Political Ads Go Hyperlocal for Mobile Lead Generation

As elections begin to heat up, marketers can look to how time-sensitive campaigns are using newer media ad vehicles to promote candidates and causes.

Pontiflex, a provider of sign-up ads—including in-app ads that appear on load screens or during other wait periods and ask viewers if they would like to sign up to receive more information from marketers—released information in May indicating that the cost of such sign-ups can vary by geography.

US political campaigns targeted several swing states with hyperlocal sign-up ads using ZIP codes previously shared with mobile apps, rather than using the phone’s GPS for geotargeting, which was considered less reliable. The cost per lead for many states was tightly grouped between $1.29 and $1.45, but in a few states, including Nevada, New Mexico and especially Montana, it was significantly more expensive for politicians to attract leads.

Pontiflex CEO Zephrin Lasker attributed the differences in cost per lead to simple economics: Campaigns targeting states or smaller localities with relatively few people in them, especially this early in the election cycle, must pay more to get sign-ups.

Lasker noted two lessons marketers of all stripes could learn from these early experiments in cost-per-lead mobile advertising by politicians. The first is that frequency is key: Political campaigns have a traditional strategy of blanketing certain media with ads, and doing that with mobile has been proven to drive leads.

The second is a deeper issue about where those leads should be driven. Marketers often use a mobile campaign to drive users to a mobile site—or assume they must have a mobile-optimized website for their mobile call-to-action to be effective. This can stall mobile advertising efforts since it involves building out a significant amount of new web content. The political campaigns used direct sign-up ads instead to increase membership in email marketing lists.

“We use what you already have,” Lasker told eMarketer, “but just reach people on a different platform.”


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