The expert use of email, SMS marketing, and social media in his 2008 campaign made President Obama’s one of the most impressive seen in recent times from any Presidential candidate. The question however is whether he is still keeping up with the times, with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, tapping into the most modern medium of our time: The cell phone.
The cell market is a big one, with the cost of cell phone advertising just last year in North America being as much as $1.67 billion. However, it is the medium’s reach and versatility that really excites advertisers and politicians as well. Advertising on cell phones allows politicians the opportunity to be able to target their messages in a way that has never been witnessed before. Candidates have tended to avoid making bold statements to appeal to their core voters in previous elections for fear of alienating moderates, but now cell phone advertising means they can send specific messages to specific voters by using parameters such as the likes of cell phone device and web history and location.
Politicians might still have cause to worry however, with many cell phone users concerned about privacy and not at all happy about the device being capable of browsing their history and other information related to their demographic including their interests. Using a voter’s cell phone for electioneering purposes could actually end up backfiring and damaging rather than helping a politician’s campaign.