Vote Compass: lessons marketers can learn from a new tool

With an election called just two weeks ago, political parties and journalists are using data to gain a real-time view of public sentiment, attitudes and preferences. Political parties will be closely observing the effectiveness of their communications with individuals and the various channels through which they respond, such as social media. Being able to create adaptable, scalable campaigns to be relevant and personal to an individual is exactly what marketers are currently struggling to achieve in their industry.

To coincide with the announcement of election date, the ABC has created a tool called ‘Vote Compass’ in partnership with Sydney University and the University of Melbourne. This aims to help voters understand how their attitudes line up with party policies by asking a series of questions that relate to particular policy areas, such as spending on higher education funding, immigration laws and the federal budget.

The ABC believes it the biggest survey of voter attitudes (it isn’t a how to vote tool) that has ever been undertaken in Australia. In less than a week of it being launched, more than 500,000 individuals had undertaken the survey.

The huge interest in Vote Compass shows that individuals are looking for information on how their views align with policies. Prior to it being released, the ABC stated individuals have a tendency to vote on three criterions: traditional party ties; issues that affect them at a local level; or pre-existing views. Another thing to consider may be that young people often look to their parents on how they should vote.

The ABC is also collating the data from Vote Compass as part of its reportage on the election. Last week it released initial results on the rating of issues that are the most important to voters. As well as releasing the overall results, the data was also broken down at a demographic level, showing differences between genders, age groups, income groups and geographical region.

It will be interesting to see if the political leaders take into account Vote Compass results to inform and adapt their campaigns in the lead up to the election.

Creating adaptable, responsive and real-time campaigns are part of the key to achieving cross-channel marketing. One of the first steps is drawing on data to develop a deep view of the attitudes and behaviours of existing and potential customers. By understanding the consumer and their behaviour in real-time, brands are able to effectively tailor communications, deliver them at a time that suits the consumer and through a channel that they will respond to, whether that’s online or offline.

This will enable brands to have a stronger ongoing dialogue with its customers. It means that they will be talking with them, not talking at them. Thinking of yourself as a voter, consider how powerful marketing communications are from political parties when they are based on your channel preferences and sentiments, rather than a scattered approach.

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