Nothing goes unnoticed by the data miners these days. They know all about you. They know what you like to buy, and when. Every website you see, every search you execute, every TV show you watch is recorded. They know your age, your political persuasion, your address, and a lot of other things you would never suspect.
Did you show your “preferred shopper” card on that last trip to the grocery store? They used it to figure out what you might want to buy next time, and how to encourage you to spend more. (I often express my sticker shock – “Wow, I’m glad I’m a preferred shopper! I’d hate to see what you do to the customers you don’t prefer!)
The Obama campaign took masterful, full advantage of data mining, and some think it is what won the election for them. Instead of relying on traditional political advisers and old-school marketing experts, Obama played the campaign game strictly by the metrics, building a huge data analytics operation two years before the election. They designed their fundraising campaigns and advertisements to appeal to specific voters in narrowly-targeted markets. They knew exactly who could be manipulated and how. Their attacks ads were designed with pin-point scientific and psychological precision.
Time Magazine was given an inside look at the Obama machine and found:
“. . .a massive data effort that helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media.”
In this election cycle, policy issues really didn’t matter. The horrendous performance of the Obama administration for four years was not a problem, and the Democrats didn’t even bother to propose any solutions to the country’s many troubles.
The Republicans took the high road – presenting facts and plans, avoiding hyperbole and attacks, assuming the majority of voters were paying attention and actually cared about the economy, the debt, and their childrens’ futures. The GOP didn’t have a chance.
By the way, Rayid Ghani, the mastermind of the Obama data mining operation, cut his teeth in the monster supermarket “preferred customer” data-crunching game.
I can’t fault the Democrats for using such a powerful weapon. They zeroed in on the weakness and vulnerability of American voters. It worked.
I only wish they would put as much technology, effort, and money into finding solutions to the nation’s problems as they did getting elected.
Oh, and by the way – be careful what you say, do, and type. You are being watched.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Man: I think, I think I am! Therefore I am! I think?
Government: Of course you are my bright little star!
I’ve miles and miles of files,
Pretty files of your forefather’s fruit
And now to suit our great computer,
You’re magnetic ink!
In the Beginning – the Moody Blues
3 thoughts on “Obama’s Data Mining Wizards”
“They know the road by which you came, they know your mother’s maiden name. What you had for breakfast, and what you’ve hidden in your mattress”. – Inside Job/Don Henley
Good one, Laura – you’re Rockin’ On the Right Side!