At EMO we use some of the most advanced tracking software available to the market as well as building bespoke tracking tools based on clients needs to collect a wealth of data. This is the beauty of digital marketing and by far its biggest USP; we can analyse and interpret huge amounts of data to target potential prospects. The difficulty is making sense of all this data, currently it either stays hidden or only tells part of the story such as CTR, budgets, clicks etc. We can and should use this data, not just to optimise campaigns as they go, but to make sure they are as successful as they can be from the start.
Last year President Obama’s campaign team ran the most sophisticated digital operation that had ever been seen. From the start they threw out all preconceived ideas of what they could or should be doing and took no assumptions for granted. They didn’t initially spend their money on viral videos, cool websites and witty TV ads like the Republicans. Their entire campaign was masterminded by a Data Analyst, who in a previous life had managed the data collected by supermarket loyalty cards. Through a number of channels including babrackobamma.com they asked supporters to volunteer their personal data, comment, post photos and videos and donate funds. From the very beginning they understood the importance of owning and mapping big data.
The team started a multi-pronged engagement plan that used the data to create content, galvanise support and drive traffic to campaign sites such as Obama’s Facebook page – 33 million “likes” and YouTube channel – 240,000 subscribers and 246 million page views.
Through every medium available to them the team collected data on everything they could to create compelling content that would engage their audience. Every single night of the campaign they used a simple programme to run 66,000 campaign simulations against their data in order to show how the campaign was going to pan out based on their current plans. These exercises led them down avenues and opened possibilities no one had considered before such as Reddit and Spotify to engage with an audience previously unseen.
The point is, it wasn’t the super-expensive ads on the national networks that won the election, but the very carefully micro-targeted messages tailored to each reader. The campaign messages were directed differently at siblings and spouses, friends and neighbours depending on religion, wealth, age, location and much more.
Supermarkets do this well, corporate America is onboard and now even politics isn’t left to chance. Don’t get blinded by data nonsense – Understand the science.