The Next US President is a Bad Marketer

As Frank Luntz says "it's not what you say, it's what people hear." Politics is a game of marketing. Raise money, invest in messaging, and spread the message.

Most of the leading presidential candidates are not running AdWords ads to place a donation message on search result. Given Howard Dean's experience in raising money online, where they tested and changed page layouts based on donation data, the Democrats ought to know better.

Few candidates are buying display ads. Given this data, I am buying more display ads for SEO Book than any of the presidential candidates are.

You do not need to be a conversational marketing guru to advertise. In a couple hours I could create a campaign for any of the candidates that gets in excess of 100,000,000 monthly impressions and brings in far more than it costs. They are doing interviews on TechCrunch about technology and the web. Why don't they put their money where their mouth is?

Published: December 29, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


December 29, 2007 - 3:55pm

How about Ron Paul and his Digg army? I wonder what his online advertising is.

December 29, 2007 - 3:57pm

Ron Paul is too honest to win.

December 30, 2007 - 1:47pm

IMHO, Paul has a good chance of winning, but also of finishing like JFK if he does get elected.

Google Ron Paul and the first result is his campaign website, while Hillary or Obama have News on them displayed first and then their respective websites. Which shows how much the big media is trying to ignore Paul.

At least the first result isn't Wikipedia :)

December 31, 2007 - 3:13pm

Very interesting post, exactly the same for the UK (I hail from England) our 3 major parties, Labour, Liberal Dem and Conservative all fail to bid on their own party names in Google. I see the wheels turning for niche websites although quite what anyone would do with them is beyond me.

Oh wait. Slander. ££££ ker-ching :)

But seriously I am surprised the political bodies of some of the most powerful nations on earth have not discovered Adwords, kind of makes you feel a bit more advanced than you originally though. I am VERY surprised that the American candidates don't all have super strong campaigns, I don't know much about American politics other than how aggressive the campaigning can be and this seems to contradict that.

December 31, 2007 - 9:03pm

"Ron Paul is too honest to win."

hope you're wrong

December 31, 2007 - 9:50pm

I hope I am wrong too. But watching Manufacturing Consent and then thinking about how petty and selfish many people are it is sure hard to think the average American sees any big picture beyond the football game on the TV screen in front of them.

January 1, 2008 - 12:01am

None of the 5 major parties here in Canada (including Greens in there) are doing any AdWords campaigning. Interestingly, 4/5 have Sitelinks, but none of the 8 links for any of the 4 is to the donations page or any other call-to-action page (volunteer, get a lawnsign etc.).

During the last Quebec election, the three major parties in our province bid on their names and the candidates names. This got coverage in the press, but what wasn't said was how poorly executed the campaigns were. For example, the Liberals took traffic to a new minisite that wasn't even completed (I found placeholder text on it!). And none of them had any defined conversion metric. I blogged about it, but somehow it didn't get to the major parties' ears.

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