Thursday, November 15, 2012

Obama Voters Eat At Red Lobster; Romney's At Olive Garden

With election 2012 now history and Nate Silver looking like a stat genius, details are coming out about the hyper-targeting and database marketing employed by both candidates.

Click, read and learn:
  • "Each campaign has literally thousands of data points on you. They know what magazines you subscribe to. They know if you've ever declared bankruptcy or gone into foreclosure. They know how many kids you have. They know if you ever bought a boat, what type of insurance you own, where you send your kids to school.  Thousands and thousands of data points they collect, to try and create an image of you. And at the center of that is the same question, how can I push your button to vote for my guy or gal?"      - How campaigns target voters
  • "Today, many people who have expert knowledge and shape perceptions about markets are freely exchanging data and viewpoints through social platforms. By identifying and engaging these players, employing potent Web-focused analytics to draw strategic meaning from social-media data, and channeling this information to people within the organization who need and want it, companies can develop a “social intelligence” that is forward looking, global in scope, and capable of playing out in real time."  - By offering decision makers rich real-time data, social media is giving some companies fresh strategic insight
  • “Future campaigns ignore the targeting strategy of the Obama campaign of 2012 at their peril,” said Ken Goldstein, the president of Kantar Media/CMAG, a media monitoring firm that tracked and analyzed political advertising for both campaigns. “This was an unprecedented marrying of detailed information on viewing habits and political predispositions." 
How much do you know, in as specific detail as possible, about the tribes which inhabit your community?

No matter how much, it's not enough!


ZEYNEP TUFEKCI in NYTimes said...

Beware the Smart Campaign.


Marketing politicians is now like selling drinks. It involves filtering polices and voters through algorithms.

The Obama campaign focused on data showing the "persuadability" of voters. Multivariate tests identified issues and positions that could move undecided voters, ProPublica said: "The persuasion scores allowed the campaign to focus its outreach efforts—and their volunteer calls—on voters who might actually change their minds as the result. It also guided them in what policy messages individual voters should hear."

Big data give incumbents a big advantage, which seems to have surprised the Romney team. The Obama campaign has used cookies to track its supporters online since the 2008 election. It spent the past 18 months creating a new, unified database, factoring in some 80 pieces of information about each person, from age, race and sex to voting history. (The campaign denied reports that it tracked visits to pornography sites in its outreach algorithms.) The Romney campaign says it tried to match the Obama campaign's collection and analysis of data but had to start from scratch and had just seven months after the primaries.

The Obama campaign deserves credit for its big win through the sophisticated use of big data. As for regulators, they should understand that the information genie will not go back into the bottle—whether consumer information is used to sell orange juice or politicians.