Election campaigns are mixing mail and digital like never before
It’s an election year, and marketers know what that means: mailboxes stuffed with donation appeals and urgent get-out-the-vote pleas. According to Borrell Associates, voters can expect even more election mail than usual in 2012, with political mail spending expected to exceed $288 million. That’s an increase of 11.6 percent from 2008.
Far more than in elections past, 2012 will be the year of digitally interactive mail, with political postcards and letters tricked out with features like QR (quick response) Codes and social media links. For instance, on the Democratic side, the president’s reelection campaign has launched a new online tool designed to tout his job growth accomplishments — bridging the gap between direct mail and online advertising.
Here’s how the app works: Users input the address of a friend or relative online, and the app generates a physical piece of mail from the campaign. Supporters can send a physical postcard with three different prewritten messages and a chart illustrating the number of job gains under this administration.
The app is part of a significant new online ad buy targeted toward key states that will be featured on local and national news sites.
Republicans are working with these new technologies as well. “Integrating emerging technologies, such as QR Codes and social media links, into proven voter contact staples like direct mail is vital to the long-term success of any political candidate, regardless of ideology or partisanship,” explains Brett Buerck, president of conservative consulting firm Majority Strategies. “And we certainly are incorporating those components into our GOP candidate’s outreach efforts this fall.”
However, the medium is but one piece of the marketing puzzle that candidates must solve, adds Buerck: “Medium or mechanics will never be substitutes for motivation and message.”Integrated Marketing, Strategy, Technology