Government // Mobile & Wireless
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8/27/2008
11:34 AM
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Obama Texts His VP Choice: Even When He Loses, He Wins

Okay, so the Obama campaign's idea to text message everyone who provided the campaign with their cellphone number his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate didn't work out too well from the breaking news angle. The news was leaked out well before many people were woken up in the middle of the night to their cellphones vibrating with misplaced excitement. But in other ways  namely branding and information gathering  the move was a stroke of genius.

Okay, so the Obama campaign's idea to text message everyone who provided the campaign with their cellphone number his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate didn't work out too well from the breaking news angle. The news was leaked out well before many people were woken up in the middle of the night to their cellphones vibrating with misplaced excitement. But in other ways  namely branding and information gathering  the move was a stroke of genius.The Obama campaign's use of mobile marketing seemed like such a good idea. Who knew the traditional media would beat them to the punch?

And for smaller businesses monitoring how this move reflects on the potential for mobile marketing there are of course these sobering numbers, courtesy of Caroline McCarthy at CNET: "Let's say Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sent every one of those "here's my V.P." text messages from his own cell phone. And let's say his mean, nasty carrier charged him 10 cents for each one. According to Nielsen's numbers, his bill would've been $290,000--that's because the statistics firm says that the SMS campaign stunt reached 2.9 million people."

But smaller businesses aren't operating on the scale of Obama or Biden or even Hillary for that matter. And there are services that will simplify the process.

The big takeaway for smaller businesses trying to figure out what this means for mobile marketing is this, a quote from a Nielsen release, again courtesy of CNET: "While much has been said of the timing and the scoop by news outlets, Obama's V.P. text-message still ranks as one of the most important text messages even sent and one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media."

The quote continues: "The value of the message goes far beyond the 26 words and 2.9 million recipients. Here, Obama branded himself as cutting edge, inflated the already enormous press attention paid to his V.P. pick and further established a list of supporters' most coveted form of contact: their cell phone numbers."

So, in this first round, Obama lost and he won.

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