retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There is a terrific piece in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, available online now, that is about how the technology operatives who so effectively targeted voting blocks for the Obama campaign in 2012 have gone into business for themselves - they've created a business called Analytics Media Group (AMG, and, the Times writes, the "bland name obscures its relatively grand promise: to deliver to commercial advertisers some of the Obama campaign’s secret, technologically advanced formulas for reaching voters."

An excerpt from the story:

"Previous campaigns would make decisions about how to direct their television-advertising budgets largely based on hunches and deductions about what channels the voters they wanted to reach were watching. Their choices were informed by the broad viewership ratings of Nielsen and other survey data, which typically led to buying relatively expensive ads during evening-news and prime-time viewing hours. The 2012 campaign took advantage of advanced set-top-box monitoring technology to figure out what shows the voters they wanted to reach were watching and when, resulting in a smarter and cheaper — if potentially more invasive — way to beam commercials into their homes. The system gave Obama a significant advantage over Mitt Romney, according to Democrats and many Republicans (at least those who were not on Romney’s media team). Now A.M.G.’s founders say the company is at the forefront of a move to turn upside down the way the $60-billion-a-year television-ad market has functioned since its start. And they hope to get very rich in the process."

The story makes clear that it is all about the data - how it is targeted, compiled, sliced, diced, and acted upon. It has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the future.

It is worth reading..
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