The reality is when election season ends, public affairs campaigns are left with the same political data sets, often derived from poorly modeled voter files, and targeting strategies they leveraged to engage voters in the previous cycle. This is problematic, but what’s the solution?
For starters, let’s take a look at some of the obvious challenges associated with solely using voter file data to drive a digital public affairs campaign and identify some 2.0 solutions:
Challenge: Poor data modeling and on-boarded voter files
The primary challenge with voter files and digital targeting is that the data is collected offline. Next, the voter file is most often appended with publicly available consumer data from any variety of sources to help make a more informed prediction of the issues and agendas audiences may support. If any single component of these models is built using stale, poor or dubious data sources, then the model’s integrity is sacrificed before the on-boarding process even begins. Once the onboarding is complete, typically household level rather than on an individual basis, you can find yourself with an abysmal offline-online match rate average of 40%. For a campaign looking to most wisely invest its finite resources, the question becomes: how do you maintain accuracy of targeting and regain that 60% lost reach?
Solution: Supplement the offline voter file with sophisticated lookalike modeling
Campaigns can overcome this obstacle by supplementing the offline voter file with sophisticated lookalike modeling strategies and alternative methodologies that can provide true 1:1. Building models with real-time dynamic behavioral data and leveraging machine learning ensures a campaign is working with the freshest data sets that most accurately identify and target audiences online.
The most efficient online strategy goes further than one-dimensional predictive modeling, such as browsing activity or 3rd party consumer data, to really get to the core of what shapes public opinion around your core issues: policy positions, values and motivations.
Challenge: Blanket public affairs targeting and messaging
Relying solely on basic voter file attributes is a dangerous blanket approach for public affairs campaigns which risks neglecting critical audiences you’ll need to build real support. Campaigns need to keep in mind that just because a voter supported a candidate or party in the past, that doesn’t mean you can assume they support/oppose your cause or will take action when you ask them.
By supplementing voter file data with behavioral models, campaigns can most accurately identify the true values and motivations that are influencing how a target audience feels about their cause. This sophisticated approach will allow a campaign to identify and assess audiences based on where they stand on the most critical public policies, giving a much deeper look at an audience beyond their party affiliation or propensity scores.
Adapt and Win
If you’re interested in taking your public affairs efforts to the next level this year, contact Resonate today and learn how you can put the most advanced issue and values-based data and targeting tools to work to start engaging and persuading the audiences you need this year.