Sorry about the infrequent posts this week. My kids like everyone else's are off from school and are staying up late which cuts into my blogging time. In fact, both are up right now as I write this watching Spongebob Squarepants. SIGH.
Anyway, I like revisiting some of my older posts especially ones on managing your career. I get nostalgic especially when I had lunch with some of my Harrisdirect co-workers, Jackie, Megan, and Maggie. It was fun to catch up on old times and it reminded me that I've come a long way from that person that left/laid off from E*Trade at the end of December 2005. Now before I reprint my last post while being an HD employee, here are a couple of things that stand out for me in the past 2 years...
Eric's Top 10 Quick Hits from the Past 2 Years
Anyway, that's my top 10 quick hits from the past two years. I hope you enjoyed them. Hint the continue reading link to see the reprint of the post.
This article called New Jersey part of big gamble by Giuliani in Sunday's Star Ledger really, really upset me. No it wasn't because the article was on Rudy. It was because we had our voice in the election taken away once again and the NJ businesses that were probably counting on some election dollars are not going to see a dime. Since most of you readers are probably not deep into politics like I am now, let me give you some background before my little rant.
So how are we doing with these rules changes? Well, again according to The Star Ledger "Which means that despite moving its primary from the doldrums of June to the frenzy of February, New Jersey is, once again, getting very little campaign action. "Practically speaking, I'm not sure much changed by us moving to February 5," said Tom Wilson, the Republican state chairman".
What this means is that NJ does not have an impact in the Primary Election. We are not benefiting from Republicans campaigning here. We are now just one of the states going on Feb 5th and we will see no advertising and no attention from Republicans. Even with the scenario that unfolds in the McCain Path to Victory occurs, there would be little time between Florida and Feb 5th to spend money and if The Late State Strategy fails to work, it wouldn't matter anyway. For anything to occur, Rudy would still have to viable by then but then time and the expense of NJ media would work against any major advertising here.
So what did we get as citizens and small business owners for this switch? Nothing. No attention. Just another slap in the face for living in NJ. No visits. No mention. No, oh how are the polls looking in NJ? We moved our election day up to participate, but now nobody cares because we allowed the way we divided up the delegates to be changed. Does anyone really think that Rudy in the Oval Office will return some favor to NJ for this?
That's why there is no attention being spent in NJ from the Republican Candidates and why we need to watch Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida garner all of the visits and strategists. Some day, we'll get something right in NJ. Your only hope is the General Election.
I normally never make posts over a weekend, but I figured with Monday being Christmas Eve I might as well fire away. One of my favorite political blogs www.eyeon08.com had a write up on a recent blogger conference call with my Presidential candidate John McCain and before you stop reading, don't worry this is about marketing. According to Soren when asked about a brokered Republican Convention, Senator McCain said this "You get so much of a bounce out of the early primaries, I just don’t think it is true. … No matter how rich you are, no one can buy enough media. It is done with earned media." Couple that quote with a leaked comment to Talking Points Memo that McCain's Online Fundraising is up 500% and that my friends got me thinking about this blog post.
After spending 15 years working in telecom, wireless, and financial services I joined Connell Donatelli 2 years ago and now work in political marketing. When I first joined, I was pretty much like any marketer that thought - "well why don't we market in this manner", but unlike others that have tried to crack this industry from the outside I had some real players in this space like Mike and Becki that could explain how things work. In the private sector I believed in a simple marketing formula for success which I derived from my direct mail and OTM days at AT&T. While I still use this formula for arranging programs, it doesn't carry the same weight in the political industry. The formula goes like this:
Marketing Success = Creatives+Offer+Targeting
What I believed is that you could have a successful program if you got 2 out of the 3 variables correct. Good creatives and good targeting can save a lousy product or offer and the same goes for a great offer with great targeting. If you only have one thing right, your campaign is guaranteed to fail. Later on with online advertising I added in optimization as a secondary variable, but in politics it is much more complicated than that. Let's take a look at why for you "why don't campaigns do it this way" marketers....
Why Political Marketing Is Not Like Selling Phone Service
Marketing for a campaign is nothing like what you are doing today. It never shuts off and you have so many factors that influence your results that it is difficult to apply the same old techniques. If you think you are a hot shot marketer that wants to enter the space, tread carefully because as my old boss once said to me "we ain't selling phone service here, Eric".
The Wall Street Journal today reported that the FTC Clears Google-DoubleClick Deal putting a fork in Microsoft's and AT&T's plans for stopping the deal. Their claims of it being anti-competitive were ludicrous and from impacting consumer privacy, that was a red herring too. The deal itself does none of those and as I wrote before, it solves a lot of problems. Here's why...
Being anti-competitive is really even funnier. The ad serving business has hit rock bottom when it comes to prices and differentiation. Personally, I've canceled 2 deals with DoubleClick over the years mostly due to poor customer service. DoubleClick is still around as is Atlas so there are plenty of choices. Microsoft's argument probably assumes that putting an AdWords campaign with a DoubleClick banner buy makes it too convenient for advertisers. Sadly they are correct.
Google has a ton of business because a) their search is perceived to be better than MSN b) Microsoft watched Google grow up and ignored the internet c) Google makes it too easy for advertisers to use them d) they provide good prices and free tracking. Google shouldn't be penalized for providing a better service when there are plenty of choices out there; plus they'll have their work ahead of them whipping the DoubleClick team into shape.
The deal helps advertisers by integrating platforms and doesn't add to consumer privacy woes. I'm going to stick with Atlas for a while and may give DoubleClick a look when I start seeing them integrated more with Google. The FTC made the right choice....
Google's AdWords Editor is a must have tool for anyone that is serious about running a Google search campaign. You can setup campaigns, optimize (using data through yesterday), create text ads, set budget and targeting, and best of all: copy and paste between campaigns and accounts. The copy and paste is really, really a time saver. You can copy everything including text ads, keywords, and banner ads. The only things I don't user AdWords editor for is building out keywords, looking at "today's" data, uploading display ads, and video ads.
What you say? No video ads? Isn't that what Google wants us to use and promotes? Yes. You can't use AdWords Editor for anything to do with your video ads and that's what annoys me. The video ad units in Google are a great tool for any advertiser including the small ones. You load up your commercials or ad units, create a front panel ("click here to watch video"), and you only get charged when the video is clicked through to another landing page or website, not for someone watching the video.
You'd think that Google would want to make it easier on using video, but sadly it doesn't yet. I spoke with my Google Account Team and from what they were told, changing AdWords Editor to accommodate video units isn't on the near term horizon. So where does that leave us? Hand loading video units into individual ad groups which takes FOREVER. One of my co-workers, Jackie, told me it took her 3 hours to load up a new video unit into just a few ad groups in one of our accounts. And then, I couldn't use the AdWords Editor to set rotations of video and display ads because the video ads aren't even downloaded. Right now using video takes a longgggg time in Google.
I'm worried that Google doesn't see long term value with their video product. I can't find any other reason why they wouldn't make it easier for video advertisers. I'm sure that if there were enough advertisers using their video product there would be more demand for updates to AdWords Editor, but sadly maybe I'm the only one that cares for it. Perhaps this is the start of a grassroots effort to get Google to update AdWords Editor to include video; my luck I'll still be the only one complaining....
My beta invite finally came through for Hulu.com and I'm really into it. For the longest time, I really haven't been watching much prime time TV primarily because I didn't like sitting through bad shows, couldn't find the time to figure out what I should watch, and most of the time we watch shows that the entire family could watch. By the time the munchkins were a sleep, I was well on my way to a DVD for a movie or World of Warcraft. Now that is changing with Hulu.com. Here's why I really like Hulu.com
Right now, Hulu.com is not bombarded with ads - sure every 5 minutes or so there is a 15 second inserted into the show, but it didn't annoy me, just seeing the same advertiser over and over again (Intel) was annoying. The site isn't loaded with banner or search ads either so it is nice and clean.
Sure Hulu.com doesn't have the community that YouTube has and it certainly doesn't have user generated content. However, for me, I like watching professional clips more so than user generated ones and if I want consumer content I know where to go - YouTube. Hulu differentiates itself from all of the other video sites on the internet with what they all desire - professional, copyrighted material. I doubt Hulu will eat much into YouTube's viewership, but it sure will help hasten the migration of watching professional shows from the big tube to the little screen. Plus, I wonder how this impacts copyright lawsuits in progress. Anyway, nicely done Hulu.
On Friday at lunch time we took a ride to the Buttzville NJ post office in the hopes of having our Christmas cards stamped from there. The ride took about 20 minutes and of course we stopped at Hot Dog Johnny's for lunch afterwards: 6 hot dogs with toppings, 3 fries, black and white milkshake, sprite, birch beer in a frosted glass mug, and tax came to $17. We had high hopes for the stamp until just after filming we saw a giant USPS truck pull up; he didn't empty the mail box so there still is an outside shot for such a marquee post office stamp.
If you were one of the lucky 55 in the pile let me know if you got a stamp; I'm sure it will add to your holiday cheer if it said something else other than "North Jersey". Here's hoping a little local diversity survives the US Postal Services.
It's no secret that I'm not a fan of MySpace. I haven't been from the very beginning. I believe it is the 2010 version of Geo Cities and that the only advertisers that really shown any results are online dating, soft porn, and entertainment. Those types of advertisers are fine when you are starting out, but to never grow beyond that it is pathetic. The CPMs you can get there still cost you less than buying a gum ball at your local diner. That's right for 25 cents you too can have a banner ad run in the "great" MySpace 1000 times. I don't really see any significant results that have made me approach them for a deal, let alone in politics.
Of course that won't stop them from trying to get a share of the political advertising budget which of course is expected to be huge. Webware has a summary of a recent survey that MySpace is releasing to try and make their case. You should not be fooled into thinking this is a fertile ground for you political marketers. Here are some highlights from the post called MySpace touts early success with political initiatives:
Ok, so let me give you some inside baseball on surveys online. MySpace runs a survey using a pop-up banner and for a user to participate in the poll they need to click on that banner. Hmmm, let me tell you that I've participated in similar online surveys, but the big difference was they were conducted as control-exposed to the ad experiments. Those survey ads typically get a click thru rate of less than 0.01% and when I've run them they were run on reputable sites, not a Geo City clone where click rates for real ads hover just slightly above 0.01%.
What does this mean? Well for someone to participate in the survey they already have to be pre-disposed to seeing banner ads, seeing political ads and then be willing to take a poll. These types of people would of course be VERY INTERESTED IN POLITICS. So of course the numbers look great. This type of data is self serving for someone in the advertising business. All it is really trying to do is make it easier on their sales force to sell through to politics. Usually these ideas get cooked up by a sales team to make their lives better. The conversation goes like this behind the scenes.
BIG VP OF SALES: Wow Ace Sales Man, I just read a report that says political ad spending is going to approach a Googol Dollars by November 2008. If we can get 1% of those sales we can make our end of year goal.
ACE SALES MAN: Ok that sounds great, who do you want to work on this.
BIG VP OF SALES:: Well of course you! You are my top sales person so we'll make you Head of Political Sales. How does that sound?
ACE SALES MAN:: Well what about my big client, who gets that?
BIG VP OF SALES: We'll give it to Molly, she can handle it. Think of how rich you'll be. This will be an easy sale for you because we have a huge audience.
ACE SALES MAN: OK, well do you know anyone in politics?
BIG VP OF SALES: My neighbor is running for the Planning Board in my home town, I'm sure he knows somebody in Mr and Mrs President Campaign. Better yet, we'll make them come to us because we have such an awesome, engaged audience. Let's throw a survey together and build this new web page that the candidates will be beating our doors down to advertise on...
The problem with a self-serving survey like this is that it is almost insulting to the community of e-Campaign directors and media consultants (like me). While some campaigns (obviously not McCain or any clients that work with us) might be playing a little catch up on the internet that doesn't mean they can be fooled with survey data. Here's a hint MySpace, Political campaigns know more about polling and survey data than you do.
If you have a product that goes well with the content in MySpace, then by all means go for it. If you are a political campaign and you have a reason to advertise in there, then ummm, email me so we can talk unless of course you are one of the other Presidential campaigns and then spend, spend away in MySpace. Social networks work best as a CRM tool and not so well for acquisition unless you have R-rated ads.
Just saw this article posted over at the Inside AdWords Blog called New options and new look for location targeting and I have to say I am mighty impressed. As you can imagine spending some time in the political advertising world, you really need to come up with local targeting techniques and now Google made the options a little better and jazzed up the interface. For the life of me I don't get why some political campaigns run ads outside their geo-target. Ryan and I at Connell Donatelli often talk about where a campaign should run and pretty much now in 2007/2008 if you have a Senate Race your are probably running it national, but House and Governor races you are probably running at the state level. General rules of thumb and not absolutes; plus the House races you are going to a district level. Well Google just made it easier for you congressional district targeting folks. Here's what Google allows you to do now:
So let's say you want to work on a search campaign for Rodney Frelinghuysen out of NJ District 11. You could use Google to load in zip codes but then again the minimum radius you can choose is 10 miles. That's not bad, but maybe you want to be more accurate. You can try drawing District 11 in Google's Map and get as close as you can.
As you can see from my screen shots below I don't think I did half bad trying to get close to the actual district and it took me 2 minutes to draw it out. If you really wanted to nail it, you could zoom in even more with Google and try and really match the lines. It is definitely a useful tool and one that helps you out immensely if you are in politics, local marketing, or just about anything that needs to get specific geo-customers.
The other search engines like Yahoo and MSN don't have a tool like this today and in fact, one of the annoying things about Yahoo is that they opt you into North American targeting and then you need to go in a remove Canada. Anyway Google's new geo-targeting tools is definitely cutting edge; I haven't tested loading in a ton of zip codes so I'm not sure if Google has a max setting, but we have just the client to test it out on (and no it is not John McCain for President who BTW - will win New Hampshire). I'm also not sure how useful the bundles will be, but then I'm splitting hairs. Google once again shows why they are every advertiser's and especially the small advertiser's best friend...
I just read this article in the December 10th edition of Business Week called "The Short Life of the Chief Marketing Officer" and it really fired me up; it fired me up so much that I'm writing a second post tonight. Personally I think it was a hatchet job on the CMOs with tidbits like these:
It paints a horrifying picture of the state of CMOs; regrettably I can't find it online for you to read. However, it neglected one important aspect of the CMO that I've seen make the strongest ones crack. It is the micro-manager CEO/Chairman that thinks they understand marketing because they read a book, founded a company, or watched Donny Deutsch's The Big Idea (BTW - not a shot on Deutsch or the show which I enjoy). Here are sure signs if your CEO/Chairman/Founder is a micro managing wanna be CMO:
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I'm not saying the CMO is perfect and lord knows if you don't understand SEO you probably shouldn't be a CMO any more. I hate to write it, but if you are one of these TV and Newspaper first kind of CMO's then I hope you are marketing a product that skews way older or towards non-internet savvy customers. Otherwise, your days in the CMO chair are over.
The article makes it seem like blogs, social networking, YouTube are scary things, but how about just plain online advertising which is proven to deliver results through the years. Why do you think Financial Services Companies pay like $8-$10 million per year for the Yahoo Quotes Results package? If you aren't advertising online then you couldn't spell ROI if someone spotted you the "R" and the "O".
From what I've seen during my 18 years of marketing, CMOs and other Senior Marketing Execs fails because of
Enough of this rant...PardonMyFrench,
(2009 Updated post including another letter from John Wycoff can be found here)
The other day I made one of my favorite posts type - Old School Facelifts. They are one of my favorites because it usually involves some of my recent experiences in NJ coupled with a new way of advertising for them. I also always get a lot of positive feedback and often hear from one of the folks that runs the company I profile. Last week's post chronicled our recent annual tree cutting experience out in Belvidere, NJ with stops at Wyckoff's Tree Farm, Mackey's Orchard with Papa Goes Nuts outside, and of course Hot Dog Johnny's. One of the other reasons for these posts is to help out these folks with some good search results and I'm happy to report it actually worked for Papa's Gone Nuts. Up until that post Papa had no search results and today as you can see there are 7 results with mine up at the top. Ok, so search works, but what does that have to do with today's post?
Well a few days after that post I received a comment in my best post link (some reason doesn't seem to be working) from John C. Wyckoff who also left a post over at Marketing Prof's. The comment reprinted below almost brought a tear to my eye, but I'm way too manly for that :-). Here's the comment which I thought you'd enjoy:
Your posting from December 4, 2006 regarding our farm, Wyckoff's Christmas Tree Farm, was just brought to my attention today. First and foremost I would like to say "Thank You" to you and your wife Mary for being such faithful customers of our Family Operated Christmas Tree farm. Families, such as your own, help keep the small family farmer in operation.
Regretfully, you are correct, my father was diagnosed in 1995 with Lymphoma. Yes, he is doing fine. Now, the "Big Picture"... during the treatment process for the Lymphoma, trees were not planted as the direction of the farm was in question. Annual planting once again resumed in 1999, the trees looked great, until...drought struck during the summer months. The entire planting was lost. Now, you get the picture as it takes eight to ten years to grow a harvestable Christmas Tree.
I am glad to say however, we have planted every spring since and are on our way back to having, as you put it, "Mountains of Trees to Choose From". We currently have 35,000 trees in production and are planting more come spring. We have been rationing the "cut your own" trees and supplementing with quality, fresh cut trees. We are working hard to maintain the experience for our dedicated customers such as yourself. Eric, if you or any of your readers are ever in the area, or perhaps before this Christmas, please look me up. I would like to give you a tour of the farm and show the "Mountains of Trees" that once again are growing in our fields.
Wow, that comment was awesome which was why I wanted you to read it. Yes we went back this year and yes you can cut down some great trees and I was told next year we can go on top of their hill to get some trees from there too. Going up their hill was always a special thrill for Mary and I; the kids never made it. Anyway, here's a picture (I was too lazy to scan it) from our first visit there in 1990 with the mountains of trees.
We pass several tree farms on our way up to Wyckoff's and I'm sure they are all fine; we even have a few in Long Valley, but when a place delivers year after year for you and has brought such good memories, why not keep going there? Wyckoff's delivers a great tree cutting experience and when you couple it with the rest that the area has to offer, cutting down trees at Wyckoff's is a great family tradition.
I was flipping through today's paper edition of the Wall Street Journal specifically looking for the McCain article on how well he did on the MTV/MySpace debate from the other day when I stumbled across this shocking ad from these apparent shady characters at the Ballistic Rolls company which redirects to the World Reserve Monetary Exchange. Now before I hammer these people, the kind that I can't stand let me tell you why I'm so upset with the Journal.
Back towards the end of our run at Harrisdirect we were running print, TV, and online ads for our new advertising campaign. Much to my chagrin, I wasn't able to prevent the print from running and got myself kicked out of a meeting or two. After I calmed down, they let me participate again just in time for the Wall Street Journal's ad editorial review to reject one of our print ads for language we used. Not that the ad was misleading, but they didn't like the use of one of our words, so we had to redo the ad. However, it was NOTHING compared with these totally misleading ads from Ballistic Rolls aka the World Reserve Monetary Exchange.
You see the Wall Street Journal let through an ad that promotes how you can get your FREE COINS! FREE COINS in nice big print so even a partially blind person could read it. However, in order to get your free counts you must cover the $98 vault release fee. Wow some free offer. I can't believe they got away with running this ad, let alone trying to promote them as government coins. Of course they have this great fine print which I typed in by hand to see how awful this "promotion" is: THE INCREASE IN COLLECTIBLE VALUE OF CERTAIN PRIOR ISSES OF U.S. COUNTS AND CURRENCY DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT CURRENT ISSUES WILL ALSO INCREASE IN VALUE. THE WORLD RESERVE MONETARY EXCHANGE IS NOT AFFILIATE WITH THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY. OH RESIDENTS PLEASE ADD SIX PERCENT SALES TAX AND SORRY NO SHIPMENTS TO MA AND VT RESIDENTS. ALL TRANSACTIONS LESS SHIPPING ARE BACKED BY THE WORLD RESERVE MONETARY EXCHANGE WITH A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE UP TO $10,000.
As you can see from that second photo the coins are "free" so it appears to any person that the World Reserve Monetary Exchange is giving you a money back guarantee of a "free" purchase price. I personally doubt that the $98 vault release fee would be returned. Clearly the coins are NOT FREE because you need to PAY the $98 vault release fee and then if you aren't satisfied you get nothing back in return, right? Oh, when I went to www.ballisticrolls.com and put in the claim authorization code shown in the ad SR1949 I got "The access code you have entered is invalid" and if you continue on without a code there is NO MENTION of this "offer" on their website.
Isn't this the type of ad scam that should have never slipped through the WSJ's ad review process? Perhaps they got rid of that, but this kind of ad should not be in the marketplace. I wonder what the FTC would say about this?
So as some of you long time readers know the family and I make our annual trek to Belvidere NJ to cut down our Xmas tree at Wycoff's tree farm (BTW - unlike the older post the tree farm is back better than ever). We stopped going to the GroRite farm because they still haven't reopened the beautiful Poinsettia farm, but we did go to our favorite hot dog stand Hot Dog Johnny's in Buttzville NJ or as I've been telling my wife, the place we will be mailing our holiday cards from this year. Side note - if you do go to Hot Dog Johnny's do not and I repeat DO NOT order your hot dogs with anything but mustard, onion, pickles, or relish. Anyway, we also went to Mackey's Orchard where we get their delicious apple cider, their awesome home made pies made by a little old lady every morning at 3AM, and their great tasting cider donuts.
When we pulled into Mackey's parking lot there was a man sitting under a tent with a nice setup of roasted nuts. Since we've been going to Mackey's for like 13 years we were curious and walked up. The sign under his tent read Papa's Gone Nuts LLC and he allowed tasting of his roasted almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I have to tell you - they were awesome and we bought quite a number of bags. The nuts are coated - no wrapped by sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and other ingredients so you get your sugar fix as well as protein fix. Papa told me he lived across the street so I asked him if he had a website and he said '"no". So, in honor of Papa's nuts (hmmmm)
OLD SCHOOL FACELIFT #5 -Papa's Gone Nuts
Well that's enough for Papa's Gone Nuts and besides I need to seal up this bag before I finish it. If you want a great treat this year for yourself or just a nutty lover, give Papa a call and order some nice stocking stuffers. You can call Papa at 908-475-8132 and send your order in. Trust me, you or your giftee won't regret those nuts.
BTW - on a side note, as I make this post there are no search results for "Papa's Gone Nuts". I wonder how long till this post shows up in Google (11:31 PM my post showed up).
I really really can't stand LowerMyBills.com's online advertising creative. They are so awful and unimaginative that they reduce the standards of ads that on a good day 99% of the people ignore. So it isn't bad enough that their original exceptionally horrible dancing shadow ads were routinely ridiculed with searches in Google and then they followed up that classic ad with truly insensitive ads proclaiming housing payments falling as people started to lose their homes, but now they resurrect dancing ads without benefit of a frequency cap.
Yes every day I log into my Yahoo Instant Messenger (preferred over my AIM account) and unlike AOL which redirects my web browser to an AIM page (helping AOL's pageviews and time spent online, no doubt), Yahoo serves a pop-up called Inside Yahoo!. Inside Yahoo! has nice tips and of course a standard 300x250 ad unit which the marketing geniuses at Lowermybills.com have commandeered. So, what do these marketing cretins do? They load up that space with ads and for the past 2 weeks or so keep serving the same crappy ad over and over again. The ad unit is flash and when you hover over it (of course by accident only) you can control the dancing ladies. Of course the women, if you can get over the poor quality, are scantily clad and dance like drunken strippers found in the worst sections of Staten Island.
Look marketing folks at Lowermybills, please rotate in other ad units. It is a simple process and any ad server can do it for you (I use Atlas). Also, please read up on ad frequency if you haven't done so already. Yahoo IM users login every day and sometimes more than once; this means that at least once per day they see the same crappy ad every day. I know this ad unit is dirt cheap compared with other ads you might buy, but that's no excuse for not changing the creatives at least twice per month.
Besides that, I sure hope you are measuring your CPA and not just cost per click. Personally I'd never click on one of these ads for fear that they'll be the only ones I see online for the next 30 days assuming you are smart enough to know about re-targeting.
And, finally you know what really gets me about your "ads"? The crappy creatives and low quality probably reach out to the exact same audience of homeowners that are seeing their homes foreclosed because of bad mortgages they picked up a few years ago. Folks that thought that their adjustable rate mortgage could easily be refinanced when their homes continued to skyrocket in price, only to find out that the housing market bubble crashed and now their homes are worth less than they paid for it. Why when I see your ads every morning that I think you are reaching out to this audience? (I have no idea of course who their target is)
I really hope some of my friends at Yahoo ask them to remove the ads or rotate in new creatives. Seriously, I know I'm not the only one who hates Lowermybills' online ads. Yahoo, you are the only ones that can stop their insanity at least every two weeks.
Yes unlike one of my recent political posts, this one will focus on marketing even though this one stars the same subject from that other post. As Jonathan Martin wrote in his blog last week, Romney drops first contract mail piece and it is quite a doozy. Now before you jump over me, I'm really going to steer completely away of making comments on whether Romney's position has changed or not or what my personal view on the subject is. What I'm going to focus on is why I think his direct mail piece is in poor taste from a marketing perspective. Here's why:
Now again steering clear of the issue (can't get more politically charged than that one), this direct mail is in poor taste. If a politician wants people to believe a view they had has changed, then why is it fair to go after other candidate's who may have had shifting views too? Negative ads work and have been working in this country since the very beginning (probably excluding Washington's runs for President), but when someone wants to ask for people to understand they have shifting views, shouldn't the same courtesy be extended to others? At least show a little decorum and focus on recent events instead of going back many many years. How about just comparing why one candidate's plan for immigration differs from others? Why not contrast the different plans or recent quotes?
I'm sure the game that is being played out is that the vast majority of people receiving that direct mail piece from the Romney campaign have not read the plea for understanding that was written in The National Review. Negative campaigns and heavy hitting ads can be done right, but I just think a little integrity can be shown once in a while especially when one candidate wants some of the electorate to show a little understanding.
So often the 2008 Republican candidates like to compare themselves to Ronald Reagan. However, based on Romney's plea for forgiveness and follow-up contrast direct mail, he clearly violated Reagan's via Gaylord Parkinson (I think) 11th commandment "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." We Republicans can do a lot better marketing than this.
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