Donald J. Trump for President

A Full-Scale Data-Driven Digital Campaign

Cambridge Analytica provided the Donald J. Trump for President campaign with the expertise and insights that helped win the White House, causing the most remarkable victory in modern U.S. political history.

Analyzing millions of data points, we consistently identified the most persuadable voters and the issues they cared about. We then sent targeted messages to them at key times in order to move them to action. All of this was achieved in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost than was spent by our rivals.

With our help, your campaign can use these same intelligent targeting and sophisticated messaging techniques. Cambridge Analytica deployed three integrated teams to support the campaign: research, data science, and digital marketing. 

These teams included PhD-caliber data scientists, seasoned strategists with experience of presidential primary, congressional, gubernatorial, and international election campaigns, expert researchers, digital marketing strategists, and content creators. 

They worked together to identify audience segments and implement a marketing strategy for fundraising, persuasion and GOTV (Get Out the Vote) programs. Targeted adverts based on our data insights were heavily tested, then deployed to the most persuadable voters in key battleground states.


CAMPAIGN COMPONENTS
 

Research

We polled voters in 17 states every day, monitoring the campaign’s progress in real time.

Cambridge Analytica delivered daily reports throughout the final months of the campaign, using fresh data to track the shifting perceptions of voters. We polled 1,500 people per week in each state, gaining valuable insights that informed marketing strategy. The research enabled us to assess state-by-state reactions to any political event and to understand any unexpected shifts in voting intention.

In total we polled c180,000 individuals across 17 battleground states, online and by telephone. This information allowed us to speak to voters in a way they would understand and respond strongly to.




Data Science

Leveraging data science and predictive analytics expertise, we built 20 custom data models that could be used to forecast voter behavior.

Every time we polled an individual, we matched their information with existing data in our database. Analyzing everything from their voting history to the car they drive, we identified behaviors that were correlated with voting decisions. These models allowed us to predict the way individuals would vote - even if we didn’t know about their political beliefs.

Using these insights, we could place voters into different categories and determine the best way to influence them through marketing. Crucially, we could also identify which voters were likely to support Donald Trump.



Digital Marketing

The digital marketing infrastructure had to support all aspects of the campaign, influencing voters where and when it counted.

Our digital marketing efforts led to a large-scale operation with eight-figure ad budgets. We met multiple needs across the campaign, including fundraising, persuasion, supporter activation, and Get Out the Vote initiatives.

Collaborating with 30+ ad tech partners, we used our data infrastructure to target voters who could be influenced in the most meaningful way. For example, if they cared about healthcare, targeted adverts directed them to websites explaining Trump’s views on the matter. 

The marketing operation utilized a number of platforms, including social media, search engine advertising, and YouTube. As well as influencing voter intention, it inspired people to take specific actions. Donations increased, event turnouts grew, and inactive voters who favoured Trump were motivated to get out and vote on election day.

Results

Cambridge Analytica’s work informed the campaign strategy and meant key voters, who might otherwise have stayed home, were reached in their own backyards. This ultimately contributed to the extraordinary victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

We achieved this spectacular success against an opposition that spent at record levels. We did this in less time, with fewer people, and on a much smaller budget. Our streamlined, data-driven, end-to-end solution was rooted in science and consistently innovative.

Cambridge Analytica’s work on the Trump campaign is a clear example of how data-driven marketing techniques can change behavior in target populations. Applied to the commercial sector, these techniques can strategically engage your key audiences, improving conversion rates and boosting sales.