Does SMS Marketing Have a Spot in the White House?

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For our friends in the south, the coming year is bound to be one full of exciting twists and turns within the political landscape. As the Oval Office takes on a vacancy and a variety of prominent figures aim for this coveted spot behind the presidential desk, there’s no doubt that TV spots, web ads, and radio pitches espousing the virtues of these candidates will soon be out in full force. But what about the seemingly underutilized potential found within the phones of targeted voters? To find out if politicians are ready to start texting their constituents, and if this rising trend could set the precedent for a global shift into politically-oriented mobile marketing, let’s find out once and for all if SMS really has a spot awaiting it in the White House in 2016.

Setting a Precedent with Ted Cruz

As far as the 2016 presidential election goes, Ted Cruz is a trendsetter on a few different fronts. First off, he’s the first politician to openly put his or her name up for consideration for this position – something that often comes with quite a bit of fanfare and risk. While this move itself is worthy of a few headlines on its own, the reason why we’re talking about this Republican senator from Texas is because his campaign has gone all-in on SMS marketing.

In her look at the announcement ceremony surrounding his presidential bid, Molly Brown of Geek Wire points out that while Cruz’s political party isn’t exactly known for breaking the mold in terms of technology and tactics, the usage of this mobile connection definitely puts the senator in exclusive company. Specifically, Brown likens the request for new contact list members at this social function to current American President Barack Obama’s then revolutionary utilization of social media outreach during the 2008 election season.

A Simple and Straightforward Approach

At first glance, simply asking for the people in attendance to take out their cell phones and text the word “Constitution” or “imagine” to the short code 33733 doesn’t sound all that advanced or groundbreaking in terms of SMS marketing tactics – and it really isn’t. What is groundbreaking is that Cruz could be the first modern politician to reliably garner the mobile phone numbers of prospective voters; something that’s becoming increasingly more in demand among civic leaders around the globe.

Adding on that those who participated in this initial push received a mobile-friendly link back to Cruz’s campaign site, which came with a request for donations and feedback, further enhanced the potential for a positive interaction with this audience. To put it simply, Cruz might have just set the gold standard among politicians in virtually any region when it comes to reaching out to voters and garnering vital audience data.

Untapped Potential

Of course, it’s completely understandable to question whether or not mobile marketing really matters all that much for politicians. After all, just because Cruz was willing to break new ground, that doesn’t mean this method is a surefire success in general for those who spearhead or work within political campaigns.

According to Michael Barris of Mobile Marketer, if you want to really answer this question, just ask the audience targeted by these aspiring leaders of tomorrow. In a study conducted by this news agency, Barris found that one in five respondents viewed texting as the best way to learn more about political campaigns, but only 10 percent had every actually had a politician take them up on this open offer. Basically, the modern voter likes the idea of connecting with candidates on the go, but the number of politicians willing to embark upon this route is surprisingly low.

Mapping out the Future Bond Between Politics and Mobile Marketing

Regardless of whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of the Liberal or Conservative parties here in Canada, the writing on the wall is clear – the next evolution of political outreach should take place on the mobile front. Naturally, the details aren’t set in stone, so a willingness to test and experiment is a must if you plan on maximizing the impact of these messages. However, for those who figure out the right frequency, content, incentive packages, and other details that comprise a stellar political text, the potential for growth and productivity via this channel is seemingly limitless. From local politicians to those seeking national offices, this kind of arrangement – and the reach among voters that comes with it – is hard to pass up in favor of less effective tactics and methods.

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