A new study by location analytics firm Placed showed that there was no overlap in the top 10 favorite shopping places visited by Clinton and Trump supporters. Thus the two groups of supporters had no similarities in the top places each group shopped.
To quantify the disparity between different voting patterns and store visits, Placed measured the offline behaviors of about 2 million opted-in consumers. First, the researchers determined if its audience lived in a county that voted Republican or Democrat, then assigned that party’s primary winner to the consumers. They then measured the store associated with each voter to determine which businesses they were more or less likely to visit compared to the rest of the U.S. population.
Placed found that Clinton backers were most likely to visit Citibank, ShopRite, and TD Bank, while Trump adherents were most likely to visit Sheetz, Kangaroo Express, and Hardee’s.
“This contrast in visitation highlights that the differences between each candidate’s supporters go beyond demographics or geography,” said David Shim, founder and CEO of Placed, in a statement. “Insights and analytics are just the first step, then next is actionability,” Shim added. “How do you use this data to change voter behavior?”
Such trend analysis can help point the way for political campaigns to target their fundraising, outreach and get-out-vote efforts, Placed contends. And that is especially true for establishments identified in the survey as “swing businesses”—those evenly patronized by Clinton and Trump supporters.
“The voters that visit these businesses are the ones who could determine who ultimately wins the election in November,” said Shim. “Using this information, candidates can increase ad spend nearby these businesses through billboards, location based mobile ads, and offline events.”
Researchers said Bernie Sanders’ supporters present another opportunity to appeal to a new set of voters in the physical world as they demonstrated markedly different preferences in store visits from both Clinton and Trump devotees.
Location analytics was one of the tools that gave Barack Obama the edge in the 2008 presidential race, during which his campaign was praised for its innovation, said Carol Davidsen, a former director of integration and media analytics at Obama for America, during a local data summit in 2014. The campaign used data to circumvent the traditional content-driven targeting strategies and was able to spend dramatically less on television advertising.
The improved use of such localized data in the future is mostly circumscribed by consumer privacy, which would limit what data campaigns and advertisers can collect from consumers, Davidsen said at the time.
“There really are no clear cut rules on the campaign on what you can do with data or what you cannot do with data,” Davidsen said, according to Street Fight magazine. “The primary rule is don’t be creepy.”