I have a ton to write about my experiences - almost as much to fill a book, but I'm not sure how interesting it would be. Who knows. Anyway, at a high level I want to give some of my thoughts on the main digital strategy tactics used or not used in the campaign. However, a few ground rules to start.
First, this is my own personal experience. Second, I won't guess or estimate what the major tactics of the campaign were because I don't want to be accused of being a "hanger on". Third, when I do write about major themes it will be under the context of using digital to communicate and organize. You want high level scoop you are at the wrong blog. I did have a lot of interaction and meetings with the campaign manager (Rick Davis), the deputy campaign manager (Christian Ferry), of course my boss Becki Donatelli, the eCampaign team at McCain (Mike Palmer) and the RNC (Cyrus Krohn), but I spent the vast majority of my time in my office in NJ so I was removed from the actual day to day operation. Finally, why am I doing this? This is my own digital log of what I've done and I'm a sharing kind of guy.
So, what am I planning on writing about starting today?
- The Palin Effect
- Monday Morning Quarterback
- The Death of Microtargeting?
- Why weren't we more Social?
- Ron Paul 2.0
- The value of a 300x250
- The Long Tail of Search Marketing
PART 1 - THE PALIN EFFECT
I actually planned on the second post to be the lead, but there is too much chatter in the blogosphere regarding anonymous McCain staffers bad mouthing Sarah Palin. As I stated above, I'll only write what I know or have seen and around Gov. Palin that is extremely little. However, one thing that I will say about the Palin bashing is that unless an actual named Senior Staffer says anything I wouldn't believe a word. Sure perhaps some of those things happened, but maybe it is the exception and not the norm or perhaps it is just typical campaign stress. I don't know, but what I do know is this...
- Prior to Governor Palin we used to run search advertising campaigns to drive people to come to events. That was only done once after her selection to be McCain's running mate.
- August 1 - August 28th was already our best month in generating donations for the campaign via paid search
- In the three days including her nomination day in August we generated 220% more donations than the 28 days prior and as I wrote above, August was already our best month
- Her search campaigns included everything from defending rumors, to searching for pictures, Troopergate, as well as her name. She was extremely popular in search activity and remained so until the very end.
- She was a key component of our digital marketing because ads with her in them typically outperformed other creatives.
Do I believe the rumors running around right now? No, that is until someone from the Senior Staff confirms them. However, from my cheap seats in Long Valley NJ, she was just what Senator McCain said she was " someone that has brought enthusiasm" to the crowds and the base of voters. The data I have and saw completely verifies this. So if you are wondering, well why didn't McCain win? Well I have a post for another day, but let's just say that even economic wunderkind Mitt Romney couldn't have helped much after the economy imploded.