Politics and Marketing

20 Apr

In the article, “Turning Big Data into Smart Data: 5 lessons for Marketers from the Obama Campaign,” the author taps into the mind of Joe Rospars, co-founder and CEO of Blue State Digital. Rospars’ Blue State Digital is the agency behind both of Obama’s campaigns.

During Obama’s 2012 campaign, a program dubbed Norwhal unified all of the campaign’s data, such as voter, donor, or volunteer information. This program allowed organizers to get a picture of the person the person behind the data.

As Obama’s team gathered data, they realized they only had phone numbers for 50% of potential supporters. Given the importance of phone-based campaigning, this pose a huge problem. The data also revealed that for the 50% of people they didn’t have numbers for, 85% of those people were one degree of separation on Facebook from the people they did have numbers for. Obama’s team emailed supporters and asked them to reach out to their friends. Obama’s campaign team encouraged supporters to make phone calls to the people they didn’t have phone numbers for.

A political campaign does differ from a brand-marketing operation, but brand-marketers can obtain good insights from politics. How can you harness data to build real relationships with your potential customers?

– John Hyland (B$I member)


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