Yesterday at 12.14 pm (Singapore/HK time), Barack Obama announced his presidential victory via Twitter. How else could he have done so?
Congratulations and commiserations were atweet. As they ebbed and flowed through the Twitter-verse and social sphere, the whole world joined the conversation.
President Obama’s team had orchestrated the most complex social and big-data pitch of all time, and won. I for one was fixated by the Huffington Post’s online infographic, watching as the little state boxes turned from colour to colour.
The Economist estimated that the democrats digital spend went from US$80 million in 2008 to US$300 million in this election cycle. The ability to segment, target, geo-target, re-market, and find ‘look-a-likes, plus the speed at which influence can be measured, allows hard-core data geeks and campaign strategists to find rich and sticky insights that can swing states and build future generations.
The ability to predict state wins, through complex predictive modeling allowed the winning tweet to be published seven hours before the final vote was cast—it was a big call.
As a mere mortal, to have that much confidence in the power of data is mind-boggling. As media practitioners, our confidence in the power of data is unquestionable.
Access to sales data, audience data, media data—and the ability to mine for the above-mentioned “insights” should demonstrate to all clients how valuable, and untapped, this resource is. It can swing marketshare and build brands (sound familiar?).
A commitment to digital investment that is 275 per cent over the 2008 spend is probably one of the best modern-day case studies to hand—in the belief that digital and big data is key to capturing the hearts of today’s audience regardless of age, race, gender or orientation.
And as to why Obama won, yes a large portion can be attributed to digital and data. But I have a more idealistic viewpoint: I believe it happened because of you, Mr. President. Congratulations.