Assign canvassers to areas where they have more in common with residents with geotargeting

10 mins read

Assign canvassers to areas where they have more in common with residents with geotargeting

Assign canvassers with geotargeting to areas where they’ll be most effective.

People respond better to those they can relate to. Choose canvassers that best match that area they’ll be canvassing based on a range of characteristics such as age, gender, race, background and more. This approach can be used with any canvassing app or turf cutting solution.

Pretend you are canvassing in Scottsdale and have a team of volunteers to encourage people to vote. You’ve already cut turf and assigned areas for each canvasser. You have three volunteers: a veteran, a young woman and a passionate environmentalist. Which canvasser should be assigned to which area given three important local issues:

  • The Republican threat of banning abortion even in the case of rape or incest
  • Veterans upset about the GOP plans to cut healthcare benefits
  • People concerned about the drought and how the GOP packed Supreme Court crippled the EPA from restricting greenhouse gases

Geotargeting software removes the guesswork. And the software needed to do this is both simple to use, fast and very affordable. You can choose from over 200 different criteria to match your canvassers to the area where they can do the most good.

Assign canvassers with geotargeting for better results

Learn more here

Work smart not hard

There is a lot of demographic data available about where people live and what matters to them. Marketers use this all the time to get the most out of their advertising campaigns. The same solutions and data can also be applied to send canvassers to the areas where they will be most effective, and also choose the topics for them to discuss while canvassing. The geotargeting data available is enormous and overlaid by geography so all you have to do is pick the area and characteristics you are interested in.

The data available from the VAN is a small fraction of geotargeting data that is commercially available. Overlay the two datasets to accomplish more with lesss. Learn more here.

Data at your fingertips

CategoryDescriptionVariable examples
PopulationPopulation variables provide data about people, including information about age, gender, race and Hispanic origin, households and families, class, internet service, language, and generations.Total Population. Total Daytime Population
IncomeIncome variables provide data about people’s relationship to money, including information about household income, poverty status, disposable income, home value, and net worth.Median Household . Net Worth. Disposable Income less than $15,000
AgeAge variables provide data about individuals and age groups, including age-specific summarizations of gender, race, and income.Median Age.
HouseholdsHouseholds variables provide data about people living in the same living quarters, including information about household size, age of householder, household types, the race/Hispanic origin of people in households, household internet service, and disability status.Total Households. Average Family Size. Households w/Hispanic Householder
HousingHousing variables provide data about housing structures, including information about vacant housing units, rent, heating methods, home value, mortgage status, the year structures were built, and the year householders moved in.Total Housing Units. Owner Occupied Housing Units w/Householder Age 65-74. Renter Occupied Housing Units with 2 People
HealthHealth variables provide data about the healthcare industry and people’s relationship to it, including information about disability status, health insurance coverage, healthcare businesses, and healthcare spending.Population 65+: No Health Insurance Coverage. Households with a Disability.
EducationEducation variables provide data on educational attainment and school enrollment.Population with a Bachelor’s Degree. Population enrolled in school. Female Population 25+ below poverty level.
BusinessBusiness variables provide data about total sales, total number of employees, and number of businesses for a geographic area for specified NAICS and SIC code categories.Gas Stations
RaceRace variables provide data about racial demographics, including age by sex by race, race and Hispanic origin, ancestry, and language spoken at home.Hispanic Population: Salvadoran. Ancestry: Ukrainian
SpendingSpending variables provide data gleaned from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data is grouped by product or service and includes total expenditures, average spending per household, and a Spending Potential Index (SPI) for the current year and a five-year projection.Entertainment/ Recreation Spending: Winter Sports Equipment. Total Expenditures: Food away from Home. Education. Spending: college books & supplies
BehaviorsBehaviors variables capture expected consumer demand and activities based on MRI-Simmons USA survey of consumers. The dataset provides an estimate of the number of consumers and an index value to compare to the U.S. as a whole.Social Media: Used Instagram Last 30 Days. Purchased Groceries online in last 30 days. Attended political rally. Organized Protest
PsychographicsPsychographic variables capture expected consumer opinions and attitudes, providing insight into consumer motivations and preferences. They are based on the MRI-Simmons USA survey of consumers. The dataset provides an estimate of the number of consumers and an index value to compare to the U.S. as a whole.Likely to buy a new vehicle next 12 Months
JobsJobs variables provide data about types of occupations and industries, employment status, and work-related transportation.Average commute to work.
PovertyPoverty variables provide data about individual and household income, as well as the relationships between poverty status and citizenship, educational attainment, food stamps, employment, and race.Households below the poverty level
Marital StatusMarital status variables provide information about people who are married, have never been married, are widowed, and divorced.Married. Never Married. Divorced.
TapestryTapestry variables provide market segmentation data.Dominant Tapestry Segment
At RiskAt risk variables provide data about populations considered to be at risk, based on race or ethnicity, disability status, income, language spoken, poverty status, or access to transport.Households with a DisabilityHouseholds. Receiving Food Stamps/SNAP.
Key FactsKey facts variables represent the most popular demographic data categories. In the United States, this includes population, households, housing, home value, income, and race and Hispanic origin.Population. Housing. Households
Supply and DemandSupply and demand variables provide economic data, include retail sales of products or services, retail business information, and sales potential.Total Retail Sales
PolicyPolicy variables provide data categories that relate to public policy decisions, including population, race and Hispanic origin, age, home value, and income.Population of two or more races
CrimeCrime variables provide data about crime rates for serious crimes, as reported by U.S. law enforcement jurisdictions.Total crime index. Personal crime index.
Language, ImmigrationLanguage and immigration variables provide data about country of birth, language, aboriginal identity, and minority status.Males Born in India. English Only Speaking Females. Population moved from abroad in last 5 years
SegmentationSegmentation variables provide demographic dataSpending behaviors.
EthnicityEthnicity variables provide data about foreign ancestry and population count.Foreigners by Ancestry – Eastern Europe
Retail and CentralityRetail and centrality variables provide data about retail sectors, purchasing power, and turnover rates.Purchasing power

TakeAway: Canvass smarter not harder with geotargeting.



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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

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