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The Data Superiority Wars Take a Semantic Turn

BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 6 2012

Well known to many is "microtargeting," the practice of gathering data on individual supporters from across a variety of sources, profiling those supporters to identify the right cohort to reach with a given message, and then reaching out — perhaps in selectively placed online ads.

The New York Times' Nick Confessore writes that the successor to Voter Vault, the Republican National Committee's current voter database, will instead "nano-target," whatever that means — Confessore writes only "collecting far more detailed demographic and consumer data on Republican voters than the earlier version" — to the derision of some on the left.

If the phrase sounds familiar, that's because Democratic online ad man Josh Koster used it in 2009 to describe Google Ad targeting of niche groups on behalf of Sen. Al Franken's Senate campaign.

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