SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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New Political Advertising Platform Could Revamp Campaign Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL -- (Marketwired) -- 04/13/14 -- A tech-savvy political consulting company is releasing a platform that allows political campaigns to target voters in ways previously impossible. The platform, called Specificity, serves mobile ads on the census block level, which is roughly 127 times more precise than zip codes. Belkofer Consulting Group, the company behind Specificity, said the main benefits of the platform include micro-targeting, audience specific messaging, and better budget allocation.

According to Spencer Belkofer, there are two main components to Specificity. Based on the type of voters a campaign wants to reach, Specificity will identify and catalogue the census blocks that best fit these voter personas. Then, Specificity serves mobile ads of various formats to those specific census blocks.

For the first time, a campaign can realistically target the exact type of voters they think will win them the election. "It's no longer just about age, gender, race, or income. We're talking about personal values and behaviors -- how to motivate a very specific group to take a very specific action. Did they vote in the last election? Do they share political views on social media? Do they watch Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC? How many donations have they made to political campaigns in the last 5 years? And this is just the tip of the iceberg."

Belkofer agreed the most obvious use cases for Specificity are encouraging voter registration and "get out the vote" efforts days before the election. But, he wasn't willing to dismiss other uses of the platform.

"We're talking about a major improvement in the effectiveness of campaign messaging. With Specificity, we wouldn't just target Soccer Moms. We'd target very specific types of Soccer Moms. We might have entirely different goals, ad formats, and messaging for a Soccer Mom who's active on social media than one who's not... and we can test various different messages to see what works best."

This type of targeting could also have implications on a campaign's budget. Currently, the general philosophy behind political advertising is a blanket approach -- everyone has to hear the message with the hope of a select few also hearing that message. Specificity is the opposite. The granularity of its targeting should reduce advertising cost by not spending campaign budgets on people who aren't going to be receptive to the message in the first place.

According to the political consulting group, the results have, so far, been impressive. They said the platform has been used in several ways, including campaign funding, voter education, and countering negative campaigning by opposing candidates.

As far as clients go, Belkofer Consulting Group has a pretty interesting approach. "For now, we're going to treat this just like our online reputation management clients -- one campaign per race. If we're working with another candidate in a specific election, we won't take on anyone else in that race."

Campaigns or political consultants interested in Specificity can sign up to get more information by visiting http://www.belkoferconsulting.com/voter-targeting-software/

Belkofer Consulting Group specializes in helping political candidates manage their online reputation. The company prevents candidates from having a dreaded "Google problem" through proactive management, and combats negative online attacks from opposing candidates. They can reach by phone at 205-267-6607 or [email protected]

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Press Contact:
John Head
Email Contact
205-267-6607
1500 1st Ave N.
Birmingham, AL 35203
http://www.belkoferconsulting.com/

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