There is a reason for this rather broad statement. The Romney campaign is being “ruined” by increasingly important group of voters – smartphone owners.
In a survey by Harris Interactive on Velti’s behalf of nearly 800 iPhone and Android smartphone owners, 49 percent of smartphone users favor to vote for Obama if the presidential election were held today, while 31 percent would support Mitt Romney.
Among voters making more than $75,000 or greater and own an Android or iPhone, Obama outpaces Romney by a 10 percent lead. Moreover, when it comes to retired iPhone/Android owners, Romney has the advantage with 57 percent users backing him vs. 34 percent for Obama if the election were held today.
Currently, among traditional voters, regardless of smartphone preference, Romney is ahead in the race, according to a separate poll by Bloomberg.
“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, CMO, Velti. “Clearly, mobile advertising is emerging as an influential medium and a distinct audience. We are just beginning to see a more strategic use of this platform, such as Mitt Romney’s iAd campaign, and believe that others will follow suit. More importantly, the survey results reveal that greater intelligence in understanding the behavior of this emerging demographic can be a critical differentiator in brand awareness and consumer behavior across any number of markets and applications.”
Impact of a growing smartphone audience
Both Romney and Obama have an extensive following across social media websites and their own sites devoted to their respective campaigns. The websites offer links to social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others.
But the Romney campaign was first to touch mobile in an ad campaign with Apple’s iAd service on the iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices in this year Presidential election. They were also first to use mobile advertising in Facebook, tapping into 50 percent of Facebook mobile users who use the social network on their mobile.
“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.’”
Facebook mobile users add a unique mobile advertising option to the campaign, as they share stories not only to hundreds others but to millions – with just a click. Romney’s campaign through Facebook mobile received nearly 90,000 “likes,” 8,000 comments and more than 2,500 shares.
“Our goal as a campaign is to reduce the points of friction to share a message,” Romney campaign digital director Zac Moffatt said. “Because we’re talking to as many people as possible. We feel that the more people who hear Mitt’s message, the more it will resonate. We need to get as many people engaged as people into the world of social and the world of digital. Facebook has that audience and platform built in. So what we’re trying to do is to make it as simple for them on there.”
Location-based mobile advertising
Location-based mobile advertising is another fit for political campaigns to drive donations and for highly-targeted messaging that drives actual responses. President Obama is incorporating more mobile ads for their targeted ad campaigns.
“The use of location-based advertising could be used to Obama’s advantage by using a mobile ad to praise the auto bailout to users in Detroit whereas Romney could deploy an ad specifically in Massachusetts to remind voters there of his work as Governor,” said Tore Erickson, chief revenue officer at Clash Group, New York. “The cell phone is a ready-made point of transaction and location-based advertising can target users who are most likely to donate.”