Blog: Digital

Last September, we built an interactive website for Class Size Counts, a non-profit, statewide organization of parents, teachers, students and voters advocating for smaller class sizes in Washington’s public schools. As part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness about the size of Washington’s public school classes – Washington currently ranks 47th in the nation – volunteers, teachers, parents, and others counted students in their classrooms and submitted their findings, and personal stories, to the site. Over the course of just a few months, more than 5,000 classes were counted, making for an astounding visual on the state of Washington’s class sizes.

The site that the Winning Mark team developed for Class Size Counts created just the kind of buzz and interest we were hoping for as we launched a grass-roots project.  With very little paid promotion, the site attracted over 35,000 unique visitors, and 5,300 of those signed on as supporters our campaign.

Class Size Counts has just filed their initiative and is now collecting signatures to get I-1351 on the ballot. To learn more about the initiative (and if you’re in Washington, to submit a class size) visit

School District Database

Class Size Counts Website

When it comes to data-driven marketing, the conversation more often than not tends to focus on first- and third-party data. Why is that? Well, for starters, first-party data is free. More importantly, first-party data is unique.

  • 2ndparty_dataEven though first-party data is unique, it’s limited in scale because there is always more to know about your customer or prospect than you alone can know.
  • Third-party data, on the other hand, is really good at providing that needed scale. The issue, however, is that even though it can help add knowledge, that insight is available to the entire ecosystem, decreasing the unique value of that information.

Enter second-party data. Here we have the promise of taking data marketing to a level that is both unique and scalable. Second-party data is someone else’s first-party data, so it’s a gold mine of unique information. It’s not generally sold, so not everyone can access it. The art is in structuring the right deals with your strategic partners that can be free or cost-effective.

Read the full story By Omar Tawakol at AdWeek:

Second-Party Data Can Help Brands Get Unique Information at Scale - But use and comfort are crucial first steps.


NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images -  Barack Obama is shown on TV during his 2008 campaign for president, but watching live TV is no longer as common as it was then, and campaign strategists are having to adjust.

For half a century, television ads have been the staple of political campaigns, the preferred, if costly, vehicle for communicating a candidate’s message to the voters. What happens when people stop watching live television?

Commercial firms have been quicker to adapt than campaigns, according to experts. Many commercial firms now spend 20 to 30 percent of their ad dollars on digital. Most political campaigns spend around 5 percent. This will soon change.

Read the full story at the Washington Post

But (Luc Vincent) is a leader in a new great game: the Internet land grab, which can be reduced to three key battles over three key conceptual territories. What came first, conquered by Google’s superior search algorithms. Who was next, and Facebook was the victor. But where, arguably the biggest prize of all, has yet to be completely won.


Read the full article

As publishers continue to optimize for the Twitter platform, many are adopting a strategy of setting up multiple twitter accounts and dividing their communication on Twitter into channels. We encourage the campaigns we work with to consider a similar approach on Twitter if they are serious about using the platform as a part of communications, organizing, fundraising and other aspects of their campaign.

Mashable Twitter ChannelsNYT_twitter_channelsBy dividing their Twitter presence across multiple accounts, publishers provide more focused content and allow followers to select channels they want to follow. With communications and followers segmented this way, the publisher can provide more engaging content, interact more effectively with their audience, and think and act more strategically on Twitter.  

With dedicated accounts/channels, a campaign can assign the management of individual accounts to specific people. This works well on the outbound side (tweets, replies, retweets, @mentions) and on the inbound (listening, learning, following) side of managing a Twitter account effectively.

A single Twitter account that is tries to constantly “feed the beast” and be all things to all people is not effective. Election and advocacy campaigns have very important and distinct objectives that can be achieved on Twitter, but they should consider focusing strategy and people on different channels to maximize impact.