Mobile Strategy

Mobile strategy is not something I am very familiar with. Sure, I’ve donated via text message and visit websites on my iPhone nearly daily – but I never had any personal insight into how this can transfer into an actionable plan for a politician, advocacy group or company. I found Katie Harbath’s guestpost, “Trend To Watch In 2010 – The Rise Of Mobile,” to be a great look at how a mobile initiative is designed and maintained from the ground up.

As she writes, the NRSC was one of the first party groups to do this – making them a pioneer in thespace, but concurrently a newcomer in this rapidly evolving area. As they were the first there was no one before them to compare with. This leaves many questions as to what goals and benchmarks are to be expected. Katie wrote she, “wanted to start gathering some data so we were making intelligent decisions on using mobile and not just flying blind.” Collecting data and information from the get-go allowed them to make informed decisions moving forward. They could even share this new information with their Republican candidates or community to get a leg-up on upcoming political campaigns.

I agree with Katie when she said, “I think a candidate using an iPhone app would see even more useby its visitors, especially presidential candidates.” In my opinion people (general population, not the political junkies we know and love here in the district) really get particularly excited when they support a specific candidate who stands for their same ideals. Though many people identify as Republican or Democrat and are interested in supporting the party at large, until they have that individual to care about they might not be as invested in seeking out videos, websites, etc. This could speak as to why a candidate may see more interest in a mobile app than the party organization saw.

Something I have touched on in past weeks’ discussion boards is that a little online advertising can go a long way. In the case of the NRSC, their visits broke down to, “Eighty-four percent of that was from our Google ads campaign, 10 percent from Google organic search and 4 percent from Facebook.” Aswas her case, in my experience Google/YouTube/Facebook ads have really made the difference. Not only are they sending more people to your website in the immediate, but long term they are widening the potential people who would then share that information on Facebook, Twitter, email and other communication forms – organically spreading your message further.

Another subject that jumped out at me was Katie’s Election Day theory, as it was a topic discussed in aprevious course. The article’s results were certainly impressive. “A whopping 65% of impressions and67% of the clicks on the polling place ads were from mobile on Election Day, and the best performing keyword for mobile, voting locations, had a staggering 20% click through rate.” My classmates and I had made the same assumption, that targeted mobile ads on Election Day would be successful in reaching a wide group of people. In addition, it might identify undecided voters, as these may be the individualswho are unsure of their voting locations.

“Mobile Phones in Advocacy Campaigns” helped layout the basics of this type of campaign and illustrated successful cases, serving as a manual to couple with Katie’s first-hand account.

The explanation on costs was quite interesting and gave better insight into the nitty gritty details of actuallycarrying out an initiative. The report discussed as aspect of SMS campaigns that I had not thought of before. Aside from the more normal use of gathering people and sending messages, in the Argentina Greenpeace case “movil activistas” sent SMS messages to legislators themselves. This was unusual tome because that means that they would have to have the legislators’ cell numbers. Did Greenpeaceprovide them? I wonder if the same method would be used in the U.S.?

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