Square, the mobile payments device that turns any iPhone or iPad into a mobile credit card processor, already had mogul Richard Branson as an investor. Until today, it was hard to imagine Square adding a bigger superstar endorsement to its roster. Enter President Obama’s re-election campaign, which will be using Square for mobile fundraising.
During the 2008 election, the Obama campaign was far from the first campaign to employ online fundraising. However, it blazed an online marketing trail as it focused on soliciting large numbers of small donations across many demographics rather than focusing on elite, high-income donors.
In the years since the campaign, it has employed SMS (text messaging) marketing perhaps more than any active candidate, keeping former donors abreast of non-fundraising events as far-ranging as timing of the State of the Union Address and Joe Biden’s birthday. Its commitment to long-term donor community management is likely to pay off as the election draws near.
Still, neither strategy may compare to what it will achieve with Square mobile payment devices at its disposal. Staff, field organizers and volunteers will all be equipped with Square devices. It’s easy to imagine town hall events and campaign rallies becoming as lucrative for the campaign’s coffers as they are energizing for its political base.
This means mobile marketing and mobile collection strategies can finally converge. And that, my friends, isn’t just the future of politics. It’s the future of business.