I can’t help myself. I’m from New Hampshire so I’m addicted to politics. I’m also addicted to statistics. And I’ve been fascinated by the number of press releases and promo blog posts offering various statistics on this year’s presidential election.

There was this one from iQuanti looking at the volume of searches for each candidate. And this from Cision on the volume of social media chatter. So when I read this NY Times piece on the amount of earned media that Trump had received, I started to wonder if any of these various “predictors” had any correlation to the actual outcomes – i.e., the number of electoral delegates various candidates had won.

Turns out there is and there isn’t. Not surprisingly, in this crazy election cycle, the one thing that is definitely NOT working this year is paid advertising. There is actual a negative correlation between Ad Spend and number of delegates. Earned media does significantly better, but not quite as well as Twitter followers.


I’m sure Nate Silver would be horrified, but my point to my readers is this: There’s a lesson here for you, all the social chatter, followers, search results, and earned media impressions and/or value – none of it matters a damned bit if it doesn’t produce the needed result.

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  • Todd Murphy

    Another good observation, Katie. Your key phrase, “if it doesn’t produce the needed result”, is where measurement services pivot between valuable insight and simple addition. Automated measurement can only deliver values based on counts of some sort. Qualitative measurement, and measurement that reveals true insight, requires a methodology that is born out of goals and correlated with results. A server that counts hits, followers, or verbs has no idea what the client’s goals might be.