How valuable is set-top-box (STB) data? It looks to have played a significant role in reelecting President Obama, according to The Washington Post.
The paper reported last week that the Obama campaign developed a tool tabbed “the optimizer,” which helped it avoid waste by better zeroing in on target audiences. STB data from Rentrak and an Ohio cable system offered second-by-second data that could be matched with other data sources to find undecided voters or Obama supporters, who may not be motivated to go to the polls, the Post reported.
So the campaign found sources such as The Food Network and Hallmark Channel in the cable world and used daytime shows on broadcast outlets to reach those in a gettable-and-needed category.
The campaign apparently went pretty deep into the cable universe to find opportunities. (No doubt it helped that it had a fortune to spend so it could afford some mistakes.)
“They bought a lot of networks that we would consider second or third tier,” NCC Media executive Tim Kay told the Post.
An ecstatic Rentrak emailed a copy of the Post article out last week, and clients -- current and prospective -- can expect to hear a lot about it as the measurement company looks to continue its impressive growth. The Obama campaign is being touted for its innovation and if Rentrak played a role, that’s pretty good material for marketing oneself.
The Post reported that the Obama campaign paid Rentrak at least $359,000 for its data. It’s possible that the publicity boost Rentrak has -- and will receive -- from the Post article will be worth even more. And the article didn’t just offer a plug for Rentrak, but executives had more reason to down champagne as it took a shot at competitor Nielsen.
“Using set-top boxes allowed for much more data and also higher accuracy,” the Post wrote. “Nielsen Media Research ratings, which are more commonly used, are based on surveys that are still done with a written diary in some markets.”
If Nielsen were a sports team, its coach would post the quote in the locker room to inspire the troops.