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If there is one key take-away for marketers from this year’s big Election Day Surprise, it’s this:
It’s about the data, stupid.
As Americans stood in line to cast their votes on Tuesday, pollsters, data scientists, and journalists around the country were betting on a Hillary Clinton win – because state and national polls indicated she was outrunning Donald Trump. But the prognosticators turned out to be wrong, as they famously were in 1948 when President Harry S Truman nailed a stunning upset victory over Thomas E. Dewey.
Despite more sophisticated techniques, not to mention all the billions of dollars spent trying to understand the 2016 voter, political pollsters and pundits once again miscalculated the election outcome. Was there a lack of rigor? Bias? Did election models fall short due to the ineffectiveness of landline calling in a mobile-first world? Did predictive analytics fail based on shaky assumptions or faulty variables? Were voter responses unreliable?
Exactly what happened will be debated for years to come. But, like politicians, marketers operate in a fast-paced, increasingly data-driven world, and they will succeed or fail based on the quality of their data.
Marketers realize that knowing their customers is the top priority. But more connected devices, changing consumer behavior and fragmented marketing technologies pose difficult, new challenges to getting it right. And getting it wrong will similarly result in unsuccessful campaigns, wasted spend, lost conversions, poor customer experiences and underperforming ROI.
So as a marketer, what can you do differently to protect yourself from unpleasant surprises?
The recent election night upset serves as a reminder of the pitfalls involved in working with poor data. For customer-obsessed marketers, the choice is clear: first-party data and identity are the foundation for a winning cross-channel marketing strategy.
The post Three Things Marketers Can Learn From the 2016 Election appeared first on Signal.
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