Do any of these have anything in common to you? To me, they’re all different reasons for apps for smartphones (yes, there is an app to keep in touch with Lady Gaga). The smartphone revolution had given ground to the uprising of new and wonderful (and many not so wonderful) apps. With the ubiquitous mobile phone and the relative ease of use for apps (have you ever seen a manual for angry birds?), apps are becoming the de facto distribution for many groups to disseminate information. This holds true especially for political groups.
There are numerous political action groups who have their own apps. These apps typically heavily oriented toward RSS feed sharing and some social media leveraging. However, many political groups have begun using apps for donations, canvassing, candidate information and more.
The 2008 political campaign showed many pundits and citizens alike how useful mobile technology is to mobilize action. SMS messages, push notifications, Social Media integration and more are examples of tools that many respectable apps are hosting. These functions are needed to make the cause, group, or candidate more:
Let’s consider the access. This can go two ways. First, the group/candidate/cause (from here, I will say marketer to catch all of those) can share access outward to the target audiences. In this case, people who elect to download the app to their smartphones. Second, with the right tools in place, users of the app can ‘share back’ with the marketer to provide feedback, strategic information, opinion, polling data and more. This two way dialogue (of sorts) gives new interest to marketers (in campaign efforts) to harness another channel for getting more people involved.
Let’s face it, if you have an app, you’re using “cutting edge” technology. Right? Well, that’s no longer the case. I’ve been writing mobile tools for some time now and I know this isn’t rocket science. I do know it’s not simple enough for just anyone to do. But, if you have an app, many people will immediately acknowledge that you must have any (or many) of the following: 1) Great ideas, 2) Money, 3) Great connections, 4) Great/unlimited technology resources and 5) Great consideration (after all, you’re sharing with others). Whatever the case, if you have an app, you’re going to find yourself far more respected than a marketer without an app.
Mobile is the way to go these days. People are disconnecting and no longer tied to a desk or home computer. They’re moving around and accessing (hey, this goes back to that accessible point, doesn’t it?) the web and the mobile universe from smartphones. Data has to be mobile to be used. An app travels with the phone and the user always has the phone (test it yourself, you will find that you’re seldom away from your cell/mobile phone) nearby. This gives the marketer amazing potential to mobile branding. Imagine, having a billboard in your audiences’ purses, pockets, desks, and more 23 or 24 hours a day!
The technology from hybridization of native coding and HTML and other tools allows for more robust apps helps now more than ever before. This gives the clear advantage to any campaign, cause, or candidate harnessing a mobile app – at least from a technological point of view.
David Pratt is a creative consultant with iDesign Mobile Apps, a smartphone application development company located in Nevada and North Carolina. Smartphone users can take advantage of technology by using smartphone apps which help them improve their lives. Mobile apps and mobile web solutions can be discussed with the experts at http://www.iDesignMobileApps.com.
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