Cami Zimmer is President of CampaignTouch, a mobile and digital strategy agency providing consulting, mobile app/SMS development services and online media buys. Zimmer started her career at the White House, and has spent the last seven years as an entrepreneur, focusing on project development, sales/marketing, management and business development.
2012 is not 2008.
- 2000 – All successful campaigns had a website
- 2008 – All successful campaigns had a Facebook page
- 2010 – All successful campaigns used Twitter and text
- 2012 – All successful campaigns will have a mobile app
Today, most mobile apps are just mini-version of web sites. Rather than just providing news and events about the campaign, mobile apps should provide tools and data that enable people to take action or solve a problem.
The versatility of a modern mobile app means it can collect analytics, target and track supporters, engage voters with social media, conduct polls and surveys and encourage people to vote on Election Day. It’s about the CALL TO ACTION. With the capabilities of mobile apps, we can now develop a tool that calls people to vote while collecting data for use by the campaign.
Now that is a return on investment!
Advertising and messaging has changed. People no longer want to be talked at. They want to be a part of the conversation; especially in the political arena where they are frustrated and want real change.
If campaigns want to be successful at reaching their targeted audience and have that message be favorably accepted, they need to remember this: 17% of consumers trust traditional advertising while 90% trust peer recommendations. A successful message today means pushing that message to your supporters WHO THEN virally push it to their peers. The 2012 election cycle will see wins and losses based on this philosophy.
Digital advertising was snubbed years ago, yet campaigns are now allocating 5-10% of marketing dollars for online advertising. Mobile apps and text messaging is here today and part of any 2012 winning strategy.
Some will argue and say their target audiences aren’t using smartphones. They are.
- 45 to 65 years olds are the fastest age range for smartphone adoption (Pew Research)
- 1 in 2 people will own a smartphone by the end of 2011.
- Over 60% of moms have smartphones (eMarketer)
- Over 59% of Americans households with an income of $75,000+ per year own at least one smartphone
Refusing to realize the magnitude of the mobile universe is dangerous, as most traditional campaigning is no longer reaching its desired audience. Today 30% of people don’t have a landline phone (Citi Investment Research), but robo-calls to landlines are still a principle component of any GOTV effort. And 31% of people don’t watch live TV, yet very expensive TV advertising is still popular.
While robo-calls and TV advertising are tried and true and still have an impact, so do mobile apps. In the 2010 cycle, the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s (NRSC) mobile app showed the following statistics:
- Mobile ads had an average click through rate (CTR) of .23%, over DOUBLE the CTR of an average digital campaign.
- On Election Day 2010, mobile ads got a 6% higher click through rate than digital ads and were 39% cheaper.
- On Election Day 2010, 65% of impressions and 67% of the clicks on the polling place ads were from mobile devices.
- There was a staggering 20% click through rate on these ads.
What Can a Political Mobile App REALLY do?
If developed correctly, your mobile app should:
- Provide immediate return on investment (ROI), providing valuable data on your voters and their peers
- Enable the user to take an action -make a donation, find a place to vote, invite a friend to join
- Engage and re-engage supporters with interactive communication and messaging
And for a campaign, what’s most important: DATA. Imagine the vast power of voter ID’s that cost you nothing but the inexpensive development of the app that can be used for Get Out The Vote (GOTV), data collection (who your supporters are, what they are interested in, if they plan to vote, if they voted, who they voted for), alerts, text campaigns, viral messaging, surveys/polls and more.
Politics is about the candidate, the message and the support. In the end, all that really matters is 50% plus one vote on Election Day. Over 50% of people will have a smartphone on their hip on Election Day. If you’re not in the mobile game now, you better hurry. The election is only one year away.
Image via renatomitra
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