If you think Obama’s campaign changed everything and from now on political campaigns will never again question the value of using online ads to reach voters, build lists, or generate donations, think again.
The campaign team behind New Jersey independent dark horse candidate for governor, Chris Daggett aren’t spending on Web ads. Yet, as Daggett has gained momentum among disillusioned Jersey voters, the opportunity has come — and less than a week till the election — nearly gone, to be there through advertising when people search for more info on Daggett, or read articles mentioning the candidate.
As former McCain campaign search ad guy Eric Frenchman put it, any momentum Daggett’s campaign is experiencing, “doesn’t matter” because “He has no online marketing.” He goes into detail on his blog.
There’s no question that different campaigns require different tactics. However, I rarely speak with any political or advocacy campaign or consultant (and I speak to them often) who doesn’t see search advertising or other forms of online advertising as an important part of any campaign.
But, then again, I tend to talk to people who understand the Web, rather than traditional media consultants, some of whom still operate the way they did pre-Internet. (Which, by the way, serves them well because they tend to take home a nice slice of the TV media spend for their commissions.)
So, I’m not accustomed to hearing things like the Daggett campaign apparently has from its media consultants, as noted in a comment on Frenchman’s post. This is from “Ali,” who works for the campaign:
“From our research, we have discovered that NJ voters are primarily reachable via TV and other media — not internet — and that is why we have focused our efforts where we have. I can imagine you have strong opinions as to how we should be using our money, but actually the media company who has led every successful independent in this country is spearheading our efforts, so we are deferring to the experts.”
So, think 2008 changed everything? As I demonstrated in the title of my book on the subject of paid digital media efforts of the ’08 presidential campaigns, it was only “A Turning Point for Digital Media.”