September 13th 2010

Asian Americans Absence

This article was written by TargetPoint's superstar summer intern, Laura Strohm.  Laura is a Georgetown University double major in Government and Japanese, so we thought she would be an ideal person to do a deep dive on some large sample Asian-American data we had.  Her findings are very interesting and underscore what a fantastic job she did for us here at TPC.  Here's wishing her the best of luck during her year long overseas program in Japan!  If you're interested in interning at TargetPoint, email us your resume along with a cover letter and writing sample.  

For every election, every bill, every town hall meeting, there are countless groups trying to get their voices heard and in some way influence the outcome.  One group, however, frequently choose to stay home on election days.

In a 2008 study of swing states by TargetPoint, 24% of Asian Americans said that they have voted in no elections in the recent past.  Across all ethnic groups, only 7% of Americans responded similarly.  It seems Asian Americans are either remarkably honest or remarkably disengaged...

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August 25th 2010

4 Ways Location Data Can Change Campaigns

Could the places you go reveal your partisan preferences?  We’ll likely soon know, thanks to the explosion of location based services (LBS) like Foursquare and Gowalla, and especially now that Facebook has gotten into the location game.  

Digital strategists are excited about location services’ potential as another connective tool in the social media ecosystem – a way to humanize candidates, create an intimate connection with supporters, and distribute their message in unique ways to voters.  

But with recent news that Foursquare is in talks with search engines to license their data, it’s time to consider the ways in which rich location data could add strategic value to candidates and campaigns.  

  • Opportunity 1 - Customized mobile ad-targeting: From a consumer products perspective this application is fairly straightforward: if someone is online and they’re walking past your store, offer them an incentive to stop in and spend their money.  But in a campaign context, customized mobile ad-targeting isn’t as obvious...

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August 16th 2010

Amazon is MicroTargeting for Your Shopping Cart

One of the most common (and powerful) features of consumer and social websites are their recommendations – whether it’s a new person to friend on Facebook or a new movie to rent from Netflix, it seems websites are always suggesting something new to us.

When it comes to making effective recommendations based on your online behavior, Amazon is the granddaddy of them all. Its recommendation method took over ten years to craft and perfect, but its superiority generates countless purchases from customers who’ve been swayed by the tailor-made suggestions at the bottom of the page.

One of the Amazon’s techniques is the social recommendation, the proposal of new items based on the behavior of users similar to the individual customer. So if Phil and Phyllis buy the same lime green beanbag chair, Macroeconomics textbook, and Bob Marley poster, Amazon might classify them as similar users. Then, when Phil buys the new Strokes album, Amazon might suggest that Phyllis purchase it as well.

Envisioned in this light, Amazon’s recommendation system is quite similar to TargetPoint’s Microtargeting method...

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August 4th 2010

Data Are Not Information

“Data are not information.”  So writes Jeff Stanger in a recent blog post that really struck a nerve here at TargetPoint.  He writes: 

“Data and information are not synonyms.  Data only have the potential to inform.  They are half the equation.  Information equals data plus communication.”

The fact is data are dumb.  There is nothing inherently smart, useful or insightful about data, but they are the raw material of information and knowledge; a necessary precondition that, once manipulated by an information craftsman, becomes something useful.  

The problem many campaigns face is that they are, to quote Stanger’s article again, “awash in data, but barely wet with information.”  

It is, unfortunately, an important but frequently overlooked distinction, and one that the TargetPoint team strives to make in its work...

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July 26th 2010

eHarmony is MicroTargeting for your Lovelife

Millions of people use internet dating sites in hopes of finding that special someone, yet the actual inner workings of these sites remain somewhat mysterious. How can a mindless computer predict something as complex and personal as partner compatibility? Surely, the essence of love can never be expressed in binary.

However, innovative sites like eHarmony are getting close. Unlike some online dating tools, eHarmony doesn’t simply collect your hobbies and interests and match you with someone who input similar answers. Unfortunately, a shared appreciation for the Beatles and a golf interest does not necessitate a happy couple. 

How does eHarmony do this and what does it have to do with MicroTargeting?

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MicroTargeting is advanced market segmentation at the individual level, which answers the most fundamental marketing questions. Learn More


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In 2004, TargetPoint engaged with a United States Senate candidate who ran what many considered a “perfect” campaign for the United States Senate in 2002 – yet he came up a tiny handful of votes short.

How can I find people to join a grassroots membership organization?

TargetPoint Consulting engaged with a Fortune 25 company to help them identify and mobilize senior citizens who agreed with the company’s stance on various issues for communication, education and motivation.

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