June 11th 2010

MicroTargeting for Political Campaigns

MicroTargeting is a tool for candidates,and campaigns that helps to answer their most fundamental questions: Who supports my candidate? Where do I find them? How do I persuade others to support my candidate? When should I talk to them? Who should my messenger be? When done right, MicroTargeting answers each of these questions and does it in ways traditional targeting cannot. 

The process works at the crossroads of three related disciplines: customer relationship management, advanced marketing techniques and traditional political targeting. By merging together the best practices of the fields, MicroTargeting sequences each individual voter’s unique political DNA to identify their likely political attitudes and behaviors. Ultimately, MicroTargeting informs, sharpens, and increases the efficiency of a campaign’s direct voter contact plans, allowing them to send individually targeted messages delivered by the proper messengers

Yes, the car you drive and the coffee you drink may have something to do with how you vote, but what if that SUV you drive is hybrid? What if the driver is a married man living in Sioux Falls? What if that Starbucks drinker is sipping in an evangelical coffee house? What if this bible-reader also belongs to Greenpeace? How does the aggregate effect of each data point increase or decrease the likelihood a voter will support your side? 

MicroTargeting begins with this basic assumption: that no single data point can tell you the whole story. Survey research that focuses on crosstabs such as income, gender, race and other demographics only provide a fraction of the story. Looking at the interaction between the various data provides a far more detailed look at your voters. 

By using hundreds of data points, comprised of voter information, life cycle information, life style information, financial data, consumer behavior, geographic data, and political attitudes and preferences, MicroTargeting can be used to segment each of your voters into one of a number of mutually exclusive groups, each defined by a unique combination of data points. In the end there is no one “killer” piece of data that explains our political preferences, but looking at the sum total of our lifelong data trail gets us extremely close. 

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