I Would Have Called This "Marketing"...

...but I guess that's less scary-sounding than "psychological data and analytics."
As Cecil Stinemetz walked up to a gray clapboard house in suburban Des Moines last week wearing his “Cruz 2016” cap, a program on his iPhone was determining what kind of person would answer the door.

Would she be a “relaxed leader”? A “temperamental conservative”? Maybe even a “true believer”?

Nope. It turned out that Birdie Harms, a 64-year-old grandmother, part-time real estate agent and longtime Republican, was, by the Ted Cruz campaign’s calculations, a “stoic traditionalist” — a conservative whose top concerns included President Obama’s use of executive orders on immigration.

Which meant that Stinemetz was instructed to talk to her in a tone that was “confident and warm and straight to the point” and ask about her concerns regarding the Obama administration’s positions on immigration, guns and other topics.
I suppose it's really both. It's not really shocking to learn that he sent pro-Israeli messages to pro-Israeli groups and pro-gun-rights messages to NRA members.


David Foster said...

This kind of market slicing to choose the best appeal makes a lot of sense for direct mail, but I question whether it's appropriate for door-to-door canvassing. Why not *ask* the person what she cares most about and then respond accordingly? Good salesmen start by questioning, not by asserting.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ooh, David Foster's comment is better than the one I had planned. Good show!

douglas said...

You're right, David, but that doesn't negate the usefulness of the software. Not all your canvassers can be pros or even good amateur salespeople. Targeted messaging like this means you will be speaking to your strengths, even if you start with a question, which perhaps their script has them do.

I'm really quite impressed at this level of campaign management- it speaks well to Cruz's selection of personnel and his ability to run a good campaign, which seemed to play a profound role in Romney's loss, when we should have been able to win. I think it's important enough to have me leaning Cruz right now. Good ideology and speaking aren't enough, much as I wish they were.