How Can Online Tendencies and Interests Find the Right Voters?


ADOTAS – When you only mount a political campaign every four years on a national level or two on a local level, you probably haven’t kept up on the explosive growth of data-driven targeting that makes traditional contextual buys — such as for Republicans and Huffington Post for the Democrats — less efficient for the candidate (or his Super PAC). Making broad assumptions about people based on what sites they visit is so, well, last-century. First, there is waste in reaching those who don’t meet the assumptions, and often you have to pay CPM that is far more expensive than if you found your voters elsewhere.

Here’s what I mean. Through our technology, Tribal Fusion identified 3.3 million politically active individuals. We matched these users to over 12,000 demographic and behavioral traits from first-party proprietary user data, as well as third-party data sources. From this we saw interesting trends and tendencies that could help political candidates find their voters in unexpected places where the CPMs are less and the audiences are prequalified to like the candidate message. Democrats, for example, tend more to:

Be in-market for Ford Explorer and cosmetics
Be fans of Beyonce and Michael Jordan
Research adoption and elder care
Search for retail and hospitality employment
Have health concerns such as hair loss and plastic surgery

Here is a graphic representation of their interest trends (click to enlarge):

By contract, Republicans tend towards:

Shopping for Corvettes and corporate attire
Being an investor with $250,000-plus income
Like the Utah Jazz and NASCAR, Keith Urban and soap operas
Researching real estate and taxes

Here is what they look like in the aggregate:

Independents have their own set of tendencies and interests that include:

Bohemian and environmental
Listen to Drake and watch animated TV
Are heavily involved in apartment hunting and exercising
Research personal debt and criminal law
Have health interests are such as beauty products and anxiety

Here is their infographic:


So now advertisers are armed with the behaviors predictive for each audience. These behaviors provide deeper understanding into each segment, sometimes supporting existing stereotypes, sometimes revealing new surprises. However, the true power lies in the ability to target, and to do so at scale. The scale is there because these audiences aren’t defined by a few hundred survey respondents or any one single data point, such as a site visit. Using these data points, campaigns can craft online media campaigns to accomplish specific strategies. You may already be able to see how President Obama might approach Independents by highlighting his student loan plan and green jobs program. And I wonder if anyone on the Obama campaign has considered targeting NBA fans and elder care researchers to drive advocacy and campaign donations?


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