3 Marketing Strategies I Learned from the Virginia 2019 Elections

Virginia’s entire state legislature was up for re-election last night (November 5th, 2019) and the Democrats managed to flip both the state house and state senate despite having the odds stacked against them. From blackface scandals to strong anti-choice lobbying, there was a lot that could have gone wrong. Lucky for the Democrats, just about every Democratic strategizing, organizing, and campaigning organization had nowhere else to lend their focus. 

I was lucky enough to get an inside look at a couple of these organizations earlier in the year, and was able to pick up a few tricks that helped them get elected, and might help you get some more clients.


1. Targeting is Everything

Many organizations knew which districts they would our resources into before the district even had a candidate. How did they know how to do this? Historical data is available to show trends, and that data was mined just about to death (you should see the spreadsheets). 

The point is, they knew which races were won and lost before the primaries and so they focused their time and money and what needed to be protected and what needed to be flipped. Or rather, what clients might leave and where conversions might occur.


2. Don’t Treat People Like They’re Stupid

Some of the top issues discussed during the race included education, improved access to rural broadband, handling the prescription drug price gouging, and improving rural infrastructure. The candidates knew that the issues were vital to the lives of their constituents, and so treated them seriously. Rhetoric isn’t enough when people’s lives are on the line.

The same goes for your firm. If you just tell your clients that you will fight for them, it’s something they’ve read on 50 other websites. Show them that you know what you’re talking about.


3. Be Prepared to Explain Why You’re the Better Option (Basic Opposition Research isn’t a Bad Idea)

You’re competing with other law firms, and you know that. What are you doing to prove you’re the best option?

State legislative candidates and legislators only really make the news when they do something particularly interesting, and for the most part, they don’t. That doesn’t mean that they’re angels. It only takes some basic research to know which bills they co-signed, blocked, or spoke against. Candidates trying to oust an incumbent would check if their opponent had been productive, and use their findings to make a case to the voters.

It’s not a bad idea to look into your competition. If you have potential clients who are on the fence, it might help them to know your win record compared to that of your competitor.


Politics isn’t for everyone. It’s divisive and dirty and is usually a real downer. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it.


Marketing and campaigning utilize the same skill set and techniques, and both can be equally unpredictable despite being thoroughly studied. That’s why you need to have plans on plans, all backed up by data.

If you don’t know where to start on your marketing campaign, don’t worry. We make it our business to set up successful digital campaigns for lawyers. Give us a shout and we’ll get you set up with the best marketing out there!