Phillip Stutts

Trickle-down economics can sometimes be the perfect metaphor for political campaigns. The candidates and campaigns with the most money have the luxury of testing innovations and investing in technologies—failing, succeeding, and creating go-to targeting techniques that have the ability to transform.

Eventually the best ideas, strategies and tactics trickle their way down the ballot to smaller state and local races.

With the incredible use of digital media by the Obama 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and the Republican revamp in 2014, it is now imperative that lower-level campaigns align their budgets with the explosive growth in the industry. It’s even more important now, because the technology at our fingertips is incredibly precise.

So what does a full digital media budget entail? It can range from organic/paid social media content to a dynamic web presence to investments in hyper-targeted video and banner ads—all delivered directly to a voter on their laptop, smartphone, or tablet. And this isn’t just an advocacy tool. It can be a turnout and fundraising tool as well. The last of the three is the secret sauce Democrats still hold over the heads of Republicans heading into 2016.

My firm, Go BIG Media, recently brought together some of the industry’s top digital professionals for a discussion on the latest trends in this space. Annie Lewis, who serves as client partner for Facebook, pointed to a study the company did on digital fundraising that was eye opening. The study looked at those who received a Facebook ad after a fundraising email and those who didn’t. Those who received ads donated in larger amounts and at higher rates.

What makes this even more critical is that digital media technology is both precise and affordable when targeting a specific voter—two of the biggest hindrances for smaller campaigns…

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