Innovations in Politics: On Demand Media

The absence of the introduction of innovation in our political election system should raise serious questions about why we are not adopting and embracing new technology that could be both be cost efficient and justified in achieving a common goal.

It has never been more critical and apparent that leading figures in the political arena should be more accessible and mindful of new methods and strategies that could enhance the overall voter experience.

Innovation in politics is near non-existent and it shouldn’t be since voters are more connected than ever. Why is innovation non-existent in politics? The answer is rather simple, many political operatives do not want to up-end their lucrative businesses as new technologies would indubitably eat into their profit margins. This is clearly demonstrated as the keyword “Political Innovation” is only searched on average 20 times a month on Google in the United States.

This is the same problem that destroyed the record business. Digital music sales cannibalized CD sales when industry executives were unwilling to embrace new technologies. The big difference between the music industry and politics is that there will always be a need for politicians to represent their constituents.

Political operatives know this very well. While it is up for debate, the one defining fact is that most political operatives are not innovators. For the most part they are not willing to roll up their sleeves and try something that might disrupt their current business model.

How many individuals do you know who watch TV without skipping ads on a regular basis? Out of those handful of individuals who do watch TV and do not skip ads, how many are not technologically savvy and do not own a DVR? Do those same individuals still receive the majority of their bills and correspondences through the mail?

Now ask yourself, is this individual an early adopter of technology? More than likely they are not. Early adopters who are registered to vote do not spend time watching countless hours watching live broadcast TV and patiently waiting for correspondences in the mail. These early adopters are living in a real-time society with access to pretty much anything they want on demand.

Why do political operatives continue advise continue to their clients to spend the majority of their campaign funds on TV and print mailer ads? Because it is what they know and if they lose the race, they can justify this to the candidate because this strategy has won political races in the past.

While this formula has worked before, it will not continue to work in the future. The future of reaching voters is more hyper-targeted than ever. Politicians need to learn how to become real-time publishers of content.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on a TV ad buy, why not call Microsoft to explore innovative ways to target and reach potential new voters via the xBox Live platform which has 48 million members and growing? Or perhaps even call Samsung to learn about developing an app for their Smart TV platform?

If exploring strategic relationships seems like an overwhelming task, politicians could follow in Chris Christie’s footsteps by creating a series of YouTube videos to promote their message. But why stop there when a politician could “Plus It” as Walt Disney famously said? To Plus It, political campaigns could purchase a GoPro Hero 3+ for $399.99 that would allow them to shoot 4k videos and upload 1080p high-resolution video YouTube.

Voters could then watch those crystal clear videos on their TVs via Google’s Chromecast from any device that either has Chrome installed or the YouTube App. The early adopter demographic of voters consumes content on demand, not at a pre-subscribed viewing time.

While a politician might not see a great ROI when they first start experimenting with new technologies and platforms, they will be building a long-term relationship with the voter. These new technologies will allow the politician unprecedented access to both new and current voters.

With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election will Republican candidates reach out to the Romney team to inquire about what technologies worked and what lessons they learned from implementing new technologies?

Will those same team members share their honest unfiltered thoughts regarding which technologies and strategies worked and failed and why? Or will the Democrats continue to out innovate the Republicans by embracing new technologies and continuing to build a highly-scalable mobile ground game powered in part by SalesForce?

As technology evolves and voter habits change, innovation will allow politicians to stay in front of the message and connect directly with the voters. With the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election will we learn if old habits die hard and if new innovative technologies such as streaming video on xBox Live or developing an app for a Smart TV will become a reality?

xBox Live, Chromecast and Smart TV apps will enable politicians to get ahead of the message and connect directly with new voters in an interactive way like never before.

Innovations in Politics: On Demand Media is an article written by Brulte & Company Co-Founder Grayson Brulte.

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