We Did Data Before It Was Cool.
We don’t just find the data. We know what to do with it.
That’s because we’re pioneers in our field.
Our company grew to be one of the top political operatives throughout Florida and the nation by building a better, faster, and stronger way to analyze data. But we started from humble beginnings. It took true grit, determination, and a lot of trial and error to become the data experts we are today.
Pat Bainter joined the Young Republicans Club at Florida State University as a passing interest. But his passive political hobby was put to the test when his father Stan Bainter, an insurance manager from Lake County, Florida, decided to run for State House in 1986. And he picked his son to be his campaign manager.
Pat’s plan from the get-go: secure enough votes for Stan to advance to the runoff election. In a time when political mail was a rarity, Pat decided to be experimental.
Unprecedented for the 1980s, Pat chased specific voters through a selective, highly targeted mail campaign. He didn’t have the Internet, but he had access to a giant computer on loan from his father’s business. He and his wife Linda meticulously typed information from thousands of paper voter files into the computer database by hand.
This combination of selective mail targeting with on-the-ground efforts proved to be a success: Stan came in second in the 7-way primary. To secure the runoff, Pat targeted households who had voted in the first primary and enhanced the existing voter files, focusing mail efforts to a specific few thousand households. With no prior political experience, no Internet, and no staff, Pat helped his father win the general election.
With no prior political experience, no Internet, and no staff, Pat helped his father win the general election.
Consultants got word about this new, state-of-the-art voter file system. Pat was immediately recruited to run races in Virginia and New Jersey. And once again, he secured victory after victory, working 22-hour days in a shed he built in a mobile home park, with nothing but a 9-track tape and an old printer. Pat would sleep in his office and wake to the sound of the printer jamming up so he could fix it whenever it broke down.
After increasing demand and dozens of campaigns under his belt, Pat decided to make his shed operation a real business in 1988. Data Targeting was born out of three employees, a few printers, and the bold experimentation of its leader. In 1990, the company expanded into survey research, allowing Data Targeting to move into its first official office with a staff of nine people.
800 campaigns, hundreds of candidates, and millions of mail pieces later, Data Targeting has since grown to become the go-to data experts.