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Challenge: First-Time Advocates and a Big Transition

In early 2020, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) had an ambitious plan to engage member companies in their grassroots advocacy and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. They called it The AEM Manufacturing Express. The centerpiece of the campaign was a 70-stop, cross-country bus tour designed to engage member company employees. The cross-country tour was intended to build excitement about grassroots advocacy, recruit new advocates, and educate the 2.8 million men and women of the industry about the issues that matter to the equipment manufacturing industry. It was important for AEM to meet advocates in person in order to explain how decisions made in Washington impact their jobs and communities, and the bus tour would be critical to bringing the association’s grassroots campaign out to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. The bus tour was also an opportunity to bring state and federal elected officials out to meet with constituents and hear directly from them about the importance of supporting pro-manufacturing policies. Then COVID hit. A bus tour was no longer a safe and responsible way to engage advocates. AEM needed to quickly transition the bus tour to a high touch, high impact digital initiative in order to achieve the goals and objectives. “The new plan required rapid strategy, planning, budgeting, and articulation in order to secure buy-in from AEM’s member companies,” said Wade Balkonis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at AEM. “In less than three weeks, through significant cross-team collaboration between our state and federal advocacy, grassroots advocacy, public affairs, and membership teams, AEM developed a comprehensive plan that the Board of Directors approved for immediate execution.”

Solution: A Gamified Campaign That Brought Advocates Back Again and Again

Since AEM was unable to bring the cross-country bus tour to tens of thousands of advocates across the country, they decided to create an online experience that would educate, engage, and drive action across the duration of the campaign. Here’s how they did it:

Build an Advocacy Website That Exemplifies the AEM Brand

Since the GOTV effort was intended to be fully integrated into the cross-country bus tour, it had to be rapidly transitioned to a robust virtual campaign to ensure success. Leveraging Quorum, AEM built a state-of-the-art website with videos, educational resources, policy briefings, a dashboard to track member engagement and participation, and specific calls to action for advocates – equippedtovote.org. And they did it in record time! By using Quorum, AEM ensured that advocates who visited the website were signed up in just a few clicks. Advocates could sign up using Facebook or fill out a simple form with just six fields – email, first name, last name, address, company, and issues of interest. By identifying the policies they were most interested in – infrastructure, trade, workforce development, and rural America – AEM could tailor and target their communications with each advocate to ensure they were kept up to date on the issues they care most about.

Attract New Advocates to the Website

The equipment manufacturing industry was designated as essential early on and most of the 2.8 million men and women of the industry stayed on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it was important for AEM to design a campaign that allowed for engagement both in manufacturing facilities and remotely in order to drive as many advocates as possible to equippedtovote.org. Key to success was having the right messenger deliver the right messages in a timely manner. [callout align="right" heading="Learn how to use Quorum Grassroots for Gamification" button_text="See Quorum Grassroots" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/grassroots-advocacy/"] AEM put together and sent boxes to its I Make America Ambassadors, who serve as volunteer leaders for the association’s grassroots efforts, containing posters, postcards, other promotional materials, resources, and giveaways to share with employees. The call to action? Visit the website to get involved! By leveraging familiar faces – colleagues – to talk about the campaign and the need to get involved, advocates were more likely to get involved. AEM also incorporated direct marketing/promotion into the campaign, asking advocates to promote the campaign to colleagues, friends, and family and encourage them to register to vote and engage directly with elected officials. “Knowing the power of peer recommendations, we set up the action center so that it was easy to share on social media,” Balkonis said. “That way if one advocate shared it, they may be able to attract their colleagues and friends to participate as well. “

Incentivize Participation with Gamification

Visiting a website is a lot less personal than meeting someone at an event, so how did AEM get advocates to the website and convince them to engage with the content in a meaningful way? They incentivized participation through gamification. Advocates earned points for each possible action and could win prizes ranging from coolers and grills to gift cards and consumer electronics. Those advocates who earned more than 100 points were entered into a raffle to win an all-expenses-paid family vacation to Disney World or a National Park. “Equipped to Vote demonstrated that advocacy program leaders must think outside of the box and not be afraid to adapt to unexpected circumstances by trying something new,” Balkonis said. AEM made sure to offer prizes that appealed to advocates, both current and future, in order to build excitement and maximize engagement in the campaign.   [post_title] => How the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Gamified Grassroots Advocacy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => aem-gamified-grassroots-advocacy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5057 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 5057 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'aem-gamified-grassroots-advocacy' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5057 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2021-03-31 21:33:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-03-31 21:33:46 [post_content] =>

Challenge: First-Time Advocates and a Big Transition

In early 2020, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) had an ambitious plan to engage member companies in their grassroots advocacy and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. They called it The AEM Manufacturing Express. The centerpiece of the campaign was a 70-stop, cross-country bus tour designed to engage member company employees. The cross-country tour was intended to build excitement about grassroots advocacy, recruit new advocates, and educate the 2.8 million men and women of the industry about the issues that matter to the equipment manufacturing industry. It was important for AEM to meet advocates in person in order to explain how decisions made in Washington impact their jobs and communities, and the bus tour would be critical to bringing the association’s grassroots campaign out to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. The bus tour was also an opportunity to bring state and federal elected officials out to meet with constituents and hear directly from them about the importance of supporting pro-manufacturing policies. Then COVID hit. A bus tour was no longer a safe and responsible way to engage advocates. AEM needed to quickly transition the bus tour to a high touch, high impact digital initiative in order to achieve the goals and objectives. “The new plan required rapid strategy, planning, budgeting, and articulation in order to secure buy-in from AEM’s member companies,” said Wade Balkonis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at AEM. “In less than three weeks, through significant cross-team collaboration between our state and federal advocacy, grassroots advocacy, public affairs, and membership teams, AEM developed a comprehensive plan that the Board of Directors approved for immediate execution.”

Solution: A Gamified Campaign That Brought Advocates Back Again and Again

Since AEM was unable to bring the cross-country bus tour to tens of thousands of advocates across the country, they decided to create an online experience that would educate, engage, and drive action across the duration of the campaign. Here’s how they did it:

Build an Advocacy Website That Exemplifies the AEM Brand

Since the GOTV effort was intended to be fully integrated into the cross-country bus tour, it had to be rapidly transitioned to a robust virtual campaign to ensure success. Leveraging Quorum, AEM built a state-of-the-art website with videos, educational resources, policy briefings, a dashboard to track member engagement and participation, and specific calls to action for advocates – equippedtovote.org. And they did it in record time! By using Quorum, AEM ensured that advocates who visited the website were signed up in just a few clicks. Advocates could sign up using Facebook or fill out a simple form with just six fields – email, first name, last name, address, company, and issues of interest. By identifying the policies they were most interested in – infrastructure, trade, workforce development, and rural America – AEM could tailor and target their communications with each advocate to ensure they were kept up to date on the issues they care most about.

Attract New Advocates to the Website

The equipment manufacturing industry was designated as essential early on and most of the 2.8 million men and women of the industry stayed on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it was important for AEM to design a campaign that allowed for engagement both in manufacturing facilities and remotely in order to drive as many advocates as possible to equippedtovote.org. Key to success was having the right messenger deliver the right messages in a timely manner. [callout align="right" heading="Learn how to use Quorum Grassroots for Gamification" button_text="See Quorum Grassroots" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/grassroots-advocacy/"] AEM put together and sent boxes to its I Make America Ambassadors, who serve as volunteer leaders for the association’s grassroots efforts, containing posters, postcards, other promotional materials, resources, and giveaways to share with employees. The call to action? Visit the website to get involved! By leveraging familiar faces – colleagues – to talk about the campaign and the need to get involved, advocates were more likely to get involved. AEM also incorporated direct marketing/promotion into the campaign, asking advocates to promote the campaign to colleagues, friends, and family and encourage them to register to vote and engage directly with elected officials. “Knowing the power of peer recommendations, we set up the action center so that it was easy to share on social media,” Balkonis said. “That way if one advocate shared it, they may be able to attract their colleagues and friends to participate as well. “

Incentivize Participation with Gamification

Visiting a website is a lot less personal than meeting someone at an event, so how did AEM get advocates to the website and convince them to engage with the content in a meaningful way? They incentivized participation through gamification. Advocates earned points for each possible action and could win prizes ranging from coolers and grills to gift cards and consumer electronics. Those advocates who earned more than 100 points were entered into a raffle to win an all-expenses-paid family vacation to Disney World or a National Park. “Equipped to Vote demonstrated that advocacy program leaders must think outside of the box and not be afraid to adapt to unexpected circumstances by trying something new,” Balkonis said. AEM made sure to offer prizes that appealed to advocates, both current and future, in order to build excitement and maximize engagement in the campaign.   [post_title] => How the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Gamified Grassroots Advocacy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => aem-gamified-grassroots-advocacy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5057 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5057 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2021-03-31 21:33:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-03-31 21:33:46 [post_content] =>

Challenge: First-Time Advocates and a Big Transition

In early 2020, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) had an ambitious plan to engage member companies in their grassroots advocacy and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. They called it The AEM Manufacturing Express. The centerpiece of the campaign was a 70-stop, cross-country bus tour designed to engage member company employees. The cross-country tour was intended to build excitement about grassroots advocacy, recruit new advocates, and educate the 2.8 million men and women of the industry about the issues that matter to the equipment manufacturing industry. It was important for AEM to meet advocates in person in order to explain how decisions made in Washington impact their jobs and communities, and the bus tour would be critical to bringing the association’s grassroots campaign out to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. The bus tour was also an opportunity to bring state and federal elected officials out to meet with constituents and hear directly from them about the importance of supporting pro-manufacturing policies. Then COVID hit. A bus tour was no longer a safe and responsible way to engage advocates. AEM needed to quickly transition the bus tour to a high touch, high impact digital initiative in order to achieve the goals and objectives. “The new plan required rapid strategy, planning, budgeting, and articulation in order to secure buy-in from AEM’s member companies,” said Wade Balkonis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at AEM. “In less than three weeks, through significant cross-team collaboration between our state and federal advocacy, grassroots advocacy, public affairs, and membership teams, AEM developed a comprehensive plan that the Board of Directors approved for immediate execution.”

Solution: A Gamified Campaign That Brought Advocates Back Again and Again

Since AEM was unable to bring the cross-country bus tour to tens of thousands of advocates across the country, they decided to create an online experience that would educate, engage, and drive action across the duration of the campaign. Here’s how they did it:

Build an Advocacy Website That Exemplifies the AEM Brand

Since the GOTV effort was intended to be fully integrated into the cross-country bus tour, it had to be rapidly transitioned to a robust virtual campaign to ensure success. Leveraging Quorum, AEM built a state-of-the-art website with videos, educational resources, policy briefings, a dashboard to track member engagement and participation, and specific calls to action for advocates – equippedtovote.org. And they did it in record time! By using Quorum, AEM ensured that advocates who visited the website were signed up in just a few clicks. Advocates could sign up using Facebook or fill out a simple form with just six fields – email, first name, last name, address, company, and issues of interest. By identifying the policies they were most interested in – infrastructure, trade, workforce development, and rural America – AEM could tailor and target their communications with each advocate to ensure they were kept up to date on the issues they care most about.

Attract New Advocates to the Website

The equipment manufacturing industry was designated as essential early on and most of the 2.8 million men and women of the industry stayed on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it was important for AEM to design a campaign that allowed for engagement both in manufacturing facilities and remotely in order to drive as many advocates as possible to equippedtovote.org. Key to success was having the right messenger deliver the right messages in a timely manner. [callout align="right" heading="Learn how to use Quorum Grassroots for Gamification" button_text="See Quorum Grassroots" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/grassroots-advocacy/"] AEM put together and sent boxes to its I Make America Ambassadors, who serve as volunteer leaders for the association’s grassroots efforts, containing posters, postcards, other promotional materials, resources, and giveaways to share with employees. The call to action? Visit the website to get involved! By leveraging familiar faces – colleagues – to talk about the campaign and the need to get involved, advocates were more likely to get involved. AEM also incorporated direct marketing/promotion into the campaign, asking advocates to promote the campaign to colleagues, friends, and family and encourage them to register to vote and engage directly with elected officials. “Knowing the power of peer recommendations, we set up the action center so that it was easy to share on social media,” Balkonis said. “That way if one advocate shared it, they may be able to attract their colleagues and friends to participate as well. “

Incentivize Participation with Gamification

Visiting a website is a lot less personal than meeting someone at an event, so how did AEM get advocates to the website and convince them to engage with the content in a meaningful way? They incentivized participation through gamification. Advocates earned points for each possible action and could win prizes ranging from coolers and grills to gift cards and consumer electronics. Those advocates who earned more than 100 points were entered into a raffle to win an all-expenses-paid family vacation to Disney World or a National Park. “Equipped to Vote demonstrated that advocacy program leaders must think outside of the box and not be afraid to adapt to unexpected circumstances by trying something new,” Balkonis said. AEM made sure to offer prizes that appealed to advocates, both current and future, in order to build excitement and maximize engagement in the campaign.   [post_title] => How the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Gamified Grassroots Advocacy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => aem-gamified-grassroots-advocacy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-31 21:33:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=5057 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => f4af77e164ab38265d1b2466e5438f14 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 5057
Case Study

How the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Gamified Grassroots Advocacy

How the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Gamified Grassroots Advocacy

Challenge: First-Time Advocates and a Big Transition

In early 2020, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) had an ambitious plan to engage member companies in their grassroots advocacy and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. They called it The AEM Manufacturing Express. The centerpiece of the campaign was a 70-stop, cross-country bus tour designed to engage member company employees. The cross-country tour was intended to build excitement about grassroots advocacy, recruit new advocates, and educate the 2.8 million men and women of the industry about the issues that matter to the equipment manufacturing industry.

It was important for AEM to meet advocates in person in order to explain how decisions made in Washington impact their jobs and communities, and the bus tour would be critical to bringing the association’s grassroots campaign out to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. The bus tour was also an opportunity to bring state and federal elected officials out to meet with constituents and hear directly from them about the importance of supporting pro-manufacturing policies.

Then COVID hit.

A bus tour was no longer a safe and responsible way to engage advocates. AEM needed to quickly transition the bus tour to a high touch, high impact digital initiative in order to achieve the goals and objectives.

“The new plan required rapid strategy, planning, budgeting, and articulation in order to secure buy-in from AEM’s member companies,” said Wade Balkonis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at AEM. “In less than three weeks, through significant cross-team collaboration between our state and federal advocacy, grassroots advocacy, public affairs, and membership teams, AEM developed a comprehensive plan that the Board of Directors approved for immediate execution.”

Solution: A Gamified Campaign That Brought Advocates Back Again and Again

Since AEM was unable to bring the cross-country bus tour to tens of thousands of advocates across the country, they decided to create an online experience that would educate, engage, and drive action across the duration of the campaign.

Here’s how they did it:

Build an Advocacy Website That Exemplifies the AEM Brand

Since the GOTV effort was intended to be fully integrated into the cross-country bus tour, it had to be rapidly transitioned to a robust virtual campaign to ensure success. Leveraging Quorum, AEM built a state-of-the-art website with videos, educational resources, policy briefings, a dashboard to track member engagement and participation, and specific calls to action for advocates – equippedtovote.org. And they did it in record time!

By using Quorum, AEM ensured that advocates who visited the website were signed up in just a few clicks. Advocates could sign up using Facebook or fill out a simple form with just six fields – email, first name, last name, address, company, and issues of interest. By identifying the policies they were most interested in – infrastructure, trade, workforce development, and rural America – AEM could tailor and target their communications with each advocate to ensure they were kept up to date on the issues they care most about.

Attract New Advocates to the Website

The equipment manufacturing industry was designated as essential early on and most of the 2.8 million men and women of the industry stayed on the job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it was important for AEM to design a campaign that allowed for engagement both in manufacturing facilities and remotely in order to drive as many advocates as possible to equippedtovote.org. Key to success was having the right messenger deliver the right messages in a timely manner.

AEM put together and sent boxes to its I Make America Ambassadors, who serve as volunteer leaders for the association’s grassroots efforts, containing posters, postcards, other promotional materials, resources, and giveaways to share with employees. The call to action? Visit the website to get involved! By leveraging familiar faces – colleagues – to talk about the campaign and the need to get involved, advocates were more likely to get involved.

AEM also incorporated direct marketing/promotion into the campaign, asking advocates to promote the campaign to colleagues, friends, and family and encourage them to register to vote and engage directly with elected officials.

“Knowing the power of peer recommendations, we set up the action center so that it was easy to share on social media,” Balkonis said. “That way if one advocate shared it, they may be able to attract their colleagues and friends to participate as well. “

Incentivize Participation with Gamification

Visiting a website is a lot less personal than meeting someone at an event, so how did AEM get advocates to the website and convince them to engage with the content in a meaningful way? They incentivized participation through gamification.

Advocates earned points for each possible action and could win prizes ranging from coolers and grills to gift cards and consumer electronics. Those advocates who earned more than 100 points were entered into a raffle to win an all-expenses-paid family vacation to Disney World or a National Park.

Equipped to Vote demonstrated that advocacy program leaders must think outside of the box and not be afraid to adapt to unexpected circumstances by trying something new,” Balkonis said.

AEM made sure to offer prizes that appealed to advocates, both current and future, in order to build excitement and maximize engagement in the campaign.

 

“Grassroots leaders should also acknowledge the unique interests of their audience. Equipped to Vote provided a customized experience, personal incentives, and clear benefits for member company employees and their communities.”
Wade Balkonis, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at AEM

 

Educate Advocates with a Diverse Selection of Grassroots Actions 

Equipped to Vote was a comprehensive campaign designed to do a lot more than just register advocates to vote. So AEM assigned points for a diverse set of activities that encouraged advocates to repeatedly engage with the website and to get involved in the association’s grassroots advocacy efforts.

Along with the primary action of pledging to vote for pro-manufacturing candidates, advocates also earned points for learning more about the association’s policy priorities. Each month during the duration of the campaign focused on a separate policy priority—infrastructure, trade, workforce development, and rural America—and AEM created videos to help bring the issues to light for advocates. Finally, in order to earn the points, advocates were asked to take a quiz on the topic, ensuring that they had absorbed the information.

Eight-in-ten (79 percent) participants reported learning more about the industry’s policy priorities through Equipped to Vote and that it shaped how they voted. Nine-in-ten (93 percent) participants felt that they had a better understanding of the issues impacting the equipment manufacturing industry, while another eight-in-ten (82 percent) took action following the campaign to further educate lawmakers on these issues.

Keep Advocates Engaged and They’ll Come Back Again and Again

One of AEM’s goals was to drive repeat visitors to the website so that they stayed engaged throughout Election Day…and turn more voters out to the polls. To help achieve this goal, AEM rolled out a series of new and different actions throughout the campaign to incentivize advocates to come back to the website (to earn more points).

3.5
Average Number of Actions Per Participant

“The team released new actions each month to compel participants to return, increasing their chances to win weekly prizes and to cross the hundred-point threshold required to qualify for the grand prize drawing,” Balkonis said.

Thanks to this approach, participants in the campaign averaged 3.5 actions.

Impact: Turn Advocacy Novices into Advocacy Evangelists

The COVID-19 pandemic forced AEM to quickly change its 2020 grassroots advocacy strategy. But the new and innovative programs they put in place drove significant engagement among advocates and built a strong digital infrastructure for years to come.

Equipped to Vote was unprecedented, even for AEM. I Make America is known for highly successful in-person signup initiatives, with 40,000 physical signups over the past four years,” Balkonis said. “Equipped to Vote proved that the pivot to a less traditional digital-first model can be a foundational element to future success.”

While the cross-country bus tour would have been limited to 70 locations – an ambitious number of stops to be sure – the digital campaign allowed AEM to greatly expand its geographic reach and engage with far more advocates than previous efforts, with participants from 49 states and the District of Columbia.

By bringing advocates back to the website over and over again, AEM was also able to grow its group of “advocacy evangelists” – defined as participants who have take ten or more actions as part of the I Make America national grassroots campaign by more than a whopping 700 percent.

While the pivot to a digital campaign in 2020 was a necessity rather than a choice, it was not only a great success but set AEM up for continued strong grassroots engagement in a post COVID-19 year where the association can get the best of both worlds.

See how gamification can take your advocacy to the next level.