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Big Data, Marketing and Democracy

Big Data, Marketing and Democracy
Big Data is a very important issue that is changing the way we see the world and how we receive information. Every day, we upload 55 million pictures, 340 million tweets and one billion documents. This means in total we produce 2.5 quintillion bites a day! That is what is meant by Big Data!
Whether consciously or not, every day we provide more information to businesses and other organizations compared to the pre Internet era. When well implemented, Big Data is a powerful tool to better understand people’s behavior. Imagine you are watching a Netflix documentary about your favorite band and consequently do a Google search to find their next concert.. That would be enough to build up your profile and provide several businesses in differing industries to create a direct marketing strategy bringing you the best information about related products.

This is not a new concept. The Marketing Information System is composed of primary and secondary data, concerned with understanding target marketing behavior and which approach would optimize increasing their market positioning. The point is that the range of information is infinite and, if well managed, it can bring business better efficiency in their marketing efforts and provide customers with a better experience. Good use of Big Data supposes that target customers will receive only relevant information about products that really mean something to them.

On the other hand, this kind of management, incorporating elements of marketing intelligence, could also be used to make up people’s minds when they are not that sure about which brand to choose. So businesses are investing more and more in understanding how to comprehend a customer’s needs and use this information to influence the customer’s wants. Marketing was always been all about that. What has changed today is that now we have quintillions of bites of information available.

Big Data Brainwashing

What about Democracy?

Political marketing works just like business marketing. The more you invest in it, the more results you will have. That’s why there are so many cases of corruption around the world, where politicians are looking for businesses to “support” their campaigns to increase their marketing budget, and produce marketing material to sell themselves to their target market: the electors. It has always been thus. But just like businesses are understanding better the management of Big Data to build better positioning, marketing companies have found a niche for the use of this tool and are helping politicians to achieve their goals.

Big Data propagandaThe use of Big Data combines psychology, propaganda and technology have made political marketing an impressive tool. Political marketing targets undecided voters, those who are not clear yet which side to choose. Big Data information seeks out those profiles, understanding their motivations for their unclear decision. The marketers can then work on persuading people to vote for someone or something, by taking their doubts into consideration.
 

Brexit and Donald Trump’s election are two recent cases that are said to have used Big Data strategy to manipulate their results. Hillary Clinton had 2.5 million more votes than Donald Trump in the last US election. But, it was not only the system of Electoral College system that has made it easier for Trump, but how to use it on the best way too. Understanding the areas where he could win and using a good strategy to persuade people according to Big Data, Trump had prepared several different speeches with different approaches programmed to convince undecided people why they should not vote in favor of Hillary. Brexit also shows reports about the use of psychology, the same method used by the military to effect mass change of feelings, to sway people’s minds in favor of the UK separation from the EU.

If Big Data works on businesses, why would it not work on politics?

By Murilo Branco

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