Study of the Presidential Candidates’ Strategy

There’s an important lesson to be learned from the presidential candidates regarding the role of landing page optimization in your overall campaign strategy. In a recent study by ion interactive, a leading conversion optimization company, there were landing page optimization wins and losses in both of the candidate campaigns race to the election.

ion’s study provides a detailed view into each candidate’s overall landing page strategy and spans social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, and integrating with mobile devices. 

“This audit was an excellent opportunity for ion to review a significant national campaign and compare different strategies, perspectives, and tactics across channels. What we quickly learned is that both campaigns realized the need to bring relatability to their post-click strategy – but often missed the mark,” said Justin Talerico, CEO of ion interactive. ”We thought it was an excellent opportunity for us to highlight key principles for driving engagement, relevancy and ultimately performance by using an infographic to tell the story of these familiar campaigns.”

The key takeaway that comes from a scorecard that focused on campaign-specific tactics, localization within experiences, message matching, forms, mobile optimization, dynamic content, and segmentation — both missed the mark. 

  • Both neglected a significant opportunity with campaign-specific landing experiences.  Both candidates utilize search engine marketing campaigns that, in most cases, linked straight to their corporate website. These were significant  missed opportunities to create very targeted, relevant experiences for those searching and ultimately driving better performance.
  • The candidates have a good pulse on the role localization plays in gaining momentum in their campaigns. You can’t resonate more than to give regional-specific content. Both the Obama and Romney campaigns had strong Facebook campaigns that drove localization through their landing page strategy.
  • Campaigns can be won through relevance, yet Romney’s campaign was inconsistent. Within social media there is a consistent delivery of message matching, but within search engine marketing there is a significant gap of ad and post-click experiences. Obama’s campaign, however, consistently delivered message matching between ad and landing experiences, regardless of channel.
  • For conversion, forms play a critical role. If you ask too much, you risk abandonment. If you ask too little, you sacrifice future targeting. The Obama campaign has hit a solid note with their form criteria. They’ve utilized a multi-step form to make their data capture more digestible. The Romney campaign asks for similar data but it feels significantly heavier since it is pushed through one page. 
  • Mobile matters, and our presidential campaigns have missed the opportunity to engage immediately. Both campaigns are missing major mojo when it comes to mobile optimization.  From lengthy forms to complexity of content, the campaigns missed a best practice of everything working effortlessly on mobile devices.
  • Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have done good jobs driving dynamic content through their marketing programs. From passing data through social media campaigns to utilization in their email programs, the two campaigns realize the impact of dynamic content in their landing pages.
  • We were disappointed to see the lack of segmentation usage in their optimization strategy. Obama’s campaign collected the data, but didn’t use it to drive a more targeted campaign. Romney didn’t segment at all.  Adding segmented paths allows for more relevant content.

“We can’t determine who will win the presidential election, but we can say that the Obama campaign has enriched its landing page optimization strategy with more best practices than the Romney campaign”, said Talerico. “Ultimately we want to shed light on how you can have immediate impact with your marketing programs by driving relevant, engaging experiences that convert. We think this study highlighted many tactics that any marketer can begin using today.”

To download the full infographic, click here.

About ion interactive:

ion provides enterprise post-click marketing software & services to hundreds of customers worldwide. ion’s technology puts your marketing team in direct control of your campaign pages — from content to testing and optimization. The result is unprecedented agility and ROI performance across a wide array of marketing disciplines.