USA TODAY has a fascinating article today about a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll looking at the President’s approval rating and how he’s faring in public opinion.
AMAZING! It’s attitudinal audience segmentation for the President of the United States!
I’ve conducted audience segmentation for big companies, small companies, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, government and even a faith-based university. I’ve seen it offer incredible insight into why people — or companies — make the purchasing decisions they do. But have to admit I never imagined I’d see it applied to the President.
So the article, which profiles each of the four segments, never uses the term “audience segmentation”. So how can we tell that’s what they’re doing?
Here’s the telling statement: “Analysis of polling data has sorted Americans into five groups of like-minded people in attitudes toward the President.”
This is the classic definition of attitudinal segmentation — literally, sorting people into groups based on their attitudes about something instead of by a specific purchase behavior. Typically we’re finding out why business or consumers have made a particular decision to purchase, become a member, enroll, etc. — and for the President, that purchase decision is reflected in his approval rating (an indicator of voting behavior).
In addition, the article reveals that “Whether Americans believe Obama shares their values turns out to be a key factor in rating him.” It’s not about whether you’re male or female, or how much money you make. It’s about what’s important in a President COMBINED with whether you feel he shares your values. Again, these are WHY questions, not WHAT questions.
So politics aside, I’m just tickled pink to see the type of work I do applied to such a fascinating topic. I’m sure the Obama team will be using this information to determine how best to respond to each of these groups in a relevant way. But in the end, if the choice largely being made on the basis of shared values, there may be groups that the President must prioritize over others in order to be successful — just like any other business.
Do you find these segments interesting? Can you imagine what the segments might look like for your business?