Political Data: Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

by The Campaign Workshop

political data

Find the Right Mix When Using Political Data for Digital Advertising

One of the biggest benefits digital advertising can bring to a campaign is data. Unlike TV and mail, you can hone in on your targets, pay attention to metrics mid-campaign and adjust as necessary, and analyze what worked and what didn’t when the campaign is over. In the past few election cycles, using that political data to micro-target has become increasingly popular. And with good reason. The ability to serve ads to the same list of voters that you are sending mail to, knocking on doors, and calling on the phone is incredibly valuable to your political campaign. You can amplify your message and create continuity between your digital advertising and other communication methods.

However, there is a fine line between getting too targeted and casting a wide net. Many campaigns, regardless of size and scope, are hoping to use a very specific list of voters to serve digital ads to. What is important to keep in mind with digital advertising, is that even if you are matching a list to first party data rather than cookies, your match rate will never reach 100%. Often, it will be in the 30-50% range (and that’s a good match). This means that your original list of 100,000 people has now shrunk to 33,000 – 50,000. And that smaller pool of people is not identifiable on the individual level due to privacy laws. An issue you may run into is narrowing your audience too much and missing a large swath of potential targets because they do not necessarily fit within your list of matched online profiles.

Outside of first-party political data lists, there is a ton of data that is available for digital advertising. You can create an audience based on consumer history, education level, demographics, household income, location and much more. We have found the most successful campaigns use a mixture of first-party political data and third-party data to reach a wider audience (especially when the target area is small). This mixture of data is integral in a digital strategy so that you aren’t leaving a good portion of your audience on the table.

Finding the right balance when it comes to targeting for digital advertising can be tricky, but it’s worth putting in the extra time and thought to make sure your ads are being seen by the right people.

Want to learn more? Check out our other blog posts on Digital Advertising here.