Not a new story, but interesting: Campaigns mine data to target voters

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Associated Press: “Online searches offer campaigns the simplest form of targeted advertising. When a voter searches on a candidate’s name or a keyword that indicates interest in that candidate, campaigns will place ads next to the search. The ads offer a great return on investment because the campaign only has to pay for the ad if the voter actually clicks on it. By layering additional data about the person who clicked on the ad, such as their gender or geographic location, the campaign can tailor a very specific message to get that person’s attention.”

“People who have visited a candidate’s website but left the site without signing up or making a contribution might start seeing display ads from the campaign urging them to do so. Campaigns will also place display ads on websites targeting a voter’s interests unrelated to politics, such as nature or sports or cooking… A voter who has indicated an interest in a candidate and then views a video on YouTube is likely to see a 15- or 30-second ad, called a pre-roll… A box will appear after 5 seconds asking if the person wants to continue viewing the ad. Campaigns only pay for ads the viewer watches through to completion.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.