Tuesday, 20 November 2018 17:35

Greg Buisson talks Elections, media and targeting the voter

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Prior to casting your vote what do your favorite local candidates (or his/her competition) know about you? 

For years, prior to the Internet, data was somewhat difficult to obtain. Of course, candidates had access to voting history, not whom you voted for, but, at least, enough information to determine if you are a likely voter. But now, ever since you have allowed your fingers to do your online shopping, browsing and talking, data has exploded. There’s data from social media, online purchases and so much more. 

One of the leading experts taking advantage of this type of data for candidates is Greg Buisson of Buisson Creatives.  Buisson has handled media and other related responsibilities for some of the most-high-profiled current elected officials and politicos in the New Orleans metropolitan area including some of the top names in the state.

Recently, Buisson and I discussed elections, targeting and profiling, the trend and the particulars.

For the candidate and the expert, data is big. For the unknowing voter, data is telling.

Here is the relevant segment of this topic, PART 1, which we previously published. Below that is part 2


SABLUDOWSKY: You mentioned digital, obviously that's close to my heart, I'm just wondering what role is digital playing in terms of media strategy and has it changed over time?

BUISSON: It it's in every campaign now. it's growing every day it's fast becoming a media part of the medium that you have to use that is considered a a "must use". it's stronger in some states than it is and others, as you would imagine as is computer use just in general.  But but the reality of it is is that as I'm enjoying the success that we're getting off of a digital messaging in some of these campaigns because I'm seeing the numbers.   And the good part is--is is--you can track things analytically as you well know, to really see who you're reaching and how many times you're reaching them, and what's the likelihood that that they're gonna vote ultimately.  So it's very very good and it's becoming a much larger part of what we do everyday in our campaigns I'll tell you that.


SABLUDOWSKY: So talking about that for a second in terms of likely to vote--I mean how do you, just in general, strategize so that you can take a piece of information and hit your target to make sure that that target takes action and we're talking what's on my digital, but let's broaden that if you don't mind, in terms of just media in general.

BUISSON: Sure well history is a great indicator of what's going to happen in the future especially when you come to elections. there are, there are now bits of information that are out there about potential voters on everything from not only the propensity that they vote, how often do they vote, but you know in some cases what what kinds of of politics they like--what--how often is their buying patterns, what, how often do they subscribe to newspapers. I mean it's just it's amazing how much data has been gathered about voters. and so good consultants really rely on that and they'll look at it, you look at the science of an election. there is a science to every election and it begins with who's likely to vote and who that likely voter, what that likely voter really seems to believe--and does your candidate match up or did you candidate not match up?  I mean and it's and so it's important to be able to use that information. there are successful people here in in the New Orleans area, you're familiar with Greg Rigamer, I work with him quite a bit.


BUISSON: On a lot of campaigns.  Nationally there are companies like L2 and Aristotle and groups like that, that actually are very very good at making sure that they have provide you with the right data, so that you can put the right science behind an election.  So I would say that voter, profiles at these point at this point or something that if you've got, if you can budget properly, and you can enter a campaign and have the resources you need, are one of the most important elements in the successful campaign today

SABLUDOWSKY: How particularly is the information, you mentioned about voting patterns and buying patterns and things of that nature? I'm assuming that you're referring to not really looking at the individual, individual profile, but the more global data-- but in in block vote and then being able to target that information to that block vote

BUISSON: Yep I mean it's pretty specific, Steve, on what you can get even down to the individual voter these days it's pretty amazing. Now look, a lot of it is from surveys that been filled out over time or connecting them names to names and information to purchases made and various things like that that are done--so it's not an exact science--it's largely inside, plus or minus--ability that you accept enough in basic data. And so, yeah you should use that information, because it gives you a better understanding of who a candidate is.  For example if, if , if someone has, if someone has strong beliefs in newspapers, they probably get the newspaper. so when you learn that that someone had gets the newspaper on a regular basis, or reads the newspaper on a regular basis, through either a survey or through purchasing information, then you can categorize that that voter in a way that you know that voter is can probably be more likely to want to have more information about a candidate and more likely to be up on-- what current day news is-- and more likely to be responsive to anyone who campaigns on that level and talks about current day news, talks about what the issues are. So you categorize that group and you look at them and that might be a direct mail piece to that household in a way like that. So there's many things you can do. the other thing you can do is you can look at things by sort of geographical area and we don't really look at things by geographical area in zip code that is too broad, we'll look at a block at a time in a neighborhood. Generally if you live on a street then there's a there's it's fairly, it's fairly likely that that most of the people that are on that street will have relatively similar beliefs and many things from a standpoint of some basic issues--not social issues, not anything like that, but on drainage maybe or on roads, paved roads, different things like that.  So you can look at those issues and decide how to target messaging on that to get something to it. So those are some of the issues that we look at and and use the data specifically.


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