the Romney and Republican Digital Efforts in 2012
Over the next couple of
months I will share my perspective on the
successes of the Romney and Republican digital efforts in 2012 and the
lessons we learnt along the way. However, in order to have that
conversation I think it is important to share some thoughts
and key top
lines of the campaign so people have context for the period of the
campaign post May 1 to November 6th.
Elections are zero-sum games, but digital
is not. There can be a
tendency for people to determine that when you lose, there were no
successes and that all the ideas were bad. It is imperative that we as
a party understand that we have an opportunity to continue to grow if
we fully capitalize on the achievements and time invested over the last
In the past week the Republican National
Committee (RNC) began
incorporating the information collected as part of its Joint
Fundraising Committee with Romney for President (RFP) into its direct
marketing efforts. The campaign provided to the RNC more than
1,000,000+ online donor contacts with email addresses and over
2,200,000 active new emails. The donor file alone represents a digital
community that contributed over $100 million in 2012.
This community, built in just over 5
months, represents a 1,000%
increase in the donor base that the RNC
digital effort produced for all
of the 2010 cycle. Had RFP had the ability to incorporate this
on the day of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Healthcare Mandate the
Romney campaign would have been able to raise at least $15 million more
on that day alone. Imagine the impact that $15 million in primary
dollars in late June could have had on the campaign’s ability to
respond to the Obama campaign – not to mention the tens of millions
more that we would have been able to raise over the subsequent
months. This is just one example of how assets generated over the
two years could be harnessed to build infrastructure to last beyond
- Due to the planning and execution of the RNC, especially its
marketing and digital team, RFP was able to immediately combine
digital efforts and process, from non max out donors, over $182M
between May 1 – November online with 96% of donations being $250 or less
- Together with the RNC we raised over $65 million online in
– the most successful online fundraising month in the history of
Republican politics and $100 million in the last 60 days.
- We came out of the primary with a staff of 14 and were
given the resources to grow to over 140 including non political staff
from technology companies across America. We achieved this growth in
less than 60 days.
- Our core development team (Developers, Project Managers, Quality
Assurance, Network Operations, etc) grew to 55+ and they oversaw over
2 dozen major development projects in 6 months – producing over
hours of development
- To make up for our limited time frame we
with the best minds in Silicon Valley to catch up with the
Democrats. Read the article: http://tcrn.ch/NQyTVx
- RFP worked with over 50 of the top digital service providers
ranging from Lotame to Piryx to Eventbrite to ThisMoment to Optimizely
to Google to Keystone and beyond.
- On the social media front we grew our Facebook community by over
10.4 million between May 1 – November (almost double the growth Obama
experienced during this period) to reach a total of 12 million+ with an
additional 5.1 million for Paul Ryan (more than Obama experienced in
the comparable time and almost 10 times larger than Vice President’s
Biden’s page today after 2 general elections).
- On Twitter we created a community of over 1.7 million for Mitt
Romney and 540,000 for Paul Ryan.
- From January 1st, 2012 to November 6th, 2012, there were 3,417
posts by Mitt Romney on Facebook. These posts garnered 5,381,043
comments, 69,109,430 likes, and 3,999,954 shares for a total of
- Through the final 90+ days we had engagement rates on our
Facebook page over 30 – 40% vs an Obama page that averaged 5 – 9 %.
Site Traffic, Store and RSVP
- We built out infrastructure that was able to handle over 38M site
visitors in less than 6 months
- We built a customized RSVP / ticketing solution with EventBrite
that processed over 1 million RSVP’s between July and November and
produced almost 500,000 organic unique emails to the RNC for the future.
- We built a comprehensive online store which launched in June
sold over 900,000 items, as well as pop up stores at every major Romney
event around the country that leveraged Square technology. At the
Convention we did over $700,000 of sales and ultimately sold an item to
over 5% of all Convention attendees.
- On online advertising we delivered over 32 billion impressions
the course of the campaign and generated more than 55 million clicks on
various ad units.
- We had over 676 million views of
our various online video
advertising content which produced an engagement time of over 471 years.