How beacon technology is reshaping election campaign marketing
Last Updated:  February 13, 2019
Traditionally, campaign strategists have been courting electors by sending out advertisements on television, radio, magazine and newspapers. However, in the last few years, political advertisements have made a significant shift to a more targetable and data-driven option – digital. This emerging culture was vividly evident in the 2016 U.S, elections too.
According to a report from media tracker Borrell Associates, while the traditional media spending such as magazine and newspaper ads continued their gradual decline in the 2016 U.S. election, the money spent on broadcast TV fell by 20% in the 2016 cycle compared to 2012, from $5.45 billion to $4.4 billion. Ads on radio were also way down by 23% to $621 million. However, the budget for digital marketing which included videos, location-based mobile marketing, social media and search, hit the billion dollar mark. The net expenditure on digital marketing was estimated to be $1.4 billion, which was a staggering 789% growth from $159 million in 2012.
This shift in political advertisement is attributed to the ineffectiveness of incremental spend on TV and radio ads. In addition to that, traditional ads cannot be micro sliced via location or demographics. This is why campaign strategists are now relying on digital technology to find, engage and most importantly, activate voters and donors.
Why is beacon technology high-powered for election campaigns?
Massive marketing campaigns, like election campaigns, have some basic objectives to fulfil – high impact, wide reach, excellent ROI and virality. Beacon campaigns help achieve all of these and the results have always proved to be vastly superior compared to legacy advertisement channels and competing technologies. There are a plethora of factors that make beacons one of the most judicious technology for election campaigns.
1. Click through rate of beacon campaigns is way superior to digital and social ads
Extremely well planned and executed beacon campaigns have seen CTRs as high as 55-60%. Unfortunately, that’s not typical. However, most beacon campaigns experience an average click-through rate of 2-4%, which is approximately 25 times the CTR of social media ads.
(Data source – https://bit.ly/2HEznf0)
2. Beacon campaigns can use local apps
Your political party may have an app but pushing general notifications to consumers in all states may not be highly relevant.
With beacon technology, localized and relevant notifications can be sent with an app or have the NearBee SDK integrated in a popular app to display relevant campaigns. These tiny devices talk to all Bluetooth enabled smartphones in its range. This widens the reach of the campaign multi-fold.
3. Beacons have an excellent ROI
Beacons cost less than $20 and are powered with batteries for a couple of years. The low cost coupled with minimal effort needed to install the beacons makes it an out-of-the-box and cost-effective solution to deploy and derive great ROI.
4. Beacons help retarget potential voters on Facebook and Google
Beaconstac beacons allow marketers to create a deeper connection with the supporters by retargeting them on Facebook and Google based on their offline actions. Retargeting campaigns merge social mobile and local (SoLoCo) into effective campaign engagement with voters and potential voters. [Retargeting in Beaconstac]
One cannot neglect the traction of social media given the statistics below:
5. Amass data to find donors and spot supporter friendly areas
When it comes to election campaigns, strategists need to embrace advanced micro-targeting data. Analytics related to an area-wise distribution of supporters helps craft tailored motivation strategy for each region. Beaconstac lets marketers amass all that data and more to implement data-driven election campaigns.
6. Beacons let you calibrate messages according to the audience
A universally appealing message is too difficult to achieve. Different electors have to be attracted in different ways. And, beacons are highly flexible this way. With beacons, you can
Dynamically notify electors in their prefered language
Beacon campaigns to structure out a winning election campaign
1. Notify electors of various campaign agendas
While most election campaigns acknowledge one issue for the term, additional hot-button topics are always simmering just beneath the surface. Although it’s not feasible to address all of them in speeches and rallies, these are just the perfect topics for beacon campaigns.
Marketers can use creativity and strategy to pan out campaign agendas for beacon campaigns. Here are ways to make beacon campaigns more appealing –
Use digital flyers
Voice messages of the leader
2. Send SMS text links to drive donations and signups
19% of the voters in the U.S. prefer to make donations via text messaging. However, the challenge is to drive voters to take an action. Posters and other print ads often provoke the thought of doing it but fail to drive the action. Beacon campaign makes for a concise call to action and encourages impulsive subscribers. Electors can just click on “DONATE” to send a text message, let’s say, “OBAMA” to 555888!
3. Invite and navigate supporters to a political event or rally
A little motivation goes a long way. Electors join a rally when they know what is in it for them, or when they want to be a part of a community. Give voters the reason to join the rally and nudge the impulsive ones by presenting a navigation map right in front of them.
4. Drive app downloads
Campaigns in the past have released mobile apps with basic capabilities such as enabling supporters to donate, locate campaign events and find polling locations. These apps also include social integration, which makes it powerful. The challenge, however, is to get electors to download the app. Beacons can be used effectively to drive app downloads. Using Beaconstac you can leverage QR codes and NFC to trigger an app install to launch an app and also perform a specific call to action.
Not just these, beacons can be put to use for a host of other election campaign applications including and not limited to:
Voting day reminders
Which beacon form factor is best suited for election campaigns?
The Beaconstac hardware lineup is a combination of various small factors. These beacons can be used depending on the place where it is used.
For applications where you want to send notifications at public locations such as coffee shops, malls, lawn signs, billboards, media appearances etc, outdoor beacons are the most recommended ones.
Whereas, for use cases in a political rally, event, bumper stickers in cars, buses, volunteers could just move around with tiny pocket and keychain beacons.
If you are planning to try out beacons, take a look at Beaconstac, that includes everything you need to get started. Using Beaconstac you can set up your own campaign, without a developer’s help!
I am fascinated by tech-driven marketing. Love to read & write about entrepreneurship and tech-driven business strategies for B2B and B2C companies. Have b(e)acon and eggs for breakfast and always up for doughnuts!
While restaurants are eager to formulate a robust post-crisis plan, the evolving consumer behavior makes this hard to do. In this blog post, I talk about the expected change in consumer behavior and how restaurants can adapt to keep their doors open post-lockdown.