The battle for the Presidency of France came to a swift end last night when Macron took an overwhelming 66% of the votes cast. The young president stated himself that “everyone said it was impossible” – and undeniably it’s been a meteoric rise for a political-nobody to President of France in a matter of months. But at the heart of the campaign was an approach that we are very familiar with here at Punch – using real-time data, combined with human computing, to forge and create the most optimal of brand campaigns.

One only has to look back to a rather prophetic article in DMNews earlier this year, which highlighted the campaign strategy that would ultimately contribute so much success for Macron – putting data, humans and nimble reactive strategy at the heart of the campaign.

With the onus on real-time, actionable data, campaign staff were armed with apps to assist with analysis and mapping, among other features; part of the strategy devised by campaign start-up firm Liegey Muller Pons, of which two of the founding partners met whilst campaigning for Barrack Obama in 2008.

Indeed, the strategy was about having an evolving, living and breathing entity that was closely plugged in to the data, able to respond and react as public opinion waxed and waned. In short, it provided insight that the campaign was better able to act on than the competition. And it worked.

Macron and his team are not alone. From the UK referendum to what’s happened in the US, it’s been data and the concerned parties who are best able to analyse, interpret and leverage that data that have been successful. It’s not just about populist policies but about being able to monitor and measure populist opinion and adapt policy and communication accordingly.

As far back as June 2012 our approach to data analysis and interpretation, to inform campaign communication helped make Sony Mobile recognised as the most engaged brand in the world on Facebook. We weren’t the biggest agency in the world back then and if asked, others might also have said the feat would have been impossible – but as Macron, Brexit and Donald Trump have shown, with a data-led approach, married to the right human computation, the impossible is now eminently possible.

In the political arena it’s about getting over the line and gaining power. In the arena of brand communication, it’s about accuracy and efficiency – using data and analytics to inform optimal content and audience engagement strategies that deliver the very best possible ROI. And for Macron today, surely ROI of this data-led approach is looking pretty high.