You know a trend is hot when marketers compete to coin a powerful form of convergence - in this case, the intersection of mobile, social, and local (dubbed MoSoLo, SoLoMo, etc).
Call it what you like, the latest numbers make clear this trend is here to stay — and holds tremendous opportunity for advocacy practitioners and marketers to connect with high-value audiences in meaningful ways.
Consider these facts: by 2016, there will be 10 billion mobile Internet devices in use globally by an estimated 7.3 billion people; that's an average of 1.4 devices per person. Meanwhile, location targeting in mobile ads has jumped 53% year-over-year. On the social front, 543 million of Facebook's 1 billion active users connect to the service via a mobile device, representing a 67% increase.
The rise and confluence of mobile, social, and local represents the latest wave of targeting. For marketers, this opportunity is about engaging consumers via a branded social community, targeting messages according to geographic location, and rewarding consumers' participation with special offers and promotions specifically designed to appeal to each target market. When executed effectively, this approach can yield higher levels of brand loyalty, ongoing consumer engagement, and sales.
In our experience, an integrated approach to advocacy harnesses the best of mobile, social, and local technology, as well as targeting and outreach techniques to cut through the clutter of traditional message-delivery environments. The overarching strategy is to connect with key audiences at a place of shared values. Successful marketers understand that issues are complex. People have widely-varying perspectives and lifestyles. And geography can also color the lens through which advocates view issues and their outcomes on their lives, families, and communities.
Therefore, success in today's advocacy world requires outreach that is highly personalized and localized, and digital is a crucial platform for establishing these connections. Advocacy programs develop online experiences that serve as an umbrella for each campaign's message architecture. From Internet advertising to branded advocacy websites with social media integration and an array of other online communications, winning programs drill down to personalized values-based experiences with advocates.
As a result of this approach, successful programs cultivate relationships with advocates who demonstrate higher levels of commitment, participation, and ownership. They are empowered to spread the word and invested in the campaign over the long-term, often taking action on multiple issues.
Effective online engagement also helps trigger offline participation. When advocates become invested in an issue community, a great number of them become active on the local level.
From speaking with a local elected official to demonstrating their support at a rally or town hall meeting, interactive programs that harness the best of MoSoLo yield a far bigger return on organizations' investment than an isolated email or action alert campaign. Mobile, social, and local will continue to converge in innovative ways, and so too will the approaches used to engage audiences.
Aaron Guiterman is VP of interactive strategy at DDC Advocacy.