Presidential Candidates & Behavioral Targeting

    March 19, 2007

I read an interesting article by Michael D Jensen titled “What do the Presidential Candidates use for Analytics?”

One that caught my eye was John McCain, who is using Revenue Science. I don’t think John McCain is using revenue science for web analytics but I think he is using it to participate in Revenue Sciences’ Behavioral Targeting network. Interestingly enough I saw a Revenue Science tag on only the home page. Other pages did not have any code. Maybe he is still “Undecided” and is testing it out.

Participating in Behavioral Targeting is an interesting concept for Presidential Candidates. In my opinion they can influence a lot of votes by participating in Behavioral Targeting.

Here are some of the ways the presidential candidates can use Behavioral Targeting (provided they put the tracking code on every single page).

  1. Retargeting – If a visitor lands on candidate’s site and then wander over to some other site in Behavioral network, the candidate can advertise to this visitor when they are anywhere on the network. By visiting candidate’s site, the visitor has just shown interest in candiate and so he/she can make sure that this visitor never looses the sight of the candidate(think opposite of out of sight out of mind).
  2. Undecided – John McCain has a section called “Undecided”. Any visitor who goes to that section and view 2 or more pages is definitely undecided. Target them with a message (ad) that makes them decide in your favor, this can be used for both on-site and network targeting.
  3. Segment Visitors – Segment users based on what content they read or interact with on your site. Using this behavioral understand where they stand in their decision process and then targeting them, on the network or even on-site, with relevant message.
  4. Contributions – Say somebody starts a contribution process but never finishes it. Target them with a message that drives them to contribute to your campaign. This can also be done both on-site (after visitor abandon’s the contribution process but still remains on the site) and on-network, follow the user as he/she moves around the network.
  5. Use visitor’s off Site Behavior to understand what really makes them tick – If the behavioral targeting network is big enough and have wide variety of sites. Understand which sites visitors visit before they arrive to your site. When they come to your site, show them a message that will align with their off-site (on-network) behavior. Say I care about education and visit sites or blogs (participating in the behavioral network) on education; when I arrive on your site, show me your stance on education. This will help me make my decision.
  6. IP Based Targeting – Based on the geo location candidate can
    1. Do more media buy and targeting in the geo locations where they don’t get a lot of traffic from.
    2. Segment user visitor based further and see what the visitors from their top geo locations doing on their site. This will allow you to fine tune the on-site messages.

What do you think? Do you have any more ideas on how they can use Behavioral Targeting? Send those to me.