Win with Data

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Win with Data

ThinkWell Vol. 1

Mitch Markel

Beneson Strategy Group

Although the definition of “winning” will vary from client to client, brands want to “win” just as much as political candidates do. One trend we see taking root is that the strategic research techniques undertaken to win political campaigns tend to be adopted by corporate and institutional clients shortly thereafter. This should come as no surprise, since many competitive brand battles have looked a lot like political battles.

Over the last several years, political clients engage in more “big data” modeling and micro-targeting than ever before in order to win their campaigns. We are beginning to see some of our corporate and institutional clients follow suit, and we anticipate that this trend will only continue and intensify. There are three reasons for this:

AFFORDABILITY: As big data becomes more and more common in the research world, and databases proliferate, the cost of using it has decreased considerably. What used to be extremely costly—whether for campaigns, corporations, or institutions—is now within the price range of a comprehensive research strategy.

ATTAINABILITY: At the same time that access to big data has decreased in cost, technology has advanced to put sophisticated and customized modeling within reach of any client. These models allow our clients to find the audience they need to speak to in order to win, and use the messaging that works best with that audience.

EFFICACY: Our clients use this technology because it works, and it works well. Big-data modeling and micro-targeting put your campaign, your message, or your product in front of the audience you need to see it. The technology is able to reach the target audience directly, and is able to push the right message to the right consumer if you have more than one target in mind.

As a result, the ROI for campaigns using big-data modeling and micro-targeting is far greater than for traditional mass-media campaigns.

These three key reasons may be trumped by one simpler truth, which is that big-data modeling and micro-targeting help our clients win. In politics, we see a sort of “competitive learning” going on election cycle after election cycle. Campaigns become aware of what worked and what didn’t work for their competitors, and they adjust their strategies as needed.

This same sort of competitive learning takes place among our corporate and institutional clients as well. Given that big-data modeling and micro-targeting have already been fully adopted and utilized by political campaigns, and that corporations have begun to dip their toes in the water, too, we believe it is a matter of “when” and not “if” the modeling and micro-targeting future of research becomes a widespread reality.