If you use a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, have you ever questioned its ability to know you well enough to offer up a film or show that you would be interested in watching? It’s something I’ve wondered about—this capability of presenting me with the right thing at the right time. (It often seems particularly prescient whenever I think of unsubscribing, and hooks me for yet another month.)
Speaking of Netflix, if you’ve ever seen an episode of Sherlock, you’ll be familiar with how Mr. Holmes frequently uses cues from people’s appearances to find out more details about their lives. Often, it is creepy how his observations are precisely accurate, as he catches people off guard.
Obviously, not everyone is a world-famous detective like Holmes or has the predictive algorithms of Netflix behind them, but there are other ways to understand more about people by looking at their attributes and behaviour. For many years, market research departments have worked on profiling customers and audiences using different segmentation algorithms. Similar techniques are at play when it comes to forecasting the behaviour of voters. Using voter profiling, organizations can accurately predict the wants, needs, and actions of people. This is one of the reasons why there is no one-size-fits-all campaign ad anymore. Based on voters’ behaviour and attitudes toward a range of different worldwide issues and interests, messages can be framed or tailored for specific types of voters.
The Obama, Trump, and Brexit campaigns were all heavily backed by voter data analysis. The team behind the current U.S. president employed voter profiling in 17 states, analyzing the online behaviour of an extraordinary amount of individuals, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram “likes” as well as smartphone data to segment the public into a number of groups. Imagine looking at the population of 17 states and quickly knowing who liked a specific type of car so you could then send them a personalized message focused on their behaviour and attitudes.
I also think Facebook and other social media platforms lend themselves to “micro-moments.” These are small instances in someone’s journey where they react to something. By liking a page or a comment on Facebook, searching for a particular topic, or purchasing something via an online platform, these moments in time can actually guide a voter’s journey toward a particular candidate. When a member of the public notices an advertisement addressing a local issue or something that resonates with them, this interaction with a candidate becomes the perfect micro-moment.
Using Voter Profiling to Create Marketing Campaigns
Using voter profiling data can help marketing departments and agencies understand when and how micro-moments happen, assisting them in being able to predict when one will occur in the future. In most political campaigns, playing the tactical game is the key to gaining an advantage. You can’t win the majority by focusing efforts across every city and state. By using voter profiling in specified states, you can actually target those undecided voters. (On the other hand, those undecided voters may actually be strong supporters of a particular candidate but are not willing to show their hand.)
Imagine if you could look at voter profile data in real-time, and even examine previous election voting results, to understand how an advertisement performed or created a buzz. This is why I feel voter profiling will actually help from not only this political sense, but also brand perspective. Marketers will be able to harness this data ecosystem to target and predict behaviour in relation to their brand and products.
About the Logit Group
The Logit Group is a leader among data collection firms, and our ongoing commitment has been to develop and administer industry-best technologies as the basis of our research execution. We offer online and offline services including; Global Panel Sourcing, B2C Phone Research, Mall Intercepts, In-depth interview (IDI) recruitment, Focus group recruitment, customized reporting, and more.
Jake Pryslak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.