Data Gathering Best Practices

Voter analytics includes the collection of consumer data to help you shape your marketing and direct your campaign’s efforts.  The challenge lies in responsibly collecting the data you need and making the proper use of the data you collect.  A good analysis of your information can provide you with the insights you need to make real connections with your target voters.

Collect the Data You Need

Not even the top political minds make strategic data-fueled decisions for campaign optimization without first collecting the data they need.  You can use things like online signup forms or surveys, collecting basic information on things like names, addresses, ages – all the demographic data you need to get a picture of who they are. You also want to make sure you get information about what they care about, getting a sense of why they came to your website or filled out your form. By gaining insights into who your voters are, you can tailor your campaign to better reach and engage with them.

Most of these basic data collection processes can be automated.  Online forms can transfer data directly to your database, which minimizes the amount of time and effort you might spend on data entry and organization.

Analyze Online Behavior

All of this data you collect on people who come to your website can be used to tell you quite a bit about them. You can merge survey data with information from an experienced data vendor, like Aristotle, to get a sense for how voters are interaction with your campaign’s website and social media presence.

By examining things like how many people visit one of your web pages – and how much time they spend there –as well as other digital metrics, you can determine which parts of your website and social media are resonating with your audience.

Fuse Your Databases Together

One thing you don’t want is to have all your data stored in different databases. You might have one for donors, one for other supporters, like volunteers or people who RSVP to events, and even another for sending out emails. You almost always have duplicates across these three lists, with no way to see how the different parts work together. Once all the data is synced together in a comprehensive database, you’ll have easy and direct access to the facts and figures you need to perform insightful analysis.

Continue to Update Your Data

Any data you collect is just a snapshot of how things are in the present moment. Collect the same data in a few months and things might be quite different. In fact, if your campaign is having an impact, that’s probably what you’re hoping to see.  You always need to collect new data as you go.Consider using intelligence dashboards to facilitate the collection, organization, and filtering of data to make it quick and easy to make use of this information.

Make sure you’re adapting as the information comes in. You may very well need to change the types of data you’re collecting, perhaps looking at different demographic information, measuring engagement with social media in different ways, asking questions about voters concerns in different ways. The key is to stay flexible and be aware that you might get a different look at the information by making some tweaks to what you’re collecting.

Polling and surveys are always a great way to get direct information from your voters. If you’re wondering how different aspects of your campaign are working, you might want to ask your supporters directly.  Collect feedback from donors and volunteers, ask them what brought them to you, what they like most about your campaign, and use that information as a guide to the next stages of your message.

Be Honest and Direct

Make sure you’re always above board about the data you’re collecting and what you’re going to do with it.  Make it easy for visitors to your website to opt in or out of data collection.  Explain exactly how the data you obtain will be used.

The last thing you want is to alienate voters by collecting data without telling them. Informing voters about what you’re doing is easy, it’s good public relations, and it prevents any news stories that might paint your campaign in a negative light.

In all likelihood, your supporters will be happy to help you out, provided you explain that you want to use the information they provide to understand what people are looking for and be more responsive to the needs of the voters.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Data

No one wants a data breach.  Be aware that any data you collect on your supporters could potentially be stolen, which would be bad news for both them and the campaign.

You should always be taking steps to protects your data with basics, like antivirus software, firewalls, and data backups. You should also make sure you’re training your team on how to look out for malicious phishing attacks or other ways hackers frequently break into data. You should be encrypting any data that you don’t want other people to see, and make sure all your defenses, like antivirus software, are kept up-to-date.  You can also host your data with a reputable firm, who do a lot of the heavy lifting on these protections for you. Aristotle’s Campaign Manager offers you a secure, cloud-based application designed for the needs of political campaigns.

Tap into Aristotle’s Voter and Consumer Data

Aristotle offers voter and consumer data for millions of individuals. Take advantage of the data we’ve gathered so you can get a jump start on optimizing your marketing campaign. We also offer an award-winning cloud based Campaign Manager so you can easily track your campaign progress. Reach out to us for more information about how we can help your campaign reach its true potential.

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