Too often consigned to business sectors, the concept of geomarketing is also relevant to other fields. And politics is a prime example.
10,000. That was the margin of votes that Donald Trump achieved in some states. In the 2016 US presidential elections, data was more decisive than ever before. The average poll before votes were cast put Hillary Clinton in the lead by 2.7%. Wrong!
Against a background where the voter is gradually becoming a citizen-consumer with increasing demands, electoral campaigns can no longer leave anything to chance. And so, political teams often call on geomarketing – without actually naming it as such – for very practical purposes.
1. Knowing your voter
Geomarketing tools allow decision-makers to view and analyse the history of election results by polling station (such as statistics on the ground gained by their party and their rivals, and abstention rates). Using the same software, they then compare the data with the voting intention opinion polls to obtain localised information broken down into age group, socio-professional category, income level and so on.
2. Optimising team management
This means using maps to better manage campaign communication. That is the aim of geomarketing solutions. For example, depending on the number and location of party campaigners (taking budget into account, of course), location intelligence tools indicate the areas where it would make sense to outsource leaflet distribution to a local provider.
3. Improving candidate image
Maps come up with practical solutions to stop voters getting buried in an avalanche of promotional messages, thereby improving the campaign image. It is possible to obtain precise details by individual residence and apartment building so that you know beforehand whether someone has already canvassed the building and when, whether the residents have already received leaflets/pamphlets, whether they have been contacted by phone, as well as the level of support in that building for your cause.
4. Placing posters in the best places
In just a click of a mouse, geomarketing software tells you where your campaign posters should be located. This data can be used together with statistics from opinion polls to target voters with greater accuracy, for example. Similarly, by superimposing the location of campaign billboards onto traffic information, campaign managers know exactly what the impact of each board will be.
5. Improving the route of the campaign trail
Finally, geomarketing offers an effective solution to optimise the campaign trail followed by campaign managers and the candidates themselves, while taking important logistical constraints into consideration. The software can programme routes taking into account the many one-way streets, roads that are inaccessible to campaign buses and regions where a bit more time should be spent.
At the moment, except for the odd pioneer, all these tasks are still done manually by political party leaders or at local-branch level. And what tools do they use? Simple and complicated maps on a wall covered in pins to locate critical points. Future political campaigns that integrate this digital geomarketing strategy may very well gain a decisive advantage over their opponents. And who knows, they could even get their hands on those missing 10,000 votes…
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