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
An aggressive and sophisticated social media advertising blitz fueled Donald Trump’s presidential election win.


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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.


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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About the Author

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

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