Do you know you can make money from an election campaign? There are thousands of candidates seeking various elective office in Nigeria in the coming election. You can help them run their campaign. If only you know all the different campaign strategies used during the election period.
It’s also not about business alone. You can get employed during an election period, either as ad hoc staff or agent for candidates and political parties. But if you are looking for where the real money is, it’s in the campaigns.
An average senator spends over N3 billion during an election period to prosecute his or her campaign. Most of these money goes into election adverts, branding and lobbying. And the main reason every candidate is spending so much is that they believe they can win. And it’s a serious business venture.
Nigerian election campaign comes with its own surprises. For some, it’s won and lost even before the voting starts. Even voter apathy is an issue the electoral umpire is struggling to reverse.
The real challenge is the problem of consensus candidates or better called as god-son politics. Most elections are won by choice of who the god-fathers has anointed. While most candidates would prefer this kind of anointing, it’s becoming costly and scares as well.
But the truth remains, few candidates are anointed by god-fathers. The rest are in a battle of their lives. And that makes it tough campaign between those who are anointed to win and those who want to break the yoke of the anointing.
That is where election campaign business comes into play. Every candidate who is contesting wants to win. But only one candidate stands the chance of winning in every position. How do you make money helping candidates win the election, is the product that will make you money in election time.
How Election Campaign Works
Election campaign opportunities don’t come every time. And it’s not a business you can hurriedly prepare for during the elections. Unless you already have the required skill or service you want to offer. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) makes the general election timetable in Nigeria.
Also, you will need to identify political party candidates to target. It’s not every candidate that is actually contesting for election. Some are working for another candidate to steal votes from the opposition party if they hail from the same constituency.
Election Campaign Managers
Moreover, it’s about connection. Politics works by an association. So is every business around election campaign. Who do you know? It’s either you have access to the candidate, and he or she trusts you. Or you know either the campaign manager of the candidate or anyone who can influence the decision around his team.
It’s the rats in the house that shows the rats outside where the homeowner keeps the fish. That strategy works more in politics. If you don’t have an insider connection, you may not succeed. Unless you have something that is irresistible for the candidates.
Another thing that works is past results. If you have done something like that for another politician or big personality before. You can flaunt your previous work using targeted channels like your website, social media handle or even package it into a booklet.
Election Campaign Opportunities
There are several opportunities you can tap into. First, you should identify that one that fits your current business or skill. But know that in the election campaign it’s all about winning votes and not just a promotional campaign. Whatever you are offering must gear towards winning more votes for the aspirant.
- Electoral Ad-hoc staff
- Party agents
- Social media influencers
- Website design
- Call centre services
- Bulk SMS
- Electronic adverts
- Food vendor
- Blog Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Database Marketing
- Branding – t-shirts, face caps, gift items, vehicle branding, etcetera.
Bulk SMS Campaign
The number of Nigeria’s mobile subscribers has reached 150 million, and the number of its internet users has climbed to 97.2 million at penetration rates of 81% and 53%, respectively, according to a new report published by Jumia, Nigeria’s largest online retailer. For context, Africa has 960 million mobile subscribers and 216 million internet users at penetration rates of 80% and 18%, respectively.
INEC registered over 90 million voters with the North accounting for over 60 million of the number, leaving the south with 30 million plus voters. And during election campaigns, candidates will be looking for fast and effective means of reaching millions of voters.
And SMS campaign is one of such medium. However, the problem with bulk SMS delivery like this is with a high rate of undeliverability. But the reason is straightforward. The bulk SMS route has both Cheap and premium routes. If a client is paying a low price for SMS, he is likely paying for cheap route, and the rate of undeliverability is also high. Sometimes it can be as much as 50 per cent.
If the network operators are charging N4 for peer messaging, it should cost more for bulk messaging, considering that the bulk service consumes more bandwidth. And a premium bulk SMS route can cost as much as N10 per SMS. But even in premium routes, there are also different quality. That makes it possible to get cheap premium routes for the election campaign.
Robocall Election Campaign
The best phone of communication remains voice. If I can talk directly to people, they will pay attention to what I have to say. That is why politicians go from place to place to talk to the people. And robocall makes it even easier to speak to millions of voters with your own voice on their phones.
It makes a whole lot of difference when aspirants can have the advantage to talk to millions of voters directly. Take Lagos for instance, Lagos has over six million registered voters and the candidate that can get to more voters wins.
And robocall sets you up for calls that are pushed to millions of voters during the election campaign. It’s your voice, your message to millions of voters at a fraction of election campaign cost. And Fastweb provides the best robocall for the election campaign.
Action Points On Election Campaign
But most importantly, is securing an election campaign project. It’s not easy, but it’s worth competing for. A robocall project can cost in hundreds of millions depending on the number of voters reached and the number of times called.
If you can Successful execute one election campaign, it’s worth more than five years of a transaction if you charge a premium.
Step One: Prepare an Election Campaign Strategy
Whatever you plan to sell to Electoral candidates for their campaign should be well packaged to entice them. You should know that they have limited time to make decisions. And they don’t like to waste time on untested and unproven strategies. They want what works.
And depending on the opportunities you are offering, put together your best strategy. Note that your best plan is to win for your client. And it doesn’t matter if he or she is your preferred candidate. In fact, to be successful in this business you just the kind of person that can help your enemy win if he hires you for his campaign.
Step Two: Start Before Party Primaries
If you want to win clients during an election, start before party primaries. Most important decisions are made before the primaries. After primaries, the party stalwarts would have some form of control over the candidate. Some decisions may change. But if you have marketed your offer well, a candidate would convince the party to go with your services.
But if you missed out during primaries, push your offer vigorously immediately after the primaries. But this time, go after the decision makers for the aspirants. If he has a godfather, go after the person. If it’s party bond, go after the state chairman and central working committee members.
Step Three: Form Strong Partnership or Alliance
And don’t forget that who you know is as important as your offer. If you are smart, sell a partnership for your target clients. For example, the aspirant’s campaign manager should be your partner. Show him how the offer would make him millions. Tell him your cost and ask him how much he would like for you to mark up for him.
In fact, let him be the one marketing the offer to his candidate. But your proposal must be so good that even the candidate won’t be able to refuse it. The manager won’t like to look foolish or trying to sell a worthless idea to his beneficiary. So, it’s your job to create a winning product and get the manager to partner with you for it to sell.
Step Four: Avoid Using Proposal or Spamming Candidates
In Nigeria, proposals don’t work. They are not such a good idea. Anybody can hijack your bid and offer the transaction to another vendor. You can write thousands of proposal, and I can guarantee you that none will turnout sold.
Politicians like one on one discussion. Work at getting an appointment with the target candidate. They will understand you well if they can ask questions and get answers. And never underrate politicians. They are the most intelligent people you can ever sell to. Don’t think because the economy is in shambles means the politicians are dummies. They are not.
Also, selling your offer by presentation shows them you are bold and not a pushover. But you have to be brave and prepare your presentation intelligently. Remember, to prop all manner of questions they might ask and have your intelligent answers ready. These politicians don’t waste time with foolish ideas.
Step Five: Have a Professional Website
This will always come up even though it’s not really that important to them. They want to see if you are actually organised or you are just a ‘crappy piece of shit’ trying to get money from them like everyone else is doing.
Your website should be professionally done. It’s your image, so you better look so good in it. Here is where to get your campaign website done for you.
You have to be schooled on election matters. Know the dates and INEC timetable like your bible verses. The campaign starts 90 days to elections. Anything not finalised before this time won’t be useful to the campaign. And serious candidate finalists all campaign plans at least 30 days before campaign kickoff.
Also, you should know figures of polling units or the constituency of the client you are selling to. Don’t be ignorant about what they need. It gives the impression that you are about it solely for the money. And they don’t like you to rub it on their face like that.
Finally, work to ensure you helped your client win beyond his expectation. Every candidate knows their capabilities and Electoral value. They know their chances. If your service enabled him, he would know. And if it doesn’t, he will also know.