Callcredit Blog

A vote for better campaign performance

Consumer Marketing Data

Every few years, one of the UK’s biggest direct response campaigns takes place – the General Election.   The response rate (or turnout) achieved in the 2010 was 65%, some way down on the 84% achieved in 1950, a trend which can be seen across most parts of Europe.   Even in India’s 2014 election with over half a billion votes cast, a turnout of 66% was achieved.  If voting was mandatory, you might expect stronger turnouts, but, for example in Mexico (where not voting is illegal), a rate of just 65% was achieved in the most recent Presidential Elections.  Penalties for not participating vary by country; in Singapore, names are taken off the electoral roll.

Back in the UK, turnout in 2010 varied widely by constituency – the best performing ‘cell’ being over 77% and the worst came in at about 44%.  What demographic characteristics best depict low performing areas?  We took the three lowest turnout areas (Manchester Central, Leeds Central and Birmingham Ladywood) and profiled each one against Callcredit’s consumer universe – Define to see if we could see any common patterns.

The below charts show CAMEO UK Group and age band breakdowns for each of these constituencies:

Blog 28 FINAL diagram

From the chart, we can see that younger groups are over represented in all three areas (horizontal green rows), particularly in their late twenties and early thirties.  The CAMEO categories (vertical green column) indicates that in particular, the least affluent Group (10) is over represented in these three constituencies.   In Manchester however, we also see some over representation in the most affluent group.  The dark red shading highlights in particular that this area has an over representation (compared to the UK) of the most affluent Group up to the age of about 39.  We can also see that Manchester Central has more than its fair share of private rented accommodation when compared to the UK, perhaps pointing to young transient professionals.

Lessons for the 2015 campaign?  For Parties, the ‘first past the post’ system means that candidates need to focus particularly on marginal constituencies.  For the Country, the above analysis might point to areas where campaigns encouraging registration and turning out on the day should be focused.

For Marketers, no such system exists – every vote (or conversion) counts equally.  Nonetheless, the merit of profiling responses against such external demographic attributes is often overlooked and learnings for performance improvement are not picked up.

If you would like a profile report for a recent campaign, drop me a line at before you head off to the polling booth.

Author: Paul Kennedy

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