Big Data Could Impact the Trump-Clinton Election

In the race for the White House, it has never been clearer that each and every candidate — just like cars and running shoes — is a brand.

The strategists, political ad agencies, campaign managers and candidates  are constantly working to define their messaging and understand the nuances of their audience interests. That way, they can better communicate their platform and drive votes.

Brand marketers work much the same way and in the world of consumer products, analysis of data plays an important role.

Analyzing both online and offline behaviors, data scientists have the power to discern the unique characteristics of consumer populations and generate audiences that turn browsers into buyers.

The job of a campaign manager or political marketing executive is to know his or her pool of voters. 

Campaign marketing dollars are precious, so harnessing data to better determine the best targets is a key to success.  Here are a few insights to help Trump and Clinton identify receptive audiences and craft effective messaging. 

The big data revolution in political marketing has just begun.

As an industry, we’ve spent the last eight or more years using data to find relevant audiences for brands. We’ve moved to more sophisticated modeling to identify likely audiences, but with mass media claiming huge budgets, we’re still delivering a stock message, representing the brand the same way regardless of audience.

We’re now starting to explore ways to tune that brand message to the particular constituency. Every brand – like every politician – has multiple personalities that appeal to different elements of the base. Marketers should tune their stump speeches to take advantage of the insights their data is uncovering.

The real breakthrough in harnessing the explosion of consumer data is finding the patterns that inform how people shop, and how they respond to the whole array of messaging that reaches them on TV, via radio, in print, mail and out-of-home.

There is a whole world of possibility in applying a new level of digital intelligence to the entire marketing spectrum – and more specifically, tying digital intelligence to the way each campaign is spending marketing dollars to ensure reach and clinch new voters.

Integrated intelligent media is still in its infancy.

The effort to deliver messages in multiple channels that complement and reinforce each other gets a lot of airtime, but effective execution is still rare and relatively unsophisticated. We have the tools and predictive capabilities to tell brand stories across channels.

Besides a lack of imagination, the industry is held back by the silo media-buying structure of the media agencies and a lack of good cross-channel measurement. There’s an opportunity to innovate in this domain for agencies and technology companies willing to be bold.

The current election cycle offers an ideal opportunity to move from isolated TV and email marketing to a truly integrated approach to include everything from out of home to multiple digital channels.

Behaviors tell a story, and politicians should be listening.

We’ve been looking at the leading behavioral characteristics of the populations of voters backing each of the major candidates. The stories we’ve been able to tell based on our analysis are intriguing – for instance, Clinton’s backers index high as finance professionals (an audience supporting her with votes and money), avid readers, college students, yoga enthusiasts and tech savvy moms.

Trump supporters index high as Nascar fans, country music fans, comedy fans, intimates shoppers and grill masters.  Among the dozens of populations that are about evenly split between the candidates are movie fans, doctors, NBA fans and the LGBTQ community.  

Transforming messaging to garner more of the swing vote could be the difference in the drive to win the White House.

In this crazy election cycle, campaign managers are less focused on the data and more focused on the circus – giving short shrift to a deeper level of audience insights.  

There’s an untapped opportunity for the Trump and Clinton campaigns to harness data intelligence, informing all media with an integrated cross-channel approach, and begin listening to the stories that the data tells.

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