During the Presidential Campaign season I didn't realize I used search marketing for a very unique tactic - Political Rapid Response. In fact, while moderating a panel on search marketing at AAPC a lot of folks came up to me after the panel and asked me to elaborate on using search for Rapid Response. In this YouTube video, you can hear Peter Greenberger at 1:20 singing our accolades using search for Rapid Response. We used Rapid Response in quite a number of very high profile situations including:
Rapid Response doesn't just have to be for political campaigns. Issue Advocacy can certainly use it as well as private companies and even news organizations (ex - Fox Sports). So how do you actually use search for Rapid Response?
I had completely different posts in mind for tonight, but I can't hold my my tongue (really my fingers) any more. Why? I am completely sick of receiving 1980s styled political marketing communications from GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan. This isn't the first time I wrote about this campaign's lack of progressive (progressive as in new and not liberal) marketing techniques. However after weeks of receiving the same really wretched direct mail campaigns begging for dollars, tonight was the last straw for me. Stuffed in my mailbox was a newspaper styled flier with a real cheesy bumper sticker and a return envelope to give a donation. Not only does this insult political marketing post the 2008 election but it deprived the US Post Office from postal processing fees.
So of course I decided to take a poke around the internet to see what I can find on the candidates. Now I'm a busy man, so I didn't research all of the like dozen candidates to beat a vulnerable and weak Jon Corzine because well if I can't find the big three advertising online I'm not that worried about the rest. So here's what I found...
Based on what I can see, none of these three warrant a rating of A for their eCampaigning prowess. The best of the bunch is the Christie campaign even though they haven't employed paid search marketing and can do more in the YouTube and online grass roots organizing areas. Lonegan's campaign with its wasteful use of direct marketing really doesn't seem to get using the internet. Seriously instead of dropping bad direct mail, improve the website and use search marketing as well as YouTube.
Christie needs to make some small improvements (search and online organizing), but Lonegan needs a massive overhaul to even get in the game. Why? While Corzine is weak and well hated in NJ, he will have the greatest campaigner alive working the phones and campaigning for him in the fall; more importantly President Obama will be campaigning for Corzine in the more populated areas of Camden County, Essex County, and Hudson County. That means Corzine has a BIG DAWG in this fight.
Yes, I know I'm a a week late on this post, but then again I'm not totally aimed at the Pharmaceutical Advertising market since my Dad died last June. Dad used to always talk with me about direct to consumer advertising especially when it came to internet advertising for these products. Yes I know my sweet spot is in politics, telecommunications, and finance marketing, but I always held a soft spot because of Dad's interest. That's why I found this article so interesting in Business Week.
In this week's Business Week they have an article called Pharma Flees The Net. (I couldn't find it online so that's why I didn't link to it.) Anyway, the article wrote that on April 3 (really April 2) the FDA sent a letter warning 14 of the world's biggest drug companies that their internet ads MUST INCLUDE WARNINGS about risks. Here's a link to all 2009 warnings and here's a link to one company's letter and a copy of the screen shots that the FDA included.
And what happened? Poof. For the most part internet advertising for big Pharma DISAPPEARED; that's right they are gone especially for black box warning products. I didn't check every search term, but for the dozen I looked for they were gone. Sure, display ads might be repurposed (at least the bigger banner units) to include warnings, if you can squeeze them in given a reasonable font size and ad specs, but a search ad or a 468x60 is dead without more guidance. (for a more detailed post see this article from ClickZ)
That's right folks. The tech President Obama via the FDA virtually eliminated an internet advertising mechanism for the Pharma industry. Of course this hurts Google and Yahoo, plus some of my brothers and sisters in the internet advertising world who relied on Pharma as an industry. I really wondered what Eric Schmidt thinks of this as an Obama adviser?
Writing of Eric, I also wonder how many agency veterans, digital consultants, search experts etc supported President Obama during the election and are now regretting that vote? Sure he wowed you with his marketing prowess, beautiful speeches, hope filled messages, and social networking expertise, but did you ever take a look into his policies? Did you ever think for a second how this would impact the way you earn a living?
Maybe you took your eye off the ball and were excited for your middle class tax cut. However, you could have just lost a big chunk of your income statement if you relied on big Pharma advertising dollars.
I saw plenty of internet advertising veterans line up behind Obama during the campaign season; I even got flamed by a few of them for harmless comments because passions ran high. However, with more regulation comes more change. You voted for change. How does that change look on your income statement now?
Since the end of the election I've watched people argue over what happened to the Republicans and Senator McCain. A lot of folks have jumped on the Republican don't get the internet mantra and I've always known that was never the answer. Some people think it was Governor Palin and once again I never believed that. I've always known we lost because of an extremely unpopular President, the economy blowing up on 9/15, and running into the great Obama money making machine. The blow up in the economy was a double whammy with President Bush's unpopularity which continues to haunt Republicans because of out of control spending, Government growth, and lack of fiscal discipline; all things that go against Reagan's strategies for winning elections.
I attended quite a few AAPC panels and not just the ones where my fellow Campaign Solutions friends were on. Two in particular were quite fascinating for me and both were recaps of the 2008 courtesy of Whit Ayers, Charlie Cook, and Ron Brownstein. From that panel I learned a lot of interesting points including (these are my notes and so the exact number below might be incorrect, but directionally...):
shore states are WA, OR, CA, ME, NH*, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, MD, and DE
and they haven't voted for a Republican in 20 years. Let that sink in for
a second. In 20 years almost 70% of the electoral college hasn't gone to
a Republican and that points to a branding and messaging problem in
attracting voters in these states. Simply stated, these states include
big businesses like media, agencies, pharma, banking, financial services,
internet, ivy league colleges - well you get the idea: targets that the current
Republican message falls short. BTW - would it surprise you that these states are also where the MONEY comes from?
Prior to going off on my own and working with CDI, I spent 15 years in corporate America. I basically grew up at AT&T and then worked at Harrisdirect. At AT&T I worked with some of the largest agencies in the world while working on major product launches. At Harrisdirect, we were the company constantly rebranding as the name switched from DLJdirect to CSFBdirect, to Harrisdirect, and then finally E*Trade.
What does this all tell me? If a brand was EVER in need of a rebranding it would be the Republican Party and here's where I'd start if this was my product.
It is time to rebrand and plan for 2010. It is time to win some Shore States. It is time that the Republican brand become competitive in these states because that's where the voters are.
I read two very interesting posts today. The first one was called Everyone an Instapundit and the second one written by a person I have a lot of respect for Roger Simon, CEO of PajamasMedia was called Top Twitter Target. Both of them were very similar in that they tout Twitter as a political movement that the conservative political machine gets more than the liberal political machine. Roger Simon best summarizes this feeling with the following line "It is no accident that Twitter, an extremely non-elitist form, would appeal to the right more than the left. In these times, as those of us in Hollywood know above all, it is ironically the left that is mired in elitism".
Twitter is many things, but it is not some great gift to rescue Republicans. It is also not something that the liberal world ignores or doesn't understand. Let's not get all giddy that Karl Rove has a lot of followers and uses it quite often and that we've successfully organized Tea Parties via Twitter. I watched Michael Patrick Leahy co-found #TCOT (top conservatives on Twitter) and it was a brilliant move. However, Twitter isn't a strategy, it is a tactic.
I'm a huge fan of Twitter, but without content it is SPAM. Without a Republican message that will deliver better ideas than the Obama administration Twitter won't rescue us in 2010 or 2012. Tea Parties work because they are a great idea and the message delivered any non-politico can relate to. Let's not sing about our political Twitter prowess, let's try and come up with messages that will win the non-Twitter masses.
My favorite ClickZ reporter and Jersey City native Kate Kaye has been on a roll lately when it comes to writing about a seldom used, yet increasing in popularity tactic offered via Google called a Google Surge or a Google Blast. First she wrote an article about the New York Congressional Race in which the Democrats used a Google Surge, then she followed up with a profile of the Yes on Proposition 8 race, and a blog post naming me (yes yours truly) as the inventor of the phrase Google Surge.
As you can see in the comments I left, yes I did started calling it a Google Surge but it had nothing to do with McCain's strategy of supporting the Iraq Troop Surge; it was simply a surge in spending and the first time I employed it, it was during Bobby Jindal's campaign for LA Governor which he won.
Since Jindal's campaign I've used it several times including the RNC during the 2008 Presidential Race, McCain's campaign during both the Primary Season as well as the General Election season, and in my own race to gain a seat on my town's Board of Education (just ask some of my neighbors who couldn't log on to their PC without seeing one of my campaign ads). Since the cat's out of the bag (thanks Kate), here's some more details on how and why you'd use a Google Surge.
THE INS AND OUTS OF RUNNING A GOOGLE SURGE
Anyway, I have other tricks of the trade for running a Google Surge, but the most important thing for you to remember is to work with your Google account team when setting something like this up. As my version of the name implies, this will definitely cause a surge in your daily spending.
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