Dismay because my candidate didn’t win (yes, I know I should get over it) and fascination by how the other candidate won so impressively.

Cooper david
Managing Editor / Progressive Cattle

Forget everything you’ve heard from talking heads who cited the economy, Hurricane Sandy, minorities, bailouts, the 47 percent and Joe Biden’s shiny white grin.

The last election came down to this: One campaign mastered the game of data analytics, and the other campaign did not.

Analytics drive today’s economy. The “moneyball” principle means gathering hard statistical data in marketing, economics, demographics and purchase habits – and it is starkly revealing and accurate.

All of your consumer patterns – Christmas gifts at Target, clicks on the Web, tank refills at Exxon and calls from your iPhone – are measured in metadata that reveal volumes about our way of life.


The winning campaign assembled young minds that used analytics to reveal where voter turnout would be high, how undecided voters could be turned and where grass-roots door-knocking could pay off.

The losing campaign used older voters to raise loads of cash and spent a huge chunk of it on TV ads and robo-calls.

Game over.

The critical lesson from all of this is that the data in your demographics and purchasing decisions are a gold mine to the titans of today’s economy and politics.

Understanding and applying audience trends help improve and sell the quality of a product. Whether you’re selling cars, food, phones or a political candidate, the trends will demand that kind of analytical knowledge of the buyer.

Last year in this column, we invited our readers to participate in the Progressive Cattleman reader survey.

Our goals were rather simple and direct: to gain a clear picture of who our readers are, what they read, what operations they have for cattle, and what interests them in the beef industry.

Another side to this was to share the information with you as editorial content, which is what we are doing in this issue of the magazine.

In the center of this edition are results from the survey – shown in a variety of charts – that highlight how our readers are planning, working and building for the future of the cattle industry.

The information is rather compelling and serves a purpose for you the beef producer just as much as it does to us or any other interested party.

The methods you use in producing the world’s most sought-after beef products are not insular or narrowly defined.

The equipment, feed, grazing land, genetics and marketing premiums used to raise cattle vary from state to state, and ranch to ranch.

There’s a true power in that kind of buying and marketing diversity, and when producers appreciate the differences that expand the cattle industry’s economic footprint, the stronger the industry will be.  end mark


David Cooper
Progressive Cattleman magazine