Able-One Blog

Justin Trudeau: Mobile & Social Strategy That Helped Lead the Liberals to Victory

social_mediaJust over 80 days ago, when the election campaign kicked-off, the Liberals, with Justin Trudeau at the helm, had to battle the popular and omnipresent “He’s Just Not Ready” narrative that undoubtedly resonated with many Canadians and sought to diminish Trudeau’s ability to govern the country. 

A week ago, after a couple months of campaigning, the tide seemed to shift, and a Liberal minority government was the predicted result by many media and polling outlets. Oct. 19th, 2015, Canada headed to the polls and elected a Liberal majority government.

What happened? How did the red tide swell and wash over the country so quickly? Many answers can be given as to how a successful campaign was executed, but we won’t be getting into the political side of things.

Rather, the focus of this blog will be on how the Liberals were able to harness the power of social media to support their cause and how lessons can be drawn and applied within your own business to make sure your own initiatives are successful.

Social Media Strategy 

The Liberal Party social media strategy right from the beginning was branded, 24/7 and most importantly, personal.

Through social media, Trudeau was able to retain a really strong emotional connection with a large group of Canadians by giving them constant access to what he was doing through internet mediums that were accessible, communicative and visually appealing. The strategy was based off of Trudeau’s own convictions for how the internet was revolutionizing outreach.

Trudeau explained his belief that “the new public square is online” in a CBC interview back in 2013 and continued by saying “The idea that political parties can somehow bring people into their lecture halls or bring people into their political organizations, rather than going out to them where they happen to be gathering on Facebook through social media anyway, is something that people are going to have to come to grips with.”

Does this kind of focus on internet strategy mean every other part of a political or business initiative must be placed on the back burner? Far from that. What’s important to take away from the Liberal Strategy is that they used social media simply to bolster each and every one of their existing activities – as opposed to having social media as simply a side strategy.

The Liberals’ 2015 campaign ads all unmistakably seem to emphasize the vitality of their leader. However, besides how the Liberals brand and advertise their leader round-the-clock, there is much behind the scenes work used by the campaign team to harness internet and social media to accentuate the effectiveness of campaign staff and volunteers.

Inspiration from Obama's Campaign 

The Liberals drew many lessons about the power of social media from the Obama campaign team. Rahaf Harfoush, author of Yes We Did: An Inside Look At How Social Media Built the Obama Brand examines how the Obama campaign’s social media use "allowed him and the campaign to act like a start-up — agile, flexible, responsive — instead of being limited by a decades-old political playbook," adding as well that “this created a strong sense of loyalty among his supporters and spurred them into action more readily”.

Obama's strategists also mobilized volunteers on a micro level. Instead of overwhelming supporters with large tasks, they offered prospective volunteers opportunities to get involved in smaller ways: subscribe to emails, watch a video, make one phone call or send out a tweet (CBC/Metronews).

The Obama campaign and the Trudeau campaign essentially modernized they’re entire approach to reaching supporters through the power of social media. Bite-sized and engaging way of connecting supporters with their initiatives allowed them to quickly scale new ideas nationwide very quickly.

Marie Bountrogianni, a former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister who is supporting Trudeau, says she was “blown away by the high degree of sophistication in the Obama organization — the technology, the discipline and its ability to execute large shifts in strategy…”  

The Liberals realize that this level of refinement requires certain hardware and they have worked behind the scenes to build an intricate technical capability for data-mining and database organization. Once the social media structure is set up and the hardware is in place, all that is left to do is send the right message to engage your followers.

While other parties focused on well staged, folksy, and old-fashioned “share if you agree” type of messaging, Trudeau and the Liberals (by accurately gauging the demographic), were able to portray a polished, authentic and personal social media strategy that emphasized connection and discussion foremost.

Other Examples of Standout Campaigns 

Beyond political campaigns, companies and non-profits alike can learn the same lessons from innovative social media strategies employed by those running for office. Some standout campaigns include:

AMC With Breaking Bad on Facebook

AMC used a Facebook application “Breaking Bad Name Lab” allowing fans to quickly theme their Facebook profile picture and cover photo with a personalized Breaking Bad nametag. The social media campaign took the website by storm and even Facebook users who did not watch the show participated.

Make-A-Wish on Twitter

5-year-old Miles Scott from San Francisco diagnosed with Leukemia wanted to feel like Batman for one day. By organizing the story and creating a hashtag #SFbatkid, Make-A-Wish spawned a nationwide promotion and donation campaign that led thousands of volunteers and city officials to convert the city in Miles’ playground for a day.

Oreo on Vine

Nabisco capitalized on its iconic Oreo cookie by using Vine, the 6-second looped video application, to create fun, pop-culture themed videos that enticed consumers to use their purchased product to showcase their creativity and connect with the brand online.

IKEA on Pinterest

IKEA, famous for its endless variety for its products and Pinterest, famous for its ability to use up an hour of your time browsing their image and project share boards, teamed up to create a DIY board. The DIY board allows users to take inspiration from one another, share ideas and create their own IKEA project.

Social Media Take-Aways

Three important lessons can be drawn from these highlighted social media strategies: First, find the right platform for your business. Second, find the right way to reach your audience- sharable pictures, relevant articles, or a fun contest. Finally, find something unique that will catch their attention and cash in on the most interesting part of your business.

The number of things to consider in a social media strategy can seem daunting.

Couple that with the exposure your company can face by being constantly accessible online and having to craft every image to ensure both acceptability and success, and you might begin to think that the liabilities are too vast.

This apprehensiveness, while understandable, is not necessary. Social media is now integrated to every part of our daily lives and is much more of an opportunity, rather than a liability. More than anyone, political campaigns realize the risks that exist with a constant social media flow.

Trudeau is very aware that his every move is being recorded and can instantly be disseminated. However he stressed on the campaign team from the start that he wants the electorate to view his public persona as simply an extension of the man he is at home.

While this is impossible in reality, the resulting social media strategy forces the campaign to brand itself wisely, engage in constant discussion and remain accountable to what it portrays. For a company, this means having great product marketed in creative way that can be promoted and sold to consumers through a variety of social media outlets ultimately leading to increased interaction and sales.

Organizations must move away from seeing their social media strategy as simply one side of the business.

Previously, a business manager might ask him or herself how to incorporate a social media dynamic to one part of the business. Now the question has become how do I restructure each relevant part of the business to be social media facing and mobile accessible.

Furthermore, each new part of a business can’t simply have final paragraph in an internal document or a footnote to a section with regards to the social media strategy. Rather, the social media and Internet strategy must mesh inside every aspect of the business. Each operation, initiative and campaign established by the business must be examined for its social media potential. The result will be a company that is accessible, accountable and profitable.

To learn more about how your company can modernize its social media strategy into your IT campaign in order to stay on top of the competition, contact us today for a free consultation.

Topics: Mobile

Mobile Trends: 2016 & Onwards

mobile-trends2015 was another red-hot year for mobile technology. 

The number of mobile devices has now surpassed the global human population. More than ever, consumers are interacting with businesses using their mobile devices before going through any other channel. "Millennials are changing the mobile landscape," Steven French, Global Vice President from Amdocs said, "the group is projected to have a purchasing power of $2.45 trillion by 2015 and prefers mobile as their number-one way to be reached and interact”.

However, Millenials are not the only age group to put under the magnifying glass. Research indicates that 72% of Baby Boomers with an income over $75,000 have a smartphone. It’s a grave mistake for any company trying to market its revamped mobile business to dismiss the 50+ age group. 

It is true that Baby Boomers have slower adoption rates; however, they also control 70% of disposable income in the United States and spend nearly $7 billion per year online on consumer purchases. On average, Boomers spend 19 hours a week online and 71% use a social networking site daily. Furthermore, recent research shows that boomers are quickly closing the gap between themselves and Millennials with regards to new technology adoption as their technical prowess continues to advance. 

Becoming Mobile-First

As “mobile-first” becomes the norm for every age group, consumers from all demographics are able to quickly understand each other when referencing products and services that have captured their interest. Whether it’s via face-to-face interaction, email, a text message, a Dropbox shared folder or an Instagram direct message, the language is clear and the smartphone is the sharing tool of choice. This trend of convergence and mobile is accelerating quickly, and the question becomes: which businesses will be able to successfully market & monetize their mobile arm? 

Heather Cox, the Chief Client Officer at Citigroup reflects on how these trends are affecting every way that she shapes her customers experience and overall marketing strategy. Mobile has forced her business to adapt to a new marketing approach that has shifted from just selling to providing a personalized buying experience  centered on each consumer’s own habits, preferences and constraints. Cox explains: "The whole element of moving the position from sell to buy is something we're going to be working on over the course of 2015 and beyond: how to engage customers with products and services very differently … the notion of the marketing funnel fundamentally changes. It becomes much more about a lifecycle, that circular notion of over time — how do we catch people, using data, and actually help them in the moment".

Adopting Mobile in Business

Businesses in 2016 will have to realize that, through mobile, customers data is organized in a way that gives each business immense information and power over how to reach their customers. Each business can now use the mobile platform to offer new products and services on a rolling-basis, while automating and keeping track of how each consumer shift their spending choices based on financial and non-financial constraints. 

Businesses that have resisted the switch to mobile now have no choice. More than just a matter of increasing customer interaction, a business must enable its employees to work anywhere, anytime with a mobile platform that increases productivity and efficiency. For instance, a fully-enabled mobile sales force will prove to be crucial for each sales representative to automate their information gathering process, showcase presentations, utilize the power of images and video to entice customers, and access pertinent product and company information to close a sale. 

Businesses must therefore look at the future of mobile through a two-pronged approach: continuous customer interaction and equipping their workforce to capitalize on this new era. Both strategies can be tackled by making sure that every part of the business' buying and selling process is accessible through mobile. 

Mobile-Centric Customer Experiences

40% of users will choose another result when searching for a product or service if the first one is not mobile-friendly. Mobile users who find your business online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop. Why? Mobile users are on the go. When you’re browsing, you grab the laptop and start researching or just satisfying curiosity for products or services. When you grab your smartphone to search, you have a specific intent in mind, whether it be food, clothing or an oil change for your car. Mobile searchers are buyers, assuming you can meet their needs.

In the coming months, companies that aren't already mobile-centric will start to cross the divide to increasingly screen-agnostic mobile platforms, allowing employees to keep working, no matter what devices they're using. Laptop/desktop applications will begin to emulate their mobile counterparts as mobile continues to become the business tool of choice. 

After a day of working in the field, interacting with customers and holding meetings, a sales representative will arrive at the office and seek to access information on his or her laptop/desktop interface that closely resembles the information gathered that day on his or her mobile device. 

Internet of Things

Furthermore, apps are increasingly becoming experiences that live across multiple endpoints, from wearables to phones, tablets, and web applications. As this trend proceeds in 2016, offerings that can seamlessly transfer between these states as you move from one device to the next will have a huge advantage.

In 2016, mobility will peak with new facets that will enable handsets to link to a plethora of gadgets, vehicles and personal electronic equipment. Moreover, by 2020, the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to exceed 40 billion. As Larry Page, co-founder of Google Inc. observed: “We are no longer in a mobile first world, we are in a mobile-only world.

To learn more about how your company can integrate these mobile trends into your IT strategy to stay on top of the competition, contact us today for a free consultation.

Topics: Mobile

6 Ways Mobile Can Improve Your Sales Effectiveness

mobile-for-salesMobile adoption has grown for years and in 2014 overtook desktop/laptop as the top source of digital consumption. Consumer use is also heavily influencing businesses’ mobile adoption and deployment strategies.  One of the areas that is most impacted by the move to mobile are sales teams. There are significant opportunities and benefits of this shift.

Businesses have realized that they need to support this move to mobile. Research by TechValidate shows that 43% of companies now rank mobility as their top business functionality. From the same study, 79% of companies surveyed said they have to integrate their applications into existing technology, with the majority of businesses having to ensure that their new applications integrate with up to 15 different existing systems. This means that an organization’s legacy systems on old servers, IBM Power Systems and others will need to be modernized to support mobile devices.

There are many opportunities for sales teams to take advantage of the move towards mobile.

1. Supporting the Sale

There are many situations where your sales team may be working out of the office.  Mobile devices and tablets are a great way to support the sales process improving demos, presentations and sharing of images.  The use of tablets also enhances a customer’s experience in situations where they come to a company’s location, such as at automotive dealers, restaurants and financial institutions.

2. Useful Off-the-Shelf Apps

There are plenty of great free mobile sales tools that can be found in app stores such as LinkedIn, Evernote, Twitter, and integrations to your CRM.

3. Real-Time Sales Information

The biggest opportunity for many businesses and sales teams is in having their mobile devices connected directly to their legacy systems.  This would mean having real-time access to pricing, inventory, and other information that can assist in more effective customer engagement and closing a sale. This should shorten the sales cycle and lead to more sales as the data is accurate and live.

4. Faster Processing for Sales Orders

In many situations, the sales person may collect orders in paper formats and then bring them back to the office for processing. This means a delay between when they receive the order, when they get to the office and when they finally are able to input the order into the system.  Submitting the sale on a mobile device at the customer’s site can reduce product delivery time which makes for a happier customer. For the business, it means increased productivity and quicker inventory turnover.

5. Better Visibility on the Sales Process

There are many benefits of mobile data at head office for the marketing, finance and operations teams. A smartphone with a built in camera could collect what displays look like in a retail location for the marketing department.  The finance team will benefit from orders being placed in real time, versus relying on slow manual processes.  The operations team can manage inventory and the delivery process more effectively and efficently.

6. Sales Enablement

Poor preparation is one of the top 3 reasons sales are lost today. When the sales team has access to mobile technology, there is the opportunity for them to better utilize sales enablement tools. Sales enablement is a better way of training and helping your sales team with the right tools at the right time to close a sale.

If you are interested in understanding the impact of having your business applications enabled for mobile devices, please connect with us for a consultation.

Topics: Mobile

5 Important Mobile Computing Trends to Watch in 2015 and Beyond

By Jordan Sojnocki, Marketing Manager & Eden Watt, VP of Application Innovation

Here are 5 important trends in mobile computing and these will impact your corporate strategy.

How content is consumed over the web is changing. Cellphone/smartphone usage is quickly taking over personal computer usage. In fact, a Norton report from two years ago found that 48% of people sleep within arm’s reach of their phones. 25% check their phone during a dinner with friends, and 49% of people get upset if they leave their mobile phones at home when they go out.

These percentages are even higher amongst Millennials, so the trend doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. It’s not just that people are using their phones instead of computers, but they constantly have access to their mobile devices which changes the nature of their online activity.

As the landscape changes, it is important to consider how to best engage your customers and provide the best tools to your staff.

Trend 1: 44% of Fortune 500 Websites Fail Google’s Mobile Ready Test

Starting  April 21, 2015, Google changed their algorithm to award websites that are mobile-friendly with a higher ranking when people search. This is exciting for anyone with the foresight to have their website ready, and scary for anyone who didn’t. For many of you, having a mobile-friendly website also represents a great opportunity to exceed your competition, especially when you consider that 44% of Fortune 500 companies do not even pass the test.


Trend 2: 93% of people who use a mobile device go on to make a purchase

With people having constant access to their mobile devices, research on your product can also be done constantly.

This means that no longer is it just done before the purchase, but it can happen while a customer is purchasing. The stats around this are alarming. According to a study published by Google in May 2015, 82% of smartphone users are using their devices in stores to help them make a product decision and one in four shoppers have even admitted to changing their mind in line after reading something on their smart phone.


Trend 3: 42% of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process

Constantly, when investigating marketing strategies, I hear opinions that certain strategies will work in the B2C market but that they are irrelevant in the B2B market. The data might show that mobile in the B2C is much more prevalent than B2B, but even at the current number of 42% this is clearly not something you want to ignore.

People are looking for information about you and your services on their mobile device and if your competitor is more engaging on that platform, where do you think they are going to go? The B2B buying process has evolved, and your marketing should evolve to stay aligned.


Fact 4: The number of enterprise mobile devices worldwide increased by 72% last year

The adoption for mobile devices in the enterprise world is exploding as many companies are seeing huge value in enabling their teams to be more mobile. A KPMG survey of 539 global business executives showed that the top 3 ways mobile drives value for organizations was through increased employee productivity, higher employee satisfaction and improved field service operations.

These trends must be adapted to, as it is becoming apparent that this could be the difference between remaining competitive or falling behind.



Fact 5: By the end of 2015, only 15% of large organizations will have adequate mobile security governance for process and policy

Although there are huge benefits to this new mobile world, it does present some new risks, even some bizarre ones like public accounts being bound to vendors.  This doesn’t include tablets because they weren’t invented when they had put out their requirements. It is important that you (or a professional) review your corporate policies and what you are doing to protect your organization so that what was once considered a blessing doesn’t become a nightmare.

With this mobile world, it is important that you keep up with the new terminology

Here are some explanations of new terms associated mobile to help you navigate the enterprise mobile world.

1. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

BYOD refers to the growing trend whereby employees will bring their own devices (usually smartphones or tablets) and expect to gain access to enterprise systems.  This increases the challenges for IT as they can no longer dictate the end user device and must handle deployment, management, and security risks

2. MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform)

MEAP provides “Write Once Run Anywhere” ability to build mobile applications, connect to and run backend systems for mobile.

3. MAM (Mobile Application Management)

MAM provides capabilities for app delivery and updating, app version management, push services, reporting, app disable, and runtime security tests, enterprise app store for distribution.

4. MDM (Mobile Device Management)

MDM technology allows IT to manage mobile devices and applications, secure mobile devices (e.g. wipe device, remote locking), and provide access to enterprise resources.


We would love to hear how mobile is changing your organization, including any big wins or any drawbacks or challenges you have been experiencing. Please comment below or reach out to use at

Topics: Mobile

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