Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The "Old" is getting REALLY OLD !

WARNING:  The Quantum Leap is Still Ahead of Us!

These past six weeks I have been doing corporate consulting.  Hop-by-hop, I have flown around the world, west to east.  What have I learned?  
  • Consumer marketing is a lot more fun in a booming economy.
  • Booming markets are very forgiving.  Contracting markets are both unforgiving and capricious.  You can fail through no error or fault of your own.  Life is sometimes very tough.

Back inside the Beltway, again, I am struck by the extent to which "New Media" are being used to replicate "Old Media."  It’s human nature to adapt to innovation this way.  My point is that, as much as our lives have been changed by the internet and cell phones, the quantum leap is still ahead of us.

There is a lot to be written about this, but I’ll note now that, in the trenches of political warfare, “New Media” is being utilized to do what “Old Media” did for the past 50 years. 
When the grey-beards finally let go, the world will be a different place. 

  • ·        51/49 elections are both the result of and the cause of the “Old Media” method of targeting isolated segments of voters – not just “soccer moms” but suburban Asian households with two cars and . . . (you get the point).  This process of narrow segmentation both exploited and caused single-issue voters.  It expended absurd amounts of money to move small segments back and forth.
  • ·        “New Media” is being adapted to the same system of targeted segmentation by means of compiled email lists and "cookies."
  • ·        Eventually, there will be new applications of “New Media” that will either thoroughly insulate voters within their comfort zone or permit more people to be exposed to a broader swath of fact and opinion.  My guess is that the trend will be first to narrow and then to broaden most people’s exposure.  I can’t offer an example or proof, at this moment, but I think that is how these media tend to work.

The result will be:

  • Ø  60/40 elections – broader swings.
  • Ø  The pace of elections will change. 
  • Ø  The Feiler Faster Thesis is that voters process information faster – making the last three weeks of an election the determining factor.  The election expenditures in that three-week period will soar from already surreal levels.  And that three-week period will contract.
  • Ø  The beginning and base/background level of a campaign will change, making a sustained background-level of campaigning almost constant.  This campaigning will be (or can be) relatively inexpensive - utilizing volunteers, less expensive media and targets of opportunity.  National campaigns will be pervasive and constant.
  • Ø  The party that first realizes that the 2012 election has already begun will gain a huge advantage.  The Democrats have put themselves on the defensive for 2010 and, probably, for 2012.  It remains for the GOP to either smarten up now or have the Democrats seize this high-ground later and teach the GOP what they couldn’t learn autonomously.

1 comment:

  1. this is why gaming an election is so important. like chess, you try to disrupt the strategy of your opponent by prepositioning your moves - all while creating a bullet proof issue based campaign.

    the winner will always be the candidate who is able to execute his game plan. the 'plan' will either win or lose the election.