The 16th Lok Sabha elections, which are underway, are different from all the previous editions in the history of independent India, and one of the major differentiators is the way the digital media has been used to reach out to and woo potential voters.

Political parties are keeping track of digital footprint to know who you are, what are your likes and dislikes, what you buy, among other things, to determine your political preference and woo you, the voter, accordingly to get support. This is made possible by Big Data analytics, which is being touted as the technology of tomorrow.

Targeting the right audience

Digital marketing data providers such as PrecisionMatch help political parties in targeting the right audience. “We build consumer data who are online…there behavioural and surfing patterns and infer data points out of it. Major political parties work with us. We help them reach out to potential voters,” Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi, Business Head, PrecisionMatch told The Hindu.

He added that all national political parties are using data intelligence and targeting consumers online. Strategies like search/social work on the understanding of data are implemented. “The services provided to each party are customizable as per its requirements. And yes this provides them scale to the extent that they find relevant users,” Mr. Pattajoshi said. Asked about who are the core target audience of the campaign, he said, “All consumers online who are above 18 years of age and hence are eligible for voting are the target audience.”

Explaining the process, Mr. Pattajoshi said, “When you visit a website of a political party or its associated websites, a cookie (a tiny bit of software) is planted on your computer. This cookie tracks your browsing pattern after you have closed the website and help an algorithm to build a demographic profile based on your browsing pattern.”

Contextual ads

If, for instance, you go from any ‘political party’ website to a site on motorcycles and then to a jobs portal, the algorithm will conclude that you are a young male from this particular constituency who is a job seeker. This then helps the system place a contextual ad when you, for instance, run a search on for ‘jobs in Delhi’, he elaborated.

Further, based on your digital profile that sits on the political party’s servers, their computers can tailor the message served to you through a text message or email wherever they are able to marry the digital profile with contact information.

Another digital marketing start-up Popkorn Communications is helping political parties build a brand by helping them place favourable content on digital platforms .

“Political parties have finally recognised the impact of digital medium in building a brand’s identity in the era of data. As a content marketing entity, we are presently providing smart solutions to some of the most influential parties. We assist them with proficient content marketing tools like article posting, blogger amplification and infographics,” Gaurav Patra, Founder of Popkorn Communications said.

He added that political parties were extremely enthusiastic to influence the youth and content marketing certainly emerges as the primary tool.

“We are supporting them to position differently in the otherwise overcrowded space of the world wide web ,” Mr. Patra said.

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