After the 2008 election, the business of politics changed and one thing was clear—data, both quantity and quality, would be the determinant in the result of the next election cycle. After Nate Silver famously called the election in Obama’s favor hours before the result was official based on his own predictive algorithms and voter poll results, the race was on.
Enter i360, now the leading data and technology resource for the free-market political and advocacy community. i360 knew that the key to using data was making it actionable and putting it in the hands of campaigns and advocacy groups quickly. To do this, i360 embarked on building user friendly and scalable grassroots platforms that made i360 data accessible and useful to all members of a campaign team—from those knocking doors in the field, to those making calls from their district offices, to those retrieving and analyzing the results to inform the next step in their outreach strategy.
Political candidates, nonprofits, and civic organizations alike run time-sensitive, high-cost campaigns based on i360’s voter data. The market place for grassroots technology that allows volunteer callers to make targeted phone calls to voters was woefully lacking. i360 knew that in order to make this important feature available to clients, it would need to build that system themselves. Additionally, i360’s clients expect their products to be quick and reliable—with ease of use and the ability to scale quickly. Because as all in the political world know, execution is everything—there’s no reset button on an election.
In building its volunteer predictive dialer system, i360 focused on usability and targeting and sought a partner to handle the dialing and telephony requirements. i360 tested a variety of vendors, but it kept running into the same issues: it couldn’t scale, it couldn’t manage call data efficiently, and it struggled with stability.
In 2013, i360 began using Twilio Voice for its i360 Predictive Dialer for outbound, volunteer phone calls. In doing so, it not only decreased cost by 30% but also gained direct access to call data. The result? Increased efficiency and an improved customer experience.
In less than 5 months, i360 had its Twilio Voice-powered web and phone apps up and running. Using the web app, i360’s clients simply select the type of survey they want their volunteers to conduct and once a volunteer logs in, the system begins to automatically dial out to targeted voters—using Twilio Client and i360’s predictive dialing algorithm. During the call, the i360 app displays the voter’s pertinent information on screen, as well as a form for the volunteer/caller to input the voter’s answers. All information is then returned to the i360 database for additional data mining and analysis.
We know that all activity, no matter the scale, can make a difference in an election and for that reason we are dedicated to providing the best solutions for all our customers—from those making a thousand calls a month to those making millions.
The integration with Twilio Voice also allowed i360 to scale call volume very quickly, from hundreds of outbound calls per hour to over 100,000. In all, tens of millions of calls were placed through Twilio Voice in the months leading up to the election.
“Everything is trending toward personalization, including our dialer system. To have the most impact, our clients need to know more about the voters they’re talking to,” said Michael Palmer, president of i360. Keeping the voter’s information as well as the questions that need to be asked by the caller all on one screen helps i360’s clients conduct calls efficiently and personally. “We want to provide the highest quality experience for our customers and make their jobs as easy as possible,” said Palmer.
As a result of switching to an outbound dialing solution powered by Twilio Voice and Twilio Client, i360 can easily cater to customers of any size, ranging from a small nonprofit to a political powerhouse and provide the same high-quality experience. “We know that all activity, no matter the scale, can make a difference in an election and for that reason we are dedicated to providing the best solutions for all our customers—from those making a thousand calls a month to those making millions,” said Palmer. With the ability to scale to any requirement through the Twilio partnership, and a database that gets bigger and more refined everyday, i360 is ready to give its customers the information they need at the time they need it, whether they are running for mayor or president.