How can location-based marketing help a political candidate in election times? Why is location a key component in a political campaign utilizing mobile marketing?

Political Ads – In the beginning

The first known democracy in the world was developed in Ancient Greece. A quote attributed to one of their most prominent leaders makes us realize that not much has changed in thousands of years: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” (Pericles)

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” (Pericles)

Fast-forward to the present time. After hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising through the primaries, much without success, the question remains: what is the most efficient way to take interest, address and persuade voters?

Political Ads – In the meantime

Recently, Rubicon published research on Voter Media Consumption Habits. They found that TV is not the dominant medium but political ads on digital have a staggering 36% positive action. Most importantly, ads on mobile devices are twice as effective with 64% taking action.

Mobile provides the opportunity to deliver messages in hyper-personalized context and simultaneously allows you to gather critical information about potential voters.
iOS and Android devices have unique identifiers that allow marketers to track activity for advertising purpose. They are called IDFA (Identifier for Advertising) in iPhone devices and AAID (Google Advertising ID) in Android devices. This ID is included in ad requests together with location information when available. Note that no information about the smartphone owner is passed.geofence

Imagine if you geofence a venue where a political event is taking place. You can target people that are either inside or outside the venue with unique messages. That location information combined with the IDFA/AAID allows you to associate and confirm through future behavior the potential voter’s device with a political party or candidate.

Political Ads – Back to the Future

Voters are interested in the big picture: the future of their country. But they are certainly more interested about how the elected official will address the issues close to them. What is important today for a person living in Flynt MI might not be as important for people still suffering Hurricane Sandy damages on the Jersey Shore.
The point is that if a voter chooses a candidate weighing global and local issues, the advertising message should address voters with global and hyper-local messages. The mobile medium allows that and much more.

The power of connecting the past, present, and future

As I mentioned, an intelligent system can keep track of location information of unique mobile devices and associate them with a political party. I emphasize, associating the device, not the person. Taking that smartphone and putting it in context i.e. looking into its county voting record, general demographics, and local issues creates a strong indicator of how to localize the message and valuate the possible results.

Political Ads – The real meaning of conversion

Mobile and location information provides an advertiser great power. A politician can now identify and address an individual, placing an ad with a unique and relevant message.

Following the IDFA/AAID location information and putting them in real life context, may allow political advertisers, for example, to identify individuals that attended one party’s rally, and measure if they start attending the other party’s events.

Without a doubt, “conversion” becomes now a term closer to its semantic meaning.

What is your take?