Events & Education


Sept 2017 - A New Approach to Old School Campaigning

Matt MacMillan from Buzzmaker/DS Political

Our members in Sydney and Melbourne were lucky enough to hear from Matt MacMillan, President of US company Buzzmaker and International head of DS Political, about the application of consumer marketing techniques in political campaigns to cut through the white noise and effectively influence debate.

Matt spoke about the increasingly sophisticated use of micro-targeting driving the shift away from traditional communication channels such as television and radio, which allow for mass communication, to more individualised platforms such as Facebook. Geolocation targeting innovations that Facebook and other social media platforms allow, combined with micro-targeting, is enabling campaigns to deliver increasingly segmented messages to different demographics in a single campaign. This ability is completely revolutionising the manner of political and commercial communication.


Matt McMillan presenting at Newgate Communications' offices In Sydney


In the recent West Australian State Elections, Labor State Secretary Patrick Gorman said of micro-targeting, ‘it's about working smarter, and making sure the right people see the message that's relevant to them’. Mr Gorman said each successfully targeted post resulted in a noticeable increase in individual donations and volunteer activity. Data also has practical application for traditional campaigning techniques such as doorknocking, allowing a canvasser to know what topics will most likely be of interest and informing how long to spend at each door.

Without you even realising it, parties and businesses now have access to intimate insights into your private life, drastically increasing the efficiency of communication methods.

The objective of micro-targeting remains the same in politics as in business; ‘how do I communicate my message most effectively with the least effort, at scale, and at minimal cost?

APGRA members in Newgate's Melbourne offices.