Several of the mobile ad-technology companies that powered campaigns for Barack Obama are now using his success as a way to sell others on using new technology to reach a targeted audience, according to the WSJ. On the night the polls were closing, companies such as Distributive Networks, which aided Obama’s text-messaging campaigns, and Quattro Wireless, which placed mobile ads, and others such as SS+K and Pontiflex started pumping out white papers and press releases on how the campaigns were implemented.
Now, the WSJ reports that big-name marketers including Gap and Allstate are seeking out these firms, hoping they can do for them what they did for Obama. Obama’s campaign was almost an advertisement for the industry, especially the moment when he decided to announce his running mate via text message. Nielsen Mobile calculated that the text-message announcement was the single-largest mobile-marketing event to date, with more than 2.9 million text messages sent. Kevin Bertram, CEO of Distributive Networks, told the WSJ: “Unlike most other technologies that already have been proven, this was text-messaging’s coming-out party.”
Following the campaign, Distributive Networks said it has secured business with Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) in Ireland and India; Quattro Wireless, which placed ads on Obama’s behalf, said because of the campaign it was able to work more broadly with Mobext, a mobile marketing network of French ad giant Havas. This is exactly the kind of momentum I was thinking of when I wrote the year-end piece on some of the biggest mobile events of 2008. In that case, I used the Olympics as an example of how companies needed to give one-time mobile users a reason to return to their phones for services other than making phone calls. This is also true for Obama’s use of mobile, and it appears other companies are already trying to leverage the inroads he made by doing similar campaigns of their own.