Sen. Ted Cruz
raised $2 million in the first three days of his 2016 presidential campaign, and hopes to raise $40 million to $50 million for his campaign by next March.
The Texas Republican's campaign team launched a mix of social-media strategy and behavior analytics to coincide with his Monday announcement in hopes to sway potential donors, reports USA Today,
and the strategy is paying off already.
Hours before Cruz became the first major candidate to officially announce a 2016, he took to Twitter to announce his news, and by the end of the day, he'd amassed 5.7 million Facebook interactions.
Nearly two-thirds of Cruz's fundraising came from online donors, and is the result of a team of data scientists that has been monitoring social media and texts to learn who is reading them, who is sharing them, and most important, who is clicking through to Cruz's website and donating.
Cruz's team is also tailoring Web advertising for groups of people that have similar attitudes, personalities, and interests, and has created 17 ad messages to reach them and target them by what will grab their attention.
One of the ads, for example, was targeted at pro-gun "traditionalists" and showed banner ads depicting a grandfather and grandson heading out to hunt, while another ad targeted people with an image of a home break-in.
Religious conservatives, one of the major groups Cruz is aiming for, were targeted with a message about "bringing ... faith in God back to America."
All of the messages, though, have one thing in common: They link to Cruz's website www.tedcruz.org, where visitors can leave donations.
And the ads are cued to "build engagement," Cruz Campaign Manager Jeff Roe said. For example, when a potential supporter visits Cruz's website by iPad while watching a news program with him in the evening, future online ads will be directed to that device and during those hours.
Cruz isn't alone, as political campaigns are "targeting people based on their hopes, dreams, worries, fears and motivation," Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center," told USA Today.
The techniques have been honed over several presidential campaigns, with President Barack Obama's team breaking ground with the use of the Internet to market his two campaigns.
Cruz will likely build a campaign on small donors, who can give up to $2,700 for the primary election.
Cruz also brought in money through a New York fundraiser, reports Politico,
but despite his lofty goals will still face a tough battle with powerhouse contenders like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to gain the massive amounts of money needed to run a presidential campaign.
Further, Cruz may have gotten the early attention, but other likely presidential contenders like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are officially expected to jump in the race soon.
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