What Obama and Romney can Teach Us About Mobile Marketing

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Presidential campaigns are public proving grounds for business tools. 2012 gave us a $2B presidential campaign and provides us a great lesson for how and how not to apply mobile marketing to our businesses and organizations.

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What Obama and Romney can Teach Us About Mobile Marketing

  1. 1. @curtprins#minnebar
  2. 2. Who am I? • 18+ Years in B2B marketing – Technology & Services – Emerging startups to F100 • 5 Years in Mobile – Raised $15K in Text2Give campaigns – Consulted in corporate environs • PoliMobile launched in 2011 – Tech startup pivoted into a mobile agency – Focus on advocacy & political campaigns – 2012 win ratio: 80%
  3. 3. Why this is relevant: 1. Presidential campaigns are startups. 2. Burn through billions of capital 3. Hotbeds for ‘open’ innovation 4. 2012 is called “mobile election”
  4. 4. Campaign Mobile Factoids: • 88% of registered voters have a mobile • 37% of voters used their mobile for political info and discussion with others (26% in 2010) • 56% of registered voters age 18-24 discussed a candidate on their mobile • 10M Tweets during the first two-hour debate—most from mobile
  5. 5. Obama Factoids: • 10M people donated $1B+ – Directly raised $726M – 55% came from small donors (<$200) • 1 in 10 gave via mobile – SMS tied to prior donors – Open use of Square was “successful” (campaign code for a disappointment) – Text2Give was “successful” • 1M app downloads
  6. 6. Romney Factoids: • 6M people donated $992M – Directly raised $467M – 24% came from small donors (<$200) – Use of Square was “very very successful” (limited to 5,000 users) • Announced running mate via app – 200K downloads in the first 48 hours • Project Orca launch nightmare: – 30K volunteer users--all pissed off – Mobile web or app? – Data center crashed frequently – http://curtpr.in/harpoon-orca
  7. 7. How did they do?
  8. 8. Romney: Obama: D+ C-
  9. 9. Five Lessons
  10. 10. Lesson One:Make info accessible.
  11. 11. Mobile Web: • Research behind mobile internet – 66% of voters ages 18-29 own a smartphone; 68% voters with household incomes $75K+ – Estimated 80M voters accessed info via their smartphone; 200% increase from 2008. – 78% will leave if not mobile optimized • Campaigns took different routes – Romney created a separate mobile site – Obama redesigned site to be responsive – Smashing Mag: http://curtpr.in/YxIY9M
  12. 12. http://m.mittromney.com • Dedicated mobile site – Design flexed to various mobile browsers – Relatively fast: 687K pages load in 8.75sec • Navigation intuitive • Pages were appropriate in length • No content parity with main site – Negative for info searchers – Severely limited features
  13. 13. http://barackobama.com • Site is responsive to mobile browsers • Content and capability parity • Extremely long load time – 4.2Mb page – 30+ seconds to download – Crashed many browsers – Toilet paper theory of mobile design
  14. 14. Lesson Two:Be everywhere.
  15. 15. Mobile Advertising: • Mobile advertising exploding – Spending exceeded $5B worldwide – 2011 spend: $1.8B • Exceptional targeting capabilities – Google’s AdWords/AdMob added congressional district focus – Most platforms offer geofencing by radius or geotargeting by zip. • Both campaigns took notice
  16. 16. Obama’s Mobile Campaigns: • Used video ads in Spanish to target Latino voters • Placed ads Electronic Arts mobile games: Scrabble, Tetris & others • Fundraising tied to mobile ads generated 60% more $$$ than web • Included mobile to reverse post- debate funk
  17. 17. Romney Mobile Campaigns: • Habit began in the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primaries • Spent more Facebook, Apple’s iAds and Google AdMob • Boost app downloads • Used click-to-call features to successfully recruit volunteers • Didn’t increase mobile budgets to maintain lead
  18. 18. Lesson Three:Remove all barriers.
  19. 19. Conversion Matters: • Most forms were 2-3 fields • Both campaigns restricted by FEC – Donation forms could not be shortened – Require full address and employment info – Obama leveraged Quick Donate • Text2Give Streamlined Donations – No reporting requirements – Donations limited $50 per billing cycle • Obama texted existing donors
  20. 20. Lesson Four:Apps are not the answer.
  21. 21. Apps to the Rescue? • Few campaigns can afford dev. – Tight timelines and multiple updates – Labor intensive – <6% of eCommerce comes from apps • Only 12% use apps more than 3x • Both campaign launched apps – iOS and Android formats – Allocated significant funds to drive downloads – Required too much focus for limited return – Only 20-25% iOS users allowed push notifications
  22. 22. Lesson Five:Don’t forget to engage.
  23. 23. What Happened to SMS? • 98% of mobile phones accept SMS • SMS volume continues to grow • Youth and voters of color average over 50 messages a day • Open rates exceed 90% • Both campaigns failed in SMS/MMS – In 2008, Obama built an SMS list of 3M, then let it collect dust – Opt-in invitations were well hidden – SMS was often used a reminder for prior email campaigns
  24. 24. So what didObama & Romney teach us?
  25. 25. Takeaways: • Mobile Web: Make your info mobile friendly, but do it wisely. • Mobile Ads: Don’t ignore their power. • Barriers Bad!: Shorten forms, remove anything that blocks conversions. • Most Apps Suck: Don’t start here, graduate to apps once you get mobile and understand user needs. • SMS: This mobile tool has ubiquity, and must be added to your mix.
  26. 26. Questions?
  27. 27. Thank you!curt@polimobile.com | 612-600-6318 | @curtprins PDF Copy: Text POTUS to 75309

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