In the 2016 elections, digital campaigners are faced with new challenges, in particular they’re figuring out how to catch the attention of the on-the-go consumer and serve them with relevant, real time messages. Ubimo CEO Ran Ben-Yair explains the new challenges facing presidential campaigners on digital, and how local data can unlock the opportunities of mobile targeting.
It’s widely acknowledged that the Democrat’s voter mobilization data base was instrumental in President Obama’s winning 2012 campaign. An effective element of this successful campaign was the “knock on every door” strategy to directly reach and interact with individual voters.
Ahead of the 2016 elections, campaigners and observers across the board agree that digital advertising – the medium best suited for leveraging voter/audience data – will play a significant role in this year’s presidential campaigns.
Mobile comes of age
2015 was a defining year in the evolution of digital advertising, as mobile ad spend surpassed spend on desktop for the first time and more digital content was consumed on mobile, than on desktop.
In parallel, TV audiences are shrinking, as consumer attention shifts away from traditional mass media. Predictions show that by 2019, ad spend will be higher on digital than on TV. As the shift from mass media to digital and mobile continues to grow, digital political strategists are eyeing mobile advertising as the channel which provides the digital equivalent of door-to-door canvassing. The critical point at the start of the election year is the challenge of how to scale personal outreach and target individuals most effectively on mobile, without relying on web based cookie methods which don’t provide any kind of accuracy on mobile.
Digital poses it’s own unique challenges, including the question of how to find relevant on-the-go audiences and grab their attention; unlike captive TV audiences, mobile consumers jump from one real life context to another.
The key to delivering relevant real time ads is using local data – which unlocks the audience’s real world experiences. For political campaigners who understand the value of local targeting, this is obvious, but the challenge of finding voters – either to persuade or to mobilize – has yet to be solved.
Mobile unlocks multiple local data levels
One of the most reliable measures of audience voting habits, are the official precinct level voting records. We’ve mapped these for the entire US, and they’re available for digital campaigners, only on our platform. Precinct voting history provides a more reliable alternative to web based audience segments, which attempt to extrapolate information from a user’s digital consumption, and then relies on matching device IDs with cookies; an ambitious task with disappointing results.
Layering local data including place data, voting data, US census demographic data and real time data like the weather or local events, allows campaigners to create dynamic audience segments. These critical local data layers not only enable precise real time targeting, they also provide a digital campaigner with a way to measure the success of their campaign messages, against any of these data points.
For example, a candidate who ran a campaign on our platform ahead of the primaries, saw higher engagement rates within precincts who voted mostly Republican in the 2012 elections. That validates their decision to create a specific campaign to appeal to Republicans before a round of primaries. Similarly, we noticed interested trends when campaigns were broken down by issue. For example, precincts with higher average household incomes, were more likely to complete a video ad about tax policies, and women were more likely to complete video ads which covered foreign policy issues.
Unleash the power of your data
Insights into audiences’ real time contexts and data driven targeting methods are crucial for campaigns in the digital world, but the danger remains that data sets can remain siloed and their full potential could remain undiscovered.
Once data – either first or third party – is tied to a physical location, it is effortless to mix and match data sets, create dynamic audiences and use dynamic adaptive creatives in order to serve relevant real time ads. By combining local and location data with a mobile centric DSP, our political clients are able to set up campaigns which are hyperlocal, leaving us to deal with the complexities of managing the data and the buying.
Location data, combined with rich local data – including reliable voting history at a granular level – enables digital strategists to run hyper-local campaigns with the scale and efficiency of national and state campaigns, even as consumers slowly move away from mass media outlets.
Election year has only just started and campaigners are racing to use their data to create the smartest digital campaigns. Data alone will not win this year’s election, as audiences become more selective about their content consumption. The challenge this year is to find a way to serve relevant ads to the right audiences; to create mobile campaigns to mobilize voters.
Want to know more about quickly scaling up your mobile campaign? Talk to us today!