Presidential Campaigning the Digital Way

Casey BartoBelieve it or not, the current presidential race is only the second to heavily use the mobile channel. The use of mobile exploded during 2008’s election, with Barack Obama’s marketing team announcing his vice president selection via text message, and the use of candidate iPhone apps.
Fast forward to 2012, and the use of mobile and digital tactics has taken center stage. Both Romney and Obama have taken advantage of the mobile and social channels to help them get their message out. Each candidate has their respective smartphone apps, etc.

In a recent Forbes article, Scott Gillum looks at how the use of mobile has changed presidential campaigns. Thanks to technology advancements, both candidates have taken advantage of things like geo-targeting, mobile payments (campaign contributions made easy) and the use of real time data.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have a review of both candidates’ mobile apps. In the meantime, if you’ve downloaded either (or both) what do you think? Have you used them to take advantage of things like finding rally locations or making donations?

Looking at the other digital channels available to the candidates, a writer for the Huffington Post compares how each is tackling the array of digital options available. Thanks to the Obama campaign’s “sophisticated use” use of these digital channels, it seems the president is more popular online candidate.

Though it seems the Obama camp’s use of digital channels may appear to be stronger than Romney’s team so far, recent research from Pew Research reveals that neither candidate is using the digital channels available to them to their fullest potential. Despite the use of these additional channels, the campaign websites remain the most popular destinations for voters.

“Even if someone starts on a campaign’s social network page, they often end up back on the main website – to donate money, to join a community, to volunteer or to read anything of length,” the study points out.

Will a winning digital strategy result in a win in November? Stay tuned.

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