Presidential campaigns for the 2012 election are already making their way across mainstream media. But instead of sticking with the same old, traditional, disjointed tactics so commonly found within political campaigns of every shape and size, the Obama campaign is taking a page out of the digital marketer’s book. Rather than relying on outdated methods of internal communication, public outreach and fundraising, Obama is instead turning to a cutting-edge data-driven social networking strategy. And we couldn’t be prouder.

Obama may not currently be at the top of the polls, but he’s light years ahead of his opponents in the way his team is collecting, analyzing and utilizing massive amounts of data to identify, connect with and mobilize potential voters for the 2012 election. In a world of smartphones and iPads, Facebook and Twitter, quick and easy access to the Internet is right at our fingertips, rendering the old methods of finding and communicating with a target audience ineffective (direct mail and cold calling: I’m talking to you). People get their news online. They engage in social conversations, share opinions and build personal connections virtually through social networking platforms, forums and email. Today’s voters don’t want to be talked at. Instead, they want to be a part of the conversation.

As I said, the Obama team gets it. For starters, according to, the campaign’s Facebook page has 23 million likes, and Obama’s Twitter account boasts a staggering 10 million followers. In addition, supporters who use the campaign’s Facebook app are sharing crucial data with the team, such as name, gender, age, location, religion, political views, as well as those of their friends. With such specific information, Obama’s campaign can easily get the right message in front of the right people at the right time in conjunction with Facebook’s narrow ad targeting options. But it doesn’t stop there. Using a fine grained social networking tool, staff members on every level can communicate with one another, share what they’re working on, set goals and track progress in real time.

Through data management and analysis via digital channels, the Obama campaign can allocate resources more efficiently, respond quickly to online inquiries with well-targeted actions, and better identify and understand voters and the online conversations taking place surrounding the campaign. Your business is no different. Every well-managed brand should fully utilize the growing opportunities digital media provides to identify, communicate with and better understand target consumers using advanced data management and analysis.