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I wish I knew the right answer.

It seems to me that you are creating a bit of a straw man here. Of course what you wrote there at the end is true. But that could be applied for DM, television, etc. The real question to me is less how much than how to best do it in the first place.

While I realize analysts and some pundits are going to be more concerned on dollars spent, the key behind any of this is strategy. If a candidate want to target moms in the Cleveland-Akron-Youngstown area, an ad buy online may make sense. If a candidate needs to shore up support amongst Latinos, an ad buy on Latin oriented sites may make sense.

But developing an overall strategy can be tricky in primary season. Hillary supposedly didn't have a plan for campaigning this late.

What's needed are people in decision making roles that understand online advertising as much as they understand the other mediums. I've worked for Pericles in 2003-04. We did the Bush online media planning. No seat at the table, no seat in the room, no seat in the building.

Jonathan,

Your information is dated as is your experience from the small online buy conducted in 2004 as part of pericles.

We do have a seat at the table, in fact last friday the entire ecampaign team for mccain 08 met with rick davis and not just the few people meeting on a daily basis as part of the senior team. We've had a well funded and industry leading interactive/search campaign from day 1 that has been key to the campaign. Plus we've spent quite a lot in display ads already.

I can't go into what happened with clinton or more details in our campaign. However, I believe hillary's issue had nothing to do with their lack of online spend; sometimes the message trumps any form of marketing tactics.

It is more important to win than figure out how much to spend on a tactic. Spending a lot online and losing makes for a poor case study. Personally being part of the mccain team going back to the pac and living the ups and downs is a heck of a lot more rewarding than figuring out how much to spend.


Eric

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