Jim Messina is an internationally recognized expert of reaching and informing target audiences through contemporary mass media. As President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Messina abandoned every step of a traditional presidential campaign and merged media, analytics, and politics in an unprecedented way. Messina’s approach to media established the modern presidential campaign—Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called it “the best‐run campaign ever.”
Messina and his team have supervised over $1.1 billion in paid advertising. His group currently designs media plans for political campaigns, non‐profits, and leading corporations from top Hollywood studios to international publishers. During the Obama Campaign, he saved $40 million by applying testing and data analytics to paid advertising.
Messina’s “winning formula” is rooted in data analytics. In developing media plans, his group is guided by the belief that data, analytics, and testing can deliver dramatic improvements in efficacy per dollar. For example, to identify voters, his team compiled a score between 1 and 100 and predicted the vote for every single registered voter in Ohio—nearly 8 million people. His ability to test and analyze data enabled him to predict the early voting results within 1 percentage point nationwide, and the total results within .2 percentage points in Florida, a state in which 8.4 million people voted. As Time Magazine reported, “[A]ssumptions were rarely left in place without numbers to back them up.” Messina defined the modern approach to identify, reach, and effectively engage individuals through political advertising.