About two weeks ago we were involved in some primary races in PA which of course meant a heavy dose of using Google for marketing. In fact, ALL down ballot races should run Google for marketing. Anyway, we were supposed to map our Google ad buy to targeted areas in the state. One of our selling points is that with Google you can target down to a zip code level so we could do an even better job of mapping the targeting strategy than the TV buy. The sales pitch went this way...
- DM - of course you can target to individuals, but counties and zip codes are also used
- TV - you are usually buying at the MSA level
- Print - county for local levels and MSA for statewide races
- Search - anything right?
Well it wasn't as easy as you'd think. Sure if the client gave me zip codes I could have loaded them up, but they didn't have them. What they did have was County targets, but Google doesn't allow for county targeting. You of course can hand draw for Congressional DIstrict targeting, but try doing that for more than one district.
It took me about 8 hours to map the buy using the major cities in each county that they wanted to target. It was a major pain in the seat, but I told the client we could do better targeting than TV. Sure it was better targeting but without County targeting it took forever which is very un-Google like.
I don't understand why Google doesn't supply County targeting? For that matter, I don't understand why Google doesn't supply some population estimate when listing cities. It would seem so matter of fact to include counties if Google is trying to grab a piece of the local marketing mix.
And, while I'm on my rant, I can't wait for Google to ad click to play video ads into the desktop AdWords Editor. Once I set the targeting up for this buy, it would have been nice to copy and paste the ads into different ad groups. However, we had to manually load each click to play video ad, ad group by ad group.
Anyway, still a huge fan of Google of course. AdWords is the best marketing tool available today and even the small marketer can act like a big advertiser with little to no money. I just wish they'd make a few more targeting tweaks to really go after local targets.