In electoral campaigns, understanding who will vote for the candidate and why they would do so is most important. All activities are designed to revolve around the 3Cs: Catch, Connect and Close.
1. Catch: Having a little knowledge about the voter and sending a short and simple message to him/her.
2. Connect: Once we catch, we can send them relevant and personalized content with simple and understandable message.
3. Close: Add a Call to Action, by making voter to our side.
Some Important things needs to be considered when doing election campaigns.
1. Understanding voters: Voters can be divided into three groups:
The candidate’s base: This resonates with the current voters and prospective voters for our candidate. The message given to these voters needs to focus on building loyalty.
The opponent’s base: This is equivalent to voters those were in favor of opposite candidate. The effort and strategy to influence this voter segment would be different. The message, for example, needs to be more focused on why our candidate is better than the opposition.
The undecided voters: They are similar to Point of Market Entry voters who are yet to decide on their fav candidate. This is the vulnerable voter segment who are receptive to information and need a reason to trust any candidate. Talking about jobs for example to attract young population or, like the Trump campaign’s take on coal mines to win over undecided voters is a good messaging approach to influence the undecided voters.
2. Historic Analysis: Past election results and survey research make it possible to determine who falls into each of the groups mentioned above. Data from surveys, market research and sales data are some information sources to understand the voter segments for a party. Based on the campaign objectives and the defined voter segments, data needs to be analyzed. Test and run campaigns are focused on short campaigns that can be run to test the markets and get the pulse of the market.
3. Logical Targeting: It isn’t possible, nor is it necessary to get everyone’s vote to win an election. However, it is important to define the target segment for a campaign and keep it focused. Choosing your battles is vital in businesses or in an election. Once a strategy has been identified, campaigns should direct resources to critical groups of potential leads, in order not to waste time or money. Similarly, campaigns need to be focused with a set objective and goals and it is necessary to ensure the campaign never deviates and dilutes on the message.
4. Data-Driven Content: Electoral candidates must decide their position on key issues, especially the ones that matter to the voters and as a thumb rule, need to ensure that the stance doesn’t change in order to gain the trust of their constituents. The message needs to be clear and focus on resolving their main issues. Perfect content should start with data. It is the art of translating this data and creativity to present the message that gives the best results.
5. Central budgeting and strategy: All channels worked in unison - digital, print media, television ads and even door to door campaigning. This made sure the message was never diluted and maintained consistency.
What is the role of AI and Machine Learning in Election Campaign?
This highly sophisticated micro-targeting operation relied on big data and machine learning to influence people’s emotions. Different voters received different messages based on predictions about their susceptibility to different arguments. The paranoid received ads with messages based around fear. People with a conservative predisposition received ads with arguments based on tradition and community.
This was enabled by the availability of real-time data on voters, from their behaviour on social media to their consumption patterns and relationships. Their internet footprints were being used to build unique behavioural and psychographic profiles.
Every voter can be sent a tailored message that emphasises a different side of a particular argument. Each voter gets a different Modi. The key is simply to find the right emotional triggers to spur each person into action.
AI can be used to run better campaigns in an ethical and legitimate way. We can, for example, programme political bots to step in when people share articles that contain known misinformation. They could issue a warning that the information is suspect and explain why. This could help to debunk known falsehoods, like the infamous article that falsely claimed the Modi had endorsed Rahul Gandhi.
We can use AI to better listen to what people have to say and make sure their voices are being clearly heard by their elected representatives. Based on these insights, we can deploy micro-targeting campaigns that help to educate voters on a variety of political issues to help them make up their own mind.
People are often overwhelmed by political information in TV debates and newspapers. AI can help them discover the political positions of each candidate based on what they care about most. For example, if a person is interested in environment policy, an AI targeting tool could be used to help them find out what each party has to say about the environment. Crucially, personalised political ads must serve their voters and help them be more informed, rather than undermine their interests.
The use of AI techniques in politics is not going away anytime soon. It is simply too valuable to politicians and their campaigns. However, they should commit to using AI ethically and judiciously to ensure that their attempts to sway voters do not end up undermining democracy.