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So you think you know how you are going to vote on Tuesday? Chances are both the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) know which way you're leaning as well–


This just in: politicians, and the marketing strategists running their campaigns are finally getting it–niche marketing is available now and it's not just for B2B companies anymore. In fact, with the right culture, data environment/infrastructure and the right processes, any company (or politician) can become "data-driven" and reap tremendous results.

The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2006, in a page one article titled "Democrats Playing Catch-Up, Tap Database Marketing to Woo Potential Voters", highlights that Democrats are now realizing what Republicans have known for at least two years, that micro-targeting (also known as niche marketing) really works.

The article describes how both the RNC and DNC have turned to micro-targeting to identify not only information about their base (who they are, where they live, what they buy, where they shop etc–) but also are attempting to profile voters who might be leaning one way or the other.

According to the article, both the RNC and DNC are using micro-targeting to, "identify potential supporters by collecting the unprecedented amount of information now readily available from census data to credit card bills–to profile individual voters."

One subject matter expert quoted in the article mentions a successful micro-targeting campaign can bring congressional campaigns 5,000 to 10,000 additional votes!

The Democrats, taking a cue from Karl Rove (who came from the world of direct marketing) are now using a firm to "identify more than a million potential new supporters, a significant number given that many races–are likely to be decided by thin margins."

A fragmented media and lots of competition for the attention and time of voters is causing a shift to niche marketing for both parties. The new approach, according to the article, is to identify and then "divide people into segments of like minded voters", and then use modeling techniques to decide which themes to emphasize with voter segments.

So even the politicians are becoming data driven, or as Thomas Davenport, Professor at Babson College likes to say, they are now "Competing on Analytics".

Companies, as well as politicians, can no longer afford to do business as usual, in fact, Mr. Davenport would suggest those not on a data-driven path will lose market share, or in the case of the politicians–votes!

Look around your company. Are you in danger of being left behind? If the politicians are finally getting it, and they are usually the last to know, shouldn't you be thinking about becoming a data driven enterprise?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Barsch directs services marketing programs for Teradata, the world's largest data warehousing and analytics company. Previously, Paul was marketing director for HP Enterprise Services $1.3 billion healthcare industry and a senior marketing manager at global consultancy, BearingPoint. Paul is a senior contributor to MarketingProfs, a frequent columnist for MarketingProfs DailyFix, and has published over fifteen articles in marketing, management, technology and healthcare publications. Paul earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He and his family reside in San Diego, CA.