

In 2016, Republicans can’t afford to fight the battles of 2012. We have to look forward to the future and start preparing now.

Inside the Cave is required studying for anyone involved in electoral politics. Download it now.

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