'When you spend $100 million on social media,' it comes with help, says Trump strategist

'When you spend $100 million on social media,' it comes with help, says Trump strategist
From TechCrunch - November 8, 2017

Earlier today, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Brad Parscale, thedigital director of Donald Trumps presidential election campaign, revealed much more about Trumps election campaign and the role that Facebook played in it.

In conversation with renowned investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Parscale also suggested that if anyone was seeking support from the Russian government during the campaignor ignoring nefarious signs about Russian actorsit was the social media platforms, all of which were chasing the money.

Isikoff started the interview by remarking on the Democratic wins in Virginia yesterday but quickly pivoted, asking Parscale what he understood about social media during the campaign season that the Clinton campaign did not.

Parscale said that two things worked to his benefit: the recognition that eyeballs were moving to social media and mobile phones and devices in huge numbers and that he had a great piece of product that would resonate with Americans, meaning Trump.

It was the right mix, he added. Whenever anybody is in marketing or advertising, its a lot easier to sell an iPod than [its short-lived competitor] Zune.

Parscale also shared more detail about the campaigns need to raise moneywhenDonald Trump became the candidate, we didnt have any money other than Mr. Trumps money and I dont think he wanted to write all that check himself. And Parscale said he saw the need to create a grass-roots campaign and find millions of people to be our grassroots supporters. He said that Facebook allowed us to do that in alarming numbers, very fast. In fact, he credited the Trump campaigns Facebook initiative with producing $280 million dollars, $100 million of which was then poured into targeted ads, on Facebook, with the help of Facebook employees.

The employees werent crafting ads, insisted Parscale. They were there to help us support their platform.

Look, he said, you go spend $300 million [on advertising], [and] $100 million dollars on social media, [and] a lot of people show up at your office, wanting to help you spend that money on their platforms. Facebook would rather have me spend that $100 million on their platform. Twitter would rather me spend it there. Snapchat. Google They were all wanting to have that money. So teaching us and educating us how to to use that platform as best as possible was a good thing [for Facebook] to do.

Isikoff went on to ask about claims Parscale has made that the campaign would produce and shoot out up to 60,000 ads that were targeted to specific audiences each day; he wondered how the campaign had done itand why.

Parscales explanation probably wont surprise anyone in the programmatic ad world, though it might strike others, including the voters who were targeted, as surprising. We had multiple programmatic buyers and platforms running across Facebook, said Parscale. What that would do is, sometimes, when youre trying to raise money, different people like different colors, people like different messages, [people like] long form, short form, pictures, images. You put those across each other and automate the construction of the ads, and your math goes up really fast.

The machine learning would auto-remove those underperforming ads, he continued, and thats what would drive the ability for us, for the first time in history, to generate more than $1 dollar in donations for less than a $1 spend on the ad. That provided the surge of revenue that allowed us to compete in the general election.


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