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Donkeys, Elephants, and DMPs

With the political party conventions recently wrapping up, over the next few months, both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will continue to push their message to their constituents. Both candidates need to exhaust all resources to target possible voters across every channel and digital media method. This is where the DMP, or data management platform, comes in. DMPs have been employed in the digital marketing realm in the last few years as a tool for marketers and publishers to better understand and target potential customers. Their use has rapidly expanded and the Trump campaign is already starting to realize the power of the platform. 

How are the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns utilizing data management platforms?

In contrast, it appears that upon scanning Clinton's multiple web pages, her campaign does not appear to be leveraging a DMP which raises the question, “why not?”  By allowing a DMP to collect the first party data of Clinton supporters through visits to her campaign landing pages, uploading offline lists of donors/supporters, and collecting email campaign data, her campaign team could devise very tactical, targeted outreach to expand her group of supporters.  A few ideas to start:

  • Build lookalike models leveraging first-party data as well as the third-party data native to the DMP.  There are many voters out there that are still undecided. The DMP can uncover those potential voters and direct digital messages to enforce the candidate’s position.
  • Retargeting. Many potential voters who are looking to gather the facts about the candidate will visit the candidate’s website. The DMP can be used to retarget that visitor in real time to enforce the message as well as manage how frequently the user should receive a message.
  • Remind supporters to go to polls. The candidates know who their supporters are, which fringe state they need to focus on, so it’s a wise investment of digital dollars to launch precise, geo-location-targeted campaigns a day or two before Election Day to remind your supporters to get out and vote.

The Trump campaign may be leveraging a DMP but a quick visit to the main campaign website reveals that the page with the most traffic, the entry point for almost all people interested in Trump does not leverage the DMP. One of the cardinal rules of a DMP implementation are to evaluate your highest traffic pages and deploy tags (aka pixels) to begin the process of capturing the visitor and their journey toward the polls. As the user navigates through the candidates pages, a rich profile is built from which issues matter to the potential voter. Using this information, targeted display ads, personalized messages, and emails can reinforce the message through a mixture of creative images and text.

Currently, according to Pew Research Center, an estimated 87% of the United States population is online. With the constant growth of mobile and our youngest generation growing up with internet access assumed to be an unalienable right, political candidates will be expected to employ a DMP to target potential voters. You will soon start to see races for congress, governor, and mayor beginning to leverage a DMP for building audiences, for targeting, and for the extension of reach.