Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that we here in the US are in an election year. In November, we’ll go to the polls to determine whether or not Barack Obama will be assigned to a second term, or Mitt Romney will ascend the the presidential throne. Arguably, Obama was the first president to use the power of technology to not only deliver his message to a younger, more technically savvy audience, but to also change the way that campaigns will be run forever. While we’ve seen how social media has toppled regimes (Egypt, Syria) and felled promising political campaigns (Weiner), its more important to look at how technology will change the current race for president.
Google recently launch Four Screens to Victory as a part of their Politics and Election Toolkit. It contains a wealth of information on voters and where they get their information which ultimately informs their vote. While its mostly meant to be an advertising solution, there are some interesting tidbits there. For instance, four screen at ad campaigns are 48% more effective in driving campaign awareness. The four screens being TV, PC, Mobile and Tablet. And when it comes to campaign engagement, that number increases to 77%.
Candidates need to move past the now old hat “we just need an app” attitude and toward a more proactive way of engaging their constituents using mobile. With the numbers around mobile use increasing, if a candidate is focusing only on print, radio and television, they are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Voters use an average of 14.7 sources of information to help make their candidate selection and are connected to multiple devices through out the tray. Its imperative for campaigns to reach voters where they are. And where are they? On their tablets and phones. And they’re watching campaign ads on YouTube and NOT on TV. Voters are spending a lot more media time on their mobile devices than on newspapers and magazine. With 83% of mobile phone owners being registered voters, its not hard to see that the vote will be lost or won on that powerful little device you’re holding in your hand.