It’s election season and the final results are coming down to the wire. Post last Monday’s first presidential debate, likely voters declared Clinton the debate’s winner by a large margin. Although the latest numbers from the NYTimes show Clinton having a 75% chance of winning - there are still six weeks left before the election, and anything can happen. As millions of US voters tune in and prepare to elect their next president, it will be fascinating to see how each camp spends their remaining campaign dollars to win over voters.

Let’s take a deeper look at the Clinton and Trump campaign strategies over the past few months, as well as explore what experts think will take place with digital campaign strategies over the final stretch.


Clinton campaign

While both candidates have poured massive amounts of money into their digital advertising strategies, the Clinton campaign has spent $32M+ on media-buys, almost 3x the amount as Trump. The vast majority of this media-buy is through Priorities USA Action, the super-PAC that supports Clinton.

To reach the millennial audience that embraced her democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, Clinton has taken to Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram.

In fact, much of the $32M media-buy budget will be used to connect with millennial voters. Clinton has struggled to win over the support of millennials, who in the past connected strongly with President Obama and Bernie Sanders, during last year’s primary. Clinton admits she has a lot of work to do to ensure her message resonates with them and is putting in the work to improve.


Trump campaign

The Trump campaign recently invested $8M+ into digital and social media advertising, relying on earned media (news coverage) to amplify messaging. This is a reasonably smart strategy, since Trump has a well-known brand, is a PR magnet, and has garnered massive exposure from his often-controversial comments.

Trump entrusted Giles-Parscale, a San Antonio Texas based Digital Marketing Company with strategizing and managing his digital initiatives. It will be interesting to see how the firm manages this high-profile campaign, as this is their first foray into political advertising.  


Digital Trump or Digital Clinton - Who wins?

Digital spending alone won’t be enough to secure a win in November. The candidate who most efficiently manages their digital spending through leveraging big data and personalization tools like Flite’s Political Suite will be the one to come out on top.

Flite’s Political Suite makes it easy to create highly personalized, data-driven ad campaigns that engage voters with relevant content and call-to-action like donor signups, topic surveys, and more. Check out some example ad units here to see them in action.

The Obama campaign pioneered the big data strategy in the 2012 election, appointing a Chief Analytics Officer with a team of data scientists who were instrumental in defining Obama’s core messaging and targeting strategies. A recent article by Scientific American suggests that the Clinton campaign is already leveraging these techniques in a big way.


If they want to come out on top, this year’s digital campaigns will have to use big data and analytics to leverage supplemental voter information to engage voters on topics that will interest them. For example, mothers with young children will likely care about public schooling, seniors will care about social security and medicare, college students will want to know about tuition costs and future job prospects. This enables campaigns to reach desired audiences and get a relevant message out at a lower cost, giving them a valuable competitive advantage in the weeks before the election.


Image credit: Wall Street Journal & New York Times