Just because a candidate who used micro-targeting wins doesn’t mean that it was responsible for that win. Conversely, losing despite employing a micro-targeting program doesn’t necessarily mean it was deficient.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 19, 2013
Political advertising is generally a “top revenue source” for local TV stations in an election year. But in 2014, analysts says, spending may be affected by an increased use of micro-targeting of voters, with campaigns focusing their efforts on “specific groups,” rather than the broadest possible audience.
“Micro-targeting” has been a buzzword since a Republican campaign strategist coined the term in 2002. The promise of micro-targeting has always been to give campaigns that extra edge they need in order to win.
“Some micro-targeting research programs deliver on that promise and some don’t,” says John Nienstedt, Jr., President and CEO of Competitive Edge Communications and Research. “Just because a candidate who used micro-targeting wins doesn’t mean that it was responsible for that win. Conversely, losing despite employing a micro-targeting program doesn’t necessarily mean it was deficient.”
The real test, according to Nienstedt, is whether key voter segments identified by micro-targeting research received appropriate campaign communications and whether these voters actually moved in favor of the candidate in question.
“Anything less than statistically significant movement in the right direction among the target population either means the program didn’t work or we don’t know whether it worked,” he says.
At its core, micro-targeting research is similar to a “giant” poll containing basic questions about voter choice, messaging and where voters get their information. Variables taken from consumer databases are incorporated into this big poll and become the raw materials for micro-targeting research.
“Micro-targeting programs that neglect to answer a campaign’s most expensive question (Where should I spend my TV advertising dollars?) leave a lot on the table,” Nienstedt says.
An effective micro-targeting program should leverage what he calls “the progressive campaign.” Different groups of voters make decisions at different points in the campaign. A good micro-targeting program identifies those groups to “progressively” remove them from the communications mix.
“The right micro-targeting research program should save a campaign money by making voter contact and all paid communications far more efficient,” Nienstedt notes. “More importantly, it should help the campaign move the electorate in the right direction by telling the campaign whom to target, when to touch them, what messages to communicate, what messengers to employ and what media channels to use.”
About Competitive Edge
Competitive Edge Research & Communication is a San Diego-based consulting firm specializing in public opinion surveys and analysis, political polling, civic studies, and phone-based campaign services. Since 1987, Competitive Edge has provided clients with accurate survey research and campaign services, including designing sound research plans, collecting and analyzing accurate quantitative and qualitative data, providing clear strategic advice, and communicating with voters to identify their opinions and persuade them to take action. For more information, visit http://cerc.net.