Hillary's supporters dig horror flicks and are in the market for full size vans and Miami vacations. Obama fans love indie films, luxury vehicles, and are addicted to their Blackberrys. No, these insights didn't come from online polling or phone surveys. They were derived from actual Web usage of visitors to the sites of Democratic presidential primary opponents Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Behavioral targeting firm Tacoda pooled anonymous user data from sites in its ad network with ComScore site tracking data to determine what visitors to the candidates' official campaign sites look at while visiting other places online.
The firm tracked how likely visitors to the campaign sites are to be viewing particular types of Web content. Clinton's site visitors, for instance, are nearly 31 times more likely to look at news content dealing with legal topics than the overall Web populace. Obama's site visitors, however were about 8.8 times as likely to do so.
People on HillaryClinton.com and BarackObama.com are also far more likely to view real estate-related content than the rest of Web users, according to Tacoda's data, provided exclusively to ClickZ News. However, at 200 times more likely than others online, Clintonites appear to be a lot more interested in real estate content than Obama watchers, who were around 95 times more likely to seek out that content.
"These are very high numbers," said Tacoda Chairman Dave Morgan, who said oftentimes such reporting shows that users are twice as likely to view certain content categories than other Internet denizens.
While Clinton's visitors show less interest in viewing information on phones and PDAs than others online, Obama's visitors are 38 times as likely to check out content about such devices as the rest of Web users. They're also a lot more likely to view technology content than Clinton site goers. "These guys are Blackberry addicts, clearly," said Morgan.
Tacoda compiled data only on users visiting the two campaign sites because they were the only ones attracting enough traffic to be tracked by ComScore. Though it's unclear whether visitors to the two sites are actually supporters of the candidates, Morgan believes most people are visiting the sites to donate money to the campaigns, meaning they're probably supporters. Indeed, the main goal for political campaigns so early on in the race is to raise funds.
Clinton's site visitors, it seems, have more affinity for online music content than do Obama's. Clinton visitors are more likely than others online to visit urban, rock, alternative and country content. Obama's are more likely to seek out urban and oldies than the rest. There's also some disparity between Obama and Clinton visitors when it comes to urban music: Obama's are four times more likely to go to urban content areas, while Clinton's are nearly 10 times as likely.
Luxury, two-door and compact cars are popular with Obama visitors, as are motorcycles; sports cars, minivans and midsize SUVs, on the other hand, attract Clinton visitors. Both campaigns draw users interested in full size vans, although Clinton visitors are 10 times as likely to visit van related content compared to 2.8 for Obama visitors.
As for religion, it appears Obama site visitors have it more than Clinton's. Obama's are almost seven times as likely to look at religious community content than others online, but Clinton's are less likely to view that kind of content than the Web masses. Obama visitors also show more interest in online activism, being nearly three times more likely to seek out activist community content than the rest of Web users. Again, Clinton's visitors show less interest in such content than the overall online universe.
Other content categories popular with Obama's site visitors include academic, travel, opinion, men's health and financial investing. Clinton's frequent content related to travel, auctions, investing and food and wine.
When visualized, the numbers are also telling. While Obama attracts a multitude of small, disparate groups, Clinton draws fewer, larger groups. This makes sense to Morgan, who produces similar reports for commercial brand advertisers. Clinton's chart, he said, "is not unlike what we would see with more mature brands.... There are fewer groups of people but in bigger chunks."
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014