Brands ‘must ape Obama strategy’

harper reedBrand marketers have been urged to embrace techniques employed during Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign to succeed in producing personalised communications with customers.
That is the advice of the technology and data expert behind Obama’s campaign, Harper Reed, who was speaking at the DMA’s Technology Summit, sponsored by Neolane.
Reed, who calls himself  “probably one of the coolest guys ever” and has a penchant for facial hair, was hired by Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina. His brief was to crunch huge chunks of Democrat voting data and produce sophisticated profiling techniques, designed to bring the President closer to his supporters and potential supporters.
A team of developers from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter produced a data platform codenamed ‘Narwhal’ in a bid to give the President the edge over Mitt Romney.
In total the campaign raised $1bn in donations from 4.4 million donors, including $690m online. Narwhal helped create a social network for supporters who organised 358,000 events, made 125,646,575 campaigning phone calls, and mobilised 600,000 Facebook fans to recruit 5 million more active users to support the campaign. Sophisticated TV audience modelling helped to buy 20,000 more TV ads than Romney’s campaign for $100m less.
“We worked out how to get Obama to speak one-to-one with tens of millions of voters in ways that have never been achieved before. This has redefined how campaigns should be run and redefined how all brands should communicate with their customers.”

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