Home Mobile Marketing: Better For Reaching Democrats

Mobile Marketing: Better For Reaching Democrats

In this heated U.S. election season, both presidential campaigns have been using multichannel marketing techniques that have included everything from wikis to web sites and text messages to Twitter. It now appears that one of those channels, mobile marketing, is better at reaching Democratic voters than Republicans. But why is that? 

Mobile Media Use

According to Nielson Mobile, a service of the consumer research-focused Nielson Company, 43 million Americans subscribe to mobile internet. Also, 33 million Americans use text messages, 32 million IM, 29 million download wallpapers/screensavers, and 4 million subscribe to and view mobile video.

However, when you break those numbers down by political preference, the following is true of mobile media in Q2 2008:

  • Overall, 62% of Democrats are data users who use one or more data service on their mobile phone (compared with 55% of Republicans).
  • Democrats are more likely than Republicans to use text messaging (53% compared with 46%).
  • Democrats are more likely to use picture messaging and MMS (27% compared with 21%).
  • Democrats are more likely to use mobile internet (17 % compared with 13%)

Apparently, someone already told the candidates of this news. It has been widely reported the numerous ways the Obama campaign makes use of mobile marketing for voter outreach. Already, they used SMS to announce Obama’s VP choice. Unfortunately, the SMS message came after traditional journalists reported the news, not first, as originally promised. Still, the idea was unique and was the first attempt in leveraging the mobile medium in that way. In addition to the SMS VP announcement, the Obama campaign’s mobile web site offers news, videos and ringtone and wallpaper downloads. 

The McCain camp has not been as active on the mobile front, but that’s not to say that conservative voters don’t use mobile media. Their use just isn’t as heavy. In fact, Nielsen reports that the conservative-leaning web site The Drudge Report has a mobile audience of 567,000 uniques per month, for example.

To see how the numbers break down even further by Democrat vs Republican mobile data use, check out the chart below:

Why More Mobile Democrats?

There are a lot of conclusions one can come to from reviewing this data, but perhaps the most telling is that the campaigns really do know their demographics. Statistically, young voters are trending Democratic, and, as we all know by now, today’s young voters are what are known as “digital natives.” These plugged in, tech-savvy voters (also called “Generation Y”) are now coming of age and many are eligible to vote for the first time. By marketing to this group of active technology users, the Obama campaign is hoping to motivate them to go out and vote. The recent launch of the official Obama iPhone app is just more proof of the campaign’s efforts to actively engage this particular group of voters.

Many reports about Generation Y make note that they are known to be socially conscious and politically involved, but the election will likely be the first time we see if those generalizations are true. If Gen Y turns out the polls in great numbers, then they will have proven that they are indeed different than the other young generations of voters who preceded them. Typically an apathetic bunch when it comes to voting, young voters have not yet had the impact on U.S. elections that they could if they made the effort.

The Obama campaign seems to know that mobilizing these young voters may be as simple as interacting with them on the platforms they feel the most comfortable – the web, social networks, and their phone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.