Beth Lindstrom engaged Conduit Innovation in the midst her 2018 campaign for US Senate to help expand her audience and reach more people in order to defeat the firmly entrenched Democratic incumbent.
Beth, the former Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, the first woman executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party and had huge success as the executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery.
She was passionate about securing our borders, building a strong economy and bringing a fresh perspective to congress as a non-career politician. During her campaign she valued common-sense above labels and conformity.
Her campaign team needed support strengthening their messaging through digital marketing and revamping their website to bring in donations and attract voter attention.
It is widely known that incumbents have an overwhelming advantage in elections. As a Conservative Challenger in the historically liberal State of Massachusetts, many believed this was a losing battle to begin.
Conduit Innovation, however, did not shy away from such a challenge given that Beth Lindstrom’s profile as a candidate showed the potential to provide a true alternative to voters in a toxically polarizing time. Furthermore, Conduit saw this as a unique opportunity to apply its methodology to the electoral arena.
With the 2018 Massachusett's US Senate GOP Primary already in progress, Conduit Innovation quickly outlined the external forces which served as variables to undermine the likelihood of success for Lindstrom's campaign.
Lindstrom's moderate platform, juxtaposed with the context of the 2018 Republican Primary Race led Conduit to believe a “traditional” approach to running would not be enough to win.
Conduit recommended appending the campaign's approach with a disruptive voter acquisition strategy to mobilize constituents which normally would not be "in play" for her primary opponents. In other words, for Beth to overcome two opponents in a Primary which only the farthest right voter actually votes, she would have to run the Primary as if she was running the General Election. Instead of treating each election in a vaccuum, Beth Lindstrom's best chance at ultimate success would be to create a movement bigger than the election she was currently competing in.
A three way Republican Primary, and Lindstrom's moderate Republican platform had many potential campaign donors in “wait and see” mode. These factors contributed to a sizable gap in campaign finance between Beth and her two opponents.
Given that Lindstrom's campaign could not outspend her opponents Conduit recommended that they turn thier attention to a more surgical voter acquistion and retention strategy. A road less travelled, this would allow Lindstrom to remain authentic to its moderate and inclusive roots which would ultimately benefit the candidate in the general election.
In cooperation with Lindstrom’s campaign, Conduit Innovation infused the INNOV8 process to compliment the campaign’s time-tested tactics. This process applied Conduit's unique view of Customer attributes, profiling and segmentation to the Republican Primary Voter.
Conduit began by embedding resources within the campaign headquarters to seamlessly merge the qualitative day to day feedback received from the field with the quantitative research and analysis undertaken by Conduit’s staff.
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Conduit transposed it's SMARTech Convergence Methodology that unifies Sales, Marketing and Technology efforts, converging them around the wants of the Customer to the Massachusetts 2018 GOP Senate Primary.
SMARTech Convergence is the long-overdue integration of business goals, customer needs, Sales, Marketing, and Technology operations to acquire and retain customers.
A late addition to Lindstrom's Campaign, Conduit had roughly 90 days prior to the Primary Election Day to make an impact.
Conduit quickly finalized the strategy that considered the environmental factors already impacting the campaign.
As a result of these factors and more, the media within Massachusetts did not give the Lindstrom campaign a realistic chance of winning.
These external forces; much like the markets that a company competes within, heavily influenced the path forward for the campaign.
The overarching vision was for Beth Lindstrom as a Canidate, to find a way to mobilize the large proportion of disenfranchised registered voters who have lost faith in the government and/or the "same old" politicians who care more about devisive party lines than the actual people of Massachusetts.
In bringing this vision to life; Lindstrom’s campaign would be in a position to make something of the external forces they could not control Into a sustainable source of supporting data to build a case that the status quo could not continue:
Having finalized a strategic vision, Conduit Innovation then created an umbrella or rallying point to house all the seemingly disparate pain points, that the disengaged voter carries with them which contribute to their lack of involvement.
The slogan “Believe in Beth” was created to clearly state the intent of the strategy while also playing on Beth’s down to earth, authentic, grass roots approach to her campaign. Beth believed in traveling and meeting people each day across as many towns and cities as possible during her campaign.
A listener first, speaker second, Beth’s connection with people during these road trips was infectious and having a slogan that embodied the larger vision with the person’s impact on people was natural choice.
Beth was the type of candidate that could appeal to all, regardless of political affiliation, which is why we strived to get the right messaging out to the right voters so they could see why Beth was different from the other candidates.
To support the brand slogan, Conduit Innovation commissioned a series of assets with the intent on breaking a comprehensive candidate value proposition into consumable chunks.
Conduit also recognized that Lindstrom’s innovative approach to messaging flew in the face the traditional stereotypes of Republicans. Rather than leave Beth to battle an incorrect perception of her, the recommendation was made to embrace opinions different than hers with a companion slogan:
When attempting to appeal to a wide range of people in the state of Massachusetts who feel “forgotten” Beth’s greatest strength; her compassion for others and ability to both listen and internalize the views of others was a crucial advantage.
Beth’s faith in the humanity of her fellow constituents bolstered by her realism that the solutions to the problems we face aren’t one sided became her “brand”.
Armed with a new brand, vision, target audience and value proposition, Conduit’s next task would be to precision target these voters as part of the acquisition strategy.
In cooperation with Lindstrom’s campaign, Conduit Innovation accessed a series of data streams to first aggregate, then construct voter profiles which would serve as the basis for refining the type of person who would “Believe in Beth”.
These profiles would serve as the backbone for surgical voter outreach efforts by the campaign's field staff as election day drew closer.
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Levering historical turnouts and probability rates for turnout by the “Believe in Beth” voter, which in turn informed goal setting. As result of this, field staff were heartened and resolved to make a difference in support of Beth’s mission for the people of Massachusetts’ interests in the US Senate.
With a brand authentically positioned, and a clear target audience, Beth Lindstrom the candidate had assembled an impenetrable suit of armor against her opponents as the Primary Election Day neared.
In support of the Lindstrom campaign Conduit Innovation provided recommendations to extend the strategy into all digital assets and social media.
As the Republican Primary came towards a close, Conduit Innovation worked to aggressively unify these elements into a singular point of convergence for the Lindstrom Campaign; a redesigned website.
The enhancements integrated all aspects of the work Conduit Innovation had completed during its involvement with Beth’s campaign, carrying them through to the design and content strategy of the site itself.
The Lindstrom Senate campaign failed to capture the Republican nomination on September 4th. Despite failing to achieve the primary objective, the strategy deployed by Conduit Innovation in cooperation with Lindstrom’s campaign produced some incredible results.
Lindstrom’s campaign had substantially less capital throughout the duration of the election:
Lindstrom’s platform built on appealing to moderate republicans and disenfranchised voters was a significantly more difficult path within the Primary. With that said; Lindstrom’s cost per vote tallied was a mere 27% higher than the strongly conservative Diehl and a staggering 70% less than Kingston.
While Lindstrom came in 3rd on the day of the Primary, her opponent Kingston spend $2,026,835.92 ($1,705,112 in Media Placement/$321,723.92 in Direct Mail Advertisement) during the months of August and September alone.
In other words, Kingston spent 34% more than Lindstrom’s entire Senate Campaign over a 60-day period for a delta of 22,943 votes or 8.8% differential.
As predicted given the strongly conservative platform the candidate ran on, the winner of the Republican nomination was defeated handily in the General Election by the far left incumbent.
*Campaign finance source: www.fec.gov