And Then There Were Two… The June Mobile Election Update
Here we are five months away from the presidential election, and it all comes down to Obama and Romney. As you remember from the March update, Romney was not running a very impressive mobile campaign. Three months have passed, so let’s take a look at how each candidate is now doing based on our mobile scorecard.
Romney has made some serious progress when it comes to awareness. He is now using mobile advertising and finally has an SMS call to action. That’s a two-point improvement! His SMS club actually does account for where users are, although they could improve the dynamic nature of their SMS message flow. I give them points for making it interactive—they ask you questions via text—but they do make it hard to change your answers. For example, by accident I said I lived in II rather than IL and it accepted II as an actual state. When I went to change it to IL, they thought that was my answer to their next question (about my zip code).
Mitt gets another point for localizing his alerts.
Obama seems to be a little complacent when it comes to awareness building; on his website, the SMS call to action has been buried, so no points there.
Romney still hasn’t heard of—or at least utilized—responsive design. His website looks the same on a tablet as it does on the web. Obama looks to be using responsive design but it’s not really great responsive design. I’ll give him one point.
Notice how the three banners get oddly stacked up in the middle? On a laptop, this doesn’t happen.
Finding Romney’s mobile site has gotten a little easier since he’s using iAds to promote it. The only problem is that when you search for “Mitt Romney,” his sponsored ad comes up first and takes you directly to the donate page. That seems odd, and actually a bit pushy if I just want info on him. If I click on the link further down the search results I get his actual page.
Mitt is definitely not using responsive design. His tablet site is still just his website. I’ll chalk this up to prioritization because he needs help in other areas *cough*… the app.
So, Mitt’s app. There is no app, really. It’s more like a gimmick to use the phone’s camera. And they misspelled America when they launched the (non-app) app. Sooo, he’s not getting a point yet.
On the other hand, Obama’s app works well which earns him another point. It utilizes push messaging which I’m hoping is different than the SMS (stay tuned for my next post) and the app does a good job of delivering mobile-relevant information. The only problem is, it’s buggy. I got stuck on the message page when the “done” button wouldn’t work.
Now the bad news for Obama. The Obama mobile site took a step back – it got a lot more confusing. While they did keep the donate button on the page, there’s too much info for a mobile site. You can scroll and scroll and scroll… and, well, you get the picture. They need to rethink what people want via the mobile web and design the page accordingly—like they did for the app. Why don’t they make the mobile site look like the app?
In the end, we’ve seen Romney make some impressive strides, but Obama continues to win at mobile, although it’s a close race.
The scoreboard as of June is… drumroll, please… Mitt Romney: 12; Barack Obama: 13
It looks like their mobile campaign is just about as close as the real thing. I still argue the candidate with the best mobile push will win. Stay tuned!