In just the past month, the Romney campaign has taken two major steps to promote Mitt Romney on mobile devices: It launched a Facebook mobile advertising campaign and an ad blitz with Apple’s mobile iAd service on the iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices.
There’s a reason. The Romney campaign is getting demolished among a rising and increasingly important group of people: Smartphone owners.
A recent poll conducted by Velti and Harris Interactive found that among iPhone and Android voters, Obama trounces Romney. 40-nine per cent of iPhone and Android users prefer Obama, compared with 31 per cent that choose Romney. The gap remains across even the income divide — among voters making more than $75,000 that own an iPhone or Android, Obama still outpaces Romney by 10 points.
“The results of this survey demonstrate that the smartphone market is becoming a whole new demographic that candidates must take into consideration when building a comprehensive campaign strategy,” said Krishna Subramanian the CMO of Velti.
In a phone interview, Subramanian said he thought the growing smartphone audience is something that would become just as important — if not more important — as more traditional forms of advertising, like television spots.
“We constantly see budgets from TV moving to mobile, especially with the launch of iAd bringing million-dollar budgets into mobile,” Subramanian said. “That was created to really go after the TV budget and say, ‘Hey, you can really look to do things on mobile that you never imagined, and you can get that engagement at a much higher level and a much greater reach than you could get in a 30-second spot.'”
Which is why the Romney campaign is taking notice. Romney campaign digital director Zac Moffatt is aware of the need to reach the so-called “off the grid” voters. Smartphones present a unique opportunity to reach a voter on the device users carry with them at almost all times.
Romney’s team is also attempting to go beyond just smartphones, trying to take advantage of all things digital. Facebook, Twitter, website design, interactive features, online videos — they’re all a much bigger part of campaigning than ever before.
The Romney campaign recently became the first to launch an ad campaign with Apple’s iAd. It is also the first to use Facebook mobile advertising, tapping into the 50 per cent of Facebook users that employ the social network’s mobile feature. And last week it became the first campaign to use social shopping in a political context, boosting sales at its online store to monthly levels in a two-day span.
“When we think of mobile, we don’t just think of smartphones,” Moffatt told Business Insider. “I think that’s one of the distinctions that people make. … I don’t think we’re looking to cede any territory on any device. But it need to play a part in the large strategic decisions that we’re making.”
Moffatt added: “I think mobile’s an opportunity for a hugely proportional relationship, because you carry your phone all the time.”
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