Phillip Stutts

In political marketing, you win or you die. Either your candidate is elected, or they, and you are out of a job. This isn’t news to anyone in campaigns.

But in the corporate marketing space, it’s a different story.

I’ve spent the past two years interviewing more than 100 CEOs and entrepreneurs and found that 95 percent of them constantly feel frustrated and let down by the digital marketing firms they hire. It’s as if their marketing firm just isn’t working towards the same overarching outcomes as the business itself.

In doing these interviews, I realized there are several factors that drive political digital marketers to work quickly, efficiently, and with an unmatched level of innovation transparency to the client. Business owners should demand their marketing firms work like a political marketing firm if they want to see bigger ROI. Here’s why.

Agencies win only when the client wins

Client frustrations with the corporate marketing firms they hire often take root in the fact that the agency experiences payoff prior to — and sometimes regardless of — whether or not the client’s overarching outcome is achieved. The chief culprit of this is the long-term contract.

But for the political marketer, success occurs only if our candidates win on Election Day. We don’t use the unbreakable, long-term contracts of corporate marketing agencies. Our firm starts with a probationary trial period and only if the client is satisfied do we continue on a month-to-month contract.

This holds our firm accountable to the client each day because the client can fire us at any time. If they lose, we lose. Too many losses, and we are out of business. Unlike corporate marketing firms, political digital marketing agencies are always working towards the client’s ultimate goal — winning on Election Day — or they both lose.

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