This narrow view of mobile among the political community is misguided. And if that same thought process remains in 2012, campaigns are missing the very place their voters will be found – on their mobile phones.
Mobile strategy is about all mobile browsing, including mobile apps, in-app alerts and more. We have all heard how Smartphone sales are exploding and will surpass PC shipments this year. Campaigns cannot ignore this.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) understood this in 2010. They not only developed a mobile app, they studied the analytics…and learned from it.
The NRSC iPhone app was accessed over 26,000 times in five months (May-early November, 2010). Not great numbers, but back then they didn’t use what we do today, like QR codes on print advertising to drive downloads. Mobile doubles every six months, so imagine what the numbers will look like 24 months later – November 2012.
NRSC staff released the following statistics:
- Mobile went from accounting for 3.5% of traffic in 2009 to 6.7% in August of 2010 (once again – double).
- On the mobile display and text ads ran, mobile ads had over 1.5 million impressions with an average click through rate of .23%. That is over DOUBLE the click through rate of an average digital campaign in 2011.
- On Election Day 2010, mobile ads got a 6% higher click through rate than desktop 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.
- There was a staggering 20% click through rate on these ads.
Should a campaign invest all efforts into mobile? No. Mobile is just one of the important components in an overall campaign strategy. But without an investment in mobile, the campaign will not be as effective as the ones with a mobile strategy.
The smart campaigns in 2012 will be including mobile into their campaign strategy; one that will help engage supporters. Voters no longer wish to be talked TO; they want to be ENGAGED WITH. Developing a mobile strategy is a must. Utilizing in-app push alerts for Get Out The Vote (GOTV) works great. Using QR codes on print material to get supporters to the online/mobile world is successful.
But it takes time to build these lists. A mobile strategy must be started now; and should have been started a year ago. The successful campaigns have already started their mobile strategies, developing a mobile website and mobile app(s) so they can take advantage of mobile for GOTV in November.
Image via Johan Larsson
About the Author Cami Zimmer is President of Campaign Touch, 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. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Read more from this author