How Obama’s Geek Leakers May Have Cost Themselves Billions
Oh-So-Young Obama Operatives: Horny for Recognition
From the Time story:
On Nov. 4, a group of senior campaign advisers agreed to describe their cutting-edge efforts with TIME on the condition that they not be named and that the information not be published until after the winner was declared. What they revealed as they pulled back the curtain was a massive data effort that helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media.
I read this with disbelief. Any more tell-all stories like this and Team Obama would blow it. They would destroy their opportunity to monetize this truly spectacular direct marketing breakthrough by giving away their secrets.
Who were these whiz kids?
From youngest to oldest:
- Gaurav Shirloe, 23. Campaign data analyst.
- Will St. Clair, 25. Helped write code for Facebook program.
- Chris Frommann, 26. Media tracking software engineer.
- David Wagner, 30. Chief of data collection.
- Chauncey McLean, 31. Translator for strategists and quants.
- Amy Gershkoff, 32. Director of media planning.
- Carol Davidsen, 37. Oversaw creation of "the optimizer."
- Erik Smith, 43. Media strategist, ties to Democrat donors.
- Jeff Link, 46. Outside consultant.
- Terry Walsh, 46. Chicago Obama strategist.
- Pete Giangreco, 48. Direct mail strategist.
- Larry Grisolano, 49. Ad strategist.
They Blew It!
On Sunday June 23, 2013, The New York Times Magazine ran a 7,100-word cover story by Jim Rutenberg: "Data You Can Believe In: The Obama Campaign's Digital Masterminds Cash In."
From Rutenberg's lede paragraph:
But the operatives were not [at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas] in March for any political reason. They were there to make money—specifically to land what they hoped would be the first corporate client for their new advertising business, Analytics Media Group (A.M.G.). Its bland name obscures its relatively grand promise: to deliver to commercial advertisers some of the Obama campaign's secret, technologically advanced formulas for reaching voters.