Summary of How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election

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How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election summary


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What factors contributed to Donald Trump’s win of the 2016 US presidential election? No single, simple answer will suffice, but Trump’s cutting-edge digital strategy appears to have played a critical role, and political campaigners and marketers are likely to study and hone the model for years to come. Consumer protection litigator Joel Winston presents a jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at the development of this remarkably successful digital operation. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Winston’s eye-opening account to anyone interested in the mechanics of politics and digital advertising.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Trump campaign built a massive database containing detailed information on 220 million Americans,
  • How it harnessed that data to develop personalized ads targeting voters via social media and
  • How it used this information to launch a voter suppression campaign on Facebook.

About the Author

Joel Winston is a consumer protection litigator and former deputy attorney general for the State of New Jersey.



The digital operations division of Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential campaign propelled its strategy and fund-raising. In its early days, Brad Parscale, a marketer with no previous campaign experience, invested about $2 million – his entire budget – in Facebook ads. He began by placing the contact...

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