I've written a series of post regarding the year's NJ Gubernatorial race and up until recently the lack of online advertising that I've seen has been disappointing. That is until the Jon Corzine campaign started to put the Obama online advertising playbook into action. The Chris Christie campaign however, remains in the internet advertising fog of war with the occasional email message or Facebook post. This of course has me very concerned because this state needs to make Corzine a one term and done Governor. Here's what I'm seeing:.
Facebook - Both candidates have low involvement. Corzine 09 page has 1665 supporters while his Governor page has 9588. Christie has 4681 fans. Christie's numbers are a nice jump since the last time I looked but Corzine has lost some (no surprise, but more on that later). I do get messages from Christie, but few and far between.
Email Marketing - The Corzine campaign is good for about 3 per week while the Christie campaign maybe sends one out once per week and that's very sad.
YouTube - Check out the pages of both candidates. Not much going on here for either of them.
Paid Search - Corzine has launched a newbie style paid search campaign with only minimum changes to the text ads and clicks driven to the homepage (very search marketing 101). However, Christie is doing ZERO marketing here which is scary. The only support he is getting is from John McCain's Country First PAC (hmm I wonder who is directing that) and some enterprising 529 groups. BTW - this image shows that Corzine is advertising on Christie's name.
Display Advertising - Corzine is already running them and while they are decently constructed showing some planning for the ads, they once again show a lack of creative optimization and click through to the homepage. Christie - ZILCH but support from similar folks from the paid search area.
Polling Data shows that Christie is still ahead but Corzine has reversed his downward spiral and his poll growth increase surprising looks like his website growth. Plus, most Jersey folks aren't paying attention now and are thinking about the shore which makes the numbers unreliable.
What does all mean? Well Corzine will be the text book example of what happens if a candidate without Obama's charisma, grass roots support, imagery, and likability does by using Obama's marketing playbook. Hopefully the Christie campaign has more modern marketing tools in their tool belt come Labor Day but it will be an uphill battle given Corzine early foray into online marketing.
Well the NJ General Election for Governor has started and Corzine's campaign has wasted no time in borrowing Obama's Marketing playbook. I've already received about 3 long emails from them plus links to videos on their YouTube video channel (I can't bring myself to link to anything to do with that campaign, so sorry).
Their latest state of the campaign video is actually a compete joke when they talked about how brave Corzine was after his accident which was self inflicted when he refused to wear a seat belt while his driver was speeding on a highway on his way to an Imus interview. As a reminder, here's Corzine's accident story so I find it appalling that his campaign would in any way shape or form describe him as being brave.
Anyway, Corzine the Governor has 9200 Facebook friends while Corzine the Candidate has about 1900 friends. So this got me thinking....
Corzine's campaign studied Obama's campaign playbook and will try hard to duplicate it
Corzine can't give a speech and can't even pass himself off as a man of the people
and finally, it is extremely hard to run a grass roots networking campaign when you don't have the charisma of Obama and can't generate passion among the voters when you are well hated by the electorate.
However, what Corzine does have going for him is a crap load of money and President Obama. If you watch any of their boring, poorly shot videos or read any of their novel sized emails you'll see that
They will not run on his crappy job, economy, and spending record
They will push the linkage with Obama and Biden
They will pump up Obama's spending, stimulus plan and feature Corzine as a friend to the administration
Tie into anything to do with Obama - my guess is Corzine will only frequent the same restaurants as Obama and start smoking the same cigarettes.
Corzine will do anything and spend anything to win. He will have President Obama with him, so I do hope the Christie campaign starts quickly on their internet strategy, otherwise we are just handing over that territory to someone who does not deserve reelection.
BTW - Hat tip to my friend Mark. The knuckleheads at camp Corzine prove my points with their "ineptitudeness" on natural search results. Clearly they know how important natural search is from Obama's marketing playbook, they just don't have the experience to the plan into correct action. Here's a screen shot of the natural search results for the keyword "jon corzine". Clearly the Corzine campaign will be the case study of marketing like President Obama without Obama's skills as a campaigner or without the experts who ran his eMarketing campaign.
Basically the idea behind this is that Google puts so many tools at your disposal there is no reason a smaller marketer can't take on and compete with a big marketer. I perfected this while at Harrisdirect when we competed with the big players like Schwab and Fidelity and one could argue that we did quite well with Senator McCain's Primary and General Election campaigns. Anyway, here's why Google is the great money equalizer:
Keywords - everyone's keywords are different and depending on your strategy you may or may not choose certain words to bid on or you might even focus just on long tail words.
Quality Score - Google rewards your smart, relevant campaigns with good Quality Score so even though you might not have as much money as your competitor you can out Google them.
Free Conversion Tracking - using Google's own tools you'll know how effective your marketing is and once again if you are setting and meeting your own conversion goals, you can be smarter on how you use your marketing dollars.
Click to Play Video Ads - have a commercial you are running or perhaps that's too expensive? You can add click to play video ads on Google's content network where you can have your ad watched for free and only pay per click when they go to your website.
Geo-targeting - zipcodes, states, MSA, major cities, or even hand drawn targeted areas, you can dominate a target market for no additional costs.
Behavior Targeting - even though Google is not as major of a supplier of Behavioral Targeting as say - Yahoo or Ad Networks, you can use age, income, gender, demos to reach a specific audience. Throw in content targeting off your keywords and you can finely target for no additional money.
Placement Targeting - Again for no additional fees you can hand select sites where your ads appear and then get good placements based on an ongoing auction process. Are you just looking forward to buying crap impressions on MySpace? Have no fear you can usually get on that "site" for about 10 cents per 1000.
Self Directed - You can turn your campaign off and on or even increase it all with the click of your mouse. No more calling into an account exec who won't honor a 24 hour cancellation clause.
The administration always says creating or saved, hoping you will not be paying attention. They then put it under transparency and you are supposed to feel good. They show videos and find a few people who did indeed have their job saved, but totaling up 100Ks of jobs is impossible. However, the stimulus plan is NOT creating jobs. The unemployment rate has climb to 9.4% and they refuse to tell you that because it doesn't meet with their creative marketing briefs. Here's a link where they talk about how good they are doing saving jobs; yes they do mention the actual job loss last month, but they market it without saying the unemployment rate is climbing. It is shameful and disgusting.
The stimulus plan is taking way too long to get pushed out. All Americans are accustomed to seeing unemployment rates, so in order to sell the stimulus plan and that the administration is performing well, they need to market a fictitious number because the real numbers still stink. Very sad.
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