TechPresident told the story yesterday of Vanessa Sievers, a junior at Dartmouth University and now the Grafton County (N.H.) Treasurer-elect. Sievers campaign strategy relied heavily on $51 worth of Facebook ads. She defeated the incumbent by 600 votes.
The most obvious lesson is that microtargeting works: Sievers figured that to win, she would need her fellow Dartmouth students as well as those at nearby Plymouth State. Given that New Hampshire was a swing state and how feverishly the Obama campaign focused on turning out young voters, she had lots of help. So she made sure they knew her name by advertising in a venue that was high visibility but low expense. She worked smarter rather than harder.
But there’s another lesson: if you want to see things change, you don’t always have to wait for someone else to do it. If a college junior was able to pick off a 68-year-old incumbent, there are opportunities for you in your community. As Woody Allen famously said, “80% of success in life is just showing up.”