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Voter Segmentation: The Boring And Complicated Bits

Ever wondered why advertising seems to follow you around the internet? You visit a site selling horseboxes (standard enough purchase I'd imagine), and all you see are ads for horseboxes for the next month! Well, we live in an age of micro-targeting of consumers, of extremely sophisticated segmentation and tailoring of messages in promotional materials. In actual fact, we have become so used to this level of targeting, we kind of expect and demand it at this stage.

Political campaigning takes a huge chunk out of marketing's handbook here. Voters, constituents, citizens, whatever way you see them, they demand an approach that doesn’t try to bludgeon them with a broad message, they want a tailored message to be delivered to them that is relevant to what is going on in their world at that time.

Database segmentation and targeting is one of the most important jobs you will undertake as a campaign manager. Why? Well, it is about narrowing your audience down to their common denominators in order to speak to them more accurately, with greater relevance.

Here we are going to take a look at some of the most important segments that campaigns around the world use to speak to their audiences. All of these segments are built on good quality database information so working on the information you have on your audience is critical to this process.

Geographic segments

It might seem obvious but different geographic areas have their own cultures and issues that are important to them. Being able to target your audience by geography means you can speak powerfully to them about local issues. If there is one simple way of segmenting your audience that every campaign can use effectively it is geographic. Learn about what is relevant in that place and receive a far better response.

Previous history segments

Knowing what someone has done in the past is a great predictor of future behavior. If they have donated to my cause previously they might well do so again. If they have voted for me in the past what are they likely to be thinking this time around? You can tailor your message to speak to them in a certain way and be confident that they will be receptive to you.

Undecided segments

It comes up again and again with our clients that the real battleground in any campaign is with the undecided or ‘swing’ voters. Knowing who these people are usually means having a temperature gauge question as part of your outreach. With Ecanvasser we use the 5-star reception rating which is an excellent way to get a feel for the level of support you are experiencing.

Tagged segments

Issues are a touchstone in all communities. Things like gun control, public order, water quality and so on are the points around which campaigns are fought. They are the points around which entire organizations grow. Just look at Black Lives Matter. Knowing the issues that are important to your audience, it goes without saying, is vital. If your database can capture issues around tags or hashtags then you have a great shorthand for a conversation and you create powerful lists of people who want to be engaged with on those topics.

GOTV segments

Get out the vote operations relate to those people who have pledged support to us and may need some encouragement or help in actually getting to the poll. Ensuring you are collecting a record of these pledges, for example by marking someone as a supporter, means you can then mobilize your team on election day to contact these specific people and help them along.

If you would like to learn more about voter segmentation then why not sign up for our free trial

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