Big Data and Microtargeted Political Ads in Election 2012: The Challenge Ahead

“Big Data and Microtargeted Political Ads in Election 2012: The Challenge Ahead,” a whitepaper published by IAB in February 2013, serves as a follow-up and bookend to the initial research and whitepaper on campaign microtargeting the organization put out in October 2012. In this follow-up, we again consult experts to get a post-election summary of their thoughts on political microtargeting and to discuss the growing impact of the microtargeted online space.

Notably, among our nearly twenty principal sources, New York Times statistician and blogger Nate Silver discusses how microtargeted messaging is part of a more data analytics-driven culture that we’ll see in successful political campaigns of the future. GOP microtargeting firm Targeted Victory CEO Michael Beach details the trend of targeted, often video ads moving online—going beyond the Web’s history of fundraising and get-out-the-vote activities and into persuasion, a realm long dominated by TV.

"Big Data Delivers on Campaign Promise: Microtargeted Political Advertising in Election 2012," the original IAB whitepaper on the subject, was a look at the rise of digital political advertising and microtargeted messaging in particular. It drew on research and discussions with numerous specialists and academics in the field. In that paper, we explored the basics of targeting and how it can be harnessed in recruiting and fundraising, persuasion and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.