Second Edition of Brand Media Strategy

brand media strategy


How Data and Micro-Targeting Won the 2012 Election for Obama

If Obama’s Presidential campaign in 2008 was defined by social media, then surely his successful 2012 re-election bid should be attributed to their use of data and micro-targeting.

Election night seemed to confound many of the pundits. Governor Romney appeared to put together a strong campaign with the polls leading into the final week suggesting a tight race. Romney won 60% of White voters. He in fact even won the independents vote. Yet he lost the key battleground States of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada … handing the sitting President a second term.

How did Obama win?

First, he delivered a well-orchestrated campaign of largely negative advertising targeting Romney, which served the purpose of suppressing voter turnout by traditionally Republican supporters.

Second, he mobilized key voter blocks to register early and vote. 18-24 year olds; African Americans; Latinos and single women in the key swing States. Voter turnout for these four key demographics was about 70% thereby giving him the numbers he needed to push him over the edge.

At the heart of these two strategies, was micro-targeting.

Micro-targeting is the ability to dissect in this case, the voter population in to narrow segments and customize messaging to them, both in on-the-ground activities and in the media.

Micro-targeting isn’t a new idea in politics or marketing for that matter. Karl Rove expertly exploited this in the successful Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004. But it was the sophistication and the scale of how they executed this strategy that in the end, proved the knock-out punch for the Democrats.

The Obama camp in preparing for this election, established a huge Analytics group that comprised of behavioral scientists, data technologists and mathematicians. They worked tirelessly to gather and interpret data to inform every part of the campaign. They built up a voter file that included voter history, demographic profiles, but also collected numerous other data points around interests … for example, did they give to charitable organizations or which magazines did they read to help them better understand who they were and better identify the group of‘persuadables‘ to target.

That data was able to be drilled down to zip codes, individual households and in many cases individuals within those households.

However it is how they deployed this data in activating their campaign that translated the insight they garnered into killer tactics for the Obama campaign.

Volunteers canvassing door to door or calling constituents were able to access these profiles via an app accessed on an iPad, iPhone or Android mobile device to provide an instant transcript to help them steer their conversations. They were also able to input new data from their conversation back into the database real time.

The profiles informed their direct and email fundraising efforts. They used issues such Obama’s support for gay marriage or Romney’s missteps in his portrayal of women to directly target more liberal and professional women on their database, with messages that “Obama is for women,” using that opportunity to solicit contributions to his campaign.

Micro-targeting helped them to steer their broadcast buying approach. While both campaigns followed conventional wisdom to buy spots in Local Broadcast news programming, Obama’s team differentiated their schedule by adding networks like TV Land whose viewers they determined “were less political” and therefore more likely to be a persuadable.

Even the selection of celebrity fundraisers were informed by the data. The team identified women 40-49 as the highest contributors to their campaign. Obama’s analytics team in crunching the numbers uncovered that Sara Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame popped as the most appealing celebrity to this demographic and called her up to ask if she would host a fundraiser dinner for Obama in New York. Web ads and emails from Michelle Obama were sent targeting this group asking them to “chip in whatever they can” with a chance to win an invitation, hotel and flights to New York to attend the event.

As mentioned earlier, encouraging early voting and a higher turnout of key target groups was critical in winning the swing states. They used classic micro-targeting online advertising to reach those groups. Obama’s team’s use of Facebook this time was also very clever, tapping into Facebook’s individual profile data. A million users downloaded the Obama 2012 app on Facebook. The app was able to identify their Facebook friends that fit favorable profiles located in key swing states, encouraging them to contact these friends to remind them to vote. Sources say one in five of those contacted this way were influenced positively by this contact.

Marketers need to take heed of how the Obama campaign transformed their marketing approach centered around data. They demonstrated incredible discipline to capture data across multiple sources and then to inform every element of the marketing – direct to consumer, on the ground efforts, unpaid and paid media. Their ability to dissect potential prospects into narrow segments or even at an individual level and develop specific relevant messaging created highly persuasive communications. And finally their approach to tap their committed fans was hugely powerful. The Obama campaign provides a compelling case for companies to build their marketing expertise around big data and micro-targeting. How ready is your organization to do the same?


12 Crucial Consumer Trends Courtesy of give some texture to twelve global consumer trends…

1. Red Carpet

Companies are rolling out the red carpet to target the all important global Chinese consumers.

Chinese residents made over 30million overseas trips in the first half of 2011 alone, up 20% since 2010.  For comparison, US citizens made only 37 million out bound air travel trips during the whole of 2010.


2.  DIY Health

Novel apps and devices will increasingly let consumers discreetly track and manage their health by themselves.


3. Dealer-Chic

Consumer attitudes to discounts and deals are what’s really changing.


4. Eco-Cycology

The phenomenon of brands helping consumers recycle by taking back all old items from customers, and then actually doing something constructive with them.


5. Cash-less

This is going to be the year that major players like Google and MasterCard will actively roll out their cashless initiatives around the world.


6. Bottom of the Urban Pyramid

Driven by extreme urbanization on a global scale that will not slowdown in 2012, expect more BOTTOM OF THE URBAN PYRAMID (BOUP) consumers than ever (the hundreds of millions of CITYSUMERS who don’t have middle class salaries to spend) to demand innovation tailored to their unique circumstances, from health issues to lack of space to the need for durability.


7. Idle Sourcing

In 2012, count on the crowdsourcing trend to continue to shake up business processes and spawn endless innovations.


8. Flawsome

In 2012 consumers won’t expect brands to be flawless; they will even embrace brands that are FLAW-SOME*, and at large (or atleast somewhat) human. Brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor and dare we say it, some character and humanity.


9. Screen Culture

2012 will see three mega-tech current converge:

Screens will be even more:

– ubiquitous/mobile/cheap/always on;

– interactive and intuitive via touch screens and tablets

– and soon an interface to everything and anything that lies beyond the screen via the mobile web and, increasingly and finally mainstream in 2012 ‘thecloud’


10. Recommerce

In 2012, almost anything is ripe for resale, from electronics to clothes, and even experiences.

Novel brand buybacks, exchange schemes, online platforms and mobile marketplaces offer smart and convenient options for consumers keen to ‘trade into trade up’, alleviate financial strains, and/or quell environmental and ethical concerns.


11. Emerging Maturialism

In 2012, experienced, open-minded consumers in traditionally ‘conservative’ emerging markets will embrace campaigns and products that are frank if not risqué.


12. Point and Show

The rise of the (always-in-my-pocket) smartphone that will fuel full-blown POINT&KNOW in the next 12 months.


Check out the full presentation.

Five common mistakes on social media and how to avoid them …


Brian Solis,  author of The End of Business As Usual gives a nice summary of the don’t’s of social media which you can find at the site.

They include:

1. Showing up isn’t enough. While creating a presence is a start, it is how you engage with people that attracts them to you.

2. You can’t be everywhere, nor should you.  The key is to only be where your customers, prospects and those who influence them engage.

3. Authenticity and transparency are nothing without a connection. I think this is the killer point that Brian makes.  We all talk about authenticity and transparency. But he’s right when he says, “The only problem is that they don’t really equate to a strategy.” But to really engage you need to deliver value, conveying a meaningful mission and vision, or establishing a connect-worthy presence.  Othewise authenticity and transparency have nothing to reinforce.

4. Talking to people isn’t a business strategy. Don’t get caught up in only replying to brand mentions. Your real opportunity is to also engage and convert those people not already talking about you.

5. Keep your core customers tuned in. With the Old Spice, Evian Rollerbaby and Nike Write the Future, they identified all of the potential influencers in their space and reached out to them in advance of and during the video release. They sought help to make sure that the video was shared. Remember though, going viral only counts if it impacts your brand. If it creates lift, leaves an imprint or if it drives action or outcomes, that’s when you’re going viral.

All good stuff … Here is the full article.

A review of Brand Media Strategy

Lisa’s Reviews > Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era

Brand Media Strategy by Antony Young

Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era (Advertising Age)
by Antony Young


Lisa‘s review

Nov 17, 11
4 of 5 stars

bookshelves: business-books-for-2011

Read in November, 2011
Brand Media Strategy is a great overview of the challenges facing brands and the media that support them: navigating the exploding variety of places they could touch customers, knowing when they should use which one to reach out and clarifying what they should say once they’re there.Young is a former agency exec and shares a great deal of nuts-and-bolts knowledge about how to actually do the job of planning out a media strategy. He preps the reader with the “why” but also does the heavy lifting of showing “how”. The book is liberally peppered with flowcharts, diagrams and case studies to illustrate his points.I would recommend this book highly to marketers, advertising sales reps and agency types who are looking to help clarify their thinking on how and why they select (or sell) media for their brands.

Why Dealer-Chic is set to explode as a trend.

DEALER-CHIC … Why for consumers deals are becoming a way of life, if not a source of pride.















So, here are just three reasons according to why DEALER-CHIC is set to get bigger and bigger in the coming years:

  1. MORE FOR LESS: While many people in developed economies may have less money to spend right now, consumers everywhere will forever look to experience more.
  2. THE MEDIUM IS THE MOTIVATION: Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing and sharing offers and deals via new (and therefore infinitely more exciting and attractive)technologies.
  3. BEST OF THE BEST: With instant mobile or online access to not only deals but reviews as well, consumers can now be confident they’re getting the best price for the best product or service.
Read the full article on, it’s a good description of how consumers are becoming more deal orientated and how brands are dealing with it.

5 Questions for Optimedia’s Antony Young

Into the brand breach armed with Young’s new book Brand Media Strategy

To read full article, click on: