Jeff Pickle

Election Day and Predictive Analytics

Est. Reading Time: 2 minute

On this election day, you may have heard something about predictive markets. These are websites that allow visitors to trade shares on who will win. Intrade is an example of one website.

More attention is being paid to predictive markets since they take advantage of the “hive mind” and are considered by many to be more accurate than election polls.

By putting their money where their mouth is, people are more likely to bet on who they think will win instead of who they would like to win. This simple change in mindset gives predictive markets an edge over polling.

An example of how polling can sometimes fail happened during the last election with the children’s television network Nickelodeon. Every election, Nickelodeon runs a poll among its young viewers on who will win the presidential election. The kids had been right in predicting the presidency since the inception of “Kids Pick the President” in 1988. However, the fifth time around, the kids predicted Senator John Kerry as the 2004 election winner.

This time, the kids picked presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Barack hive mind

Predictive analytics can help you make decisions better. Google incorporates features of predictive analysis with The Conversion Optimizer within Google Adwords.  Using data from Google Adwords conversion tracking, predictions are made as to when and where your paid ads are most likely to convert.

We have used Conversion Optimizer in several of our paid ad groups. It is very effective at targeting a specific CPA or cost per acquisition. Our results definitely match Google’s statement that “advertisers using the Conversion Optimizer have, on average, seen more conversions at a lower CPA.”

Let Google’s Conversion Optimizer put your money where your clicks are.  You might come out a winner.