Cambridge Analytica: Make America Number One

In a highly irregular election cycle, Cambridge Analytica faced the challenge of identifying persuadable voters, and targeting them with relevant marketing to oppose the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. With just a small amount of undecided and persuadable voters available in the months leading up to Election Day, the firm built models of Trump and Clinton support in ten key swing states, which were then used to develop messaging deployed in each battleground state.

The results ultimately turned up an unexpected group of undecided Democratic women, who were then targeted with one of the most successful ads of the cycle, "Can't Run Her House," By Make America Number One.

What was your marketing challenge?

Our challenge was to identify persuadable voters, to discover the issues that would drive their voting decision, and to develop messaging accordingly.

Most voters decide who they will vote for long before election day. The challenge for marketers is to identify and reach the small number that are still undecided with the right message. Delivering the wrong message is not just a waste of ad dollars; it can inadvertently persuade voters to vote against the candidate you are asking them to support. This window of time in which undecided voters can be persuaded is small—just a few months every two years—which heightens the challenge.

What was your methodology?