The Obama campaign obviously sees the value in pay-per-click advertising and internet marketing. The Obama camp currently has an aggressive online marketing campaign underway, according to a story published last Friday by T.W. Farnam in The Washington Post. The president’s campaign has spent $12.3 million in online ads, so far. That’s five times more than the $2.3 million Obama spent four years ago when running against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. This is also far more than what is being spent on his television, radio and telemarketing efforts combined.
Obama knows what we in the internet marketing world have known for some time. Online marketing is a necessity in 21st century, and in many cases, has a much better return on investment than traditional advertising in the newspaper, on the radio, and with direct mail. Tim Lin of Precision, an ad firm that works with Democratic campaigns, said, “If you’re not advertising online, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of people and an ability to influence them.”
In particular, the Obama campaign is using pay-per-click advertising with Google Adwords. They have purchased keywords including “immigration reform,” “Dream Act,” “Warren Buffett,” “Obama singing,” “Obama birthday,” and for basketball fans, “Obama bracket.” But Obama isn’t the only presidential candidate purchasing pay-per-click advertising. According to the Associated Press, Mitt Romney reportedly purchased his late father’s name, George W. Romney, who had been in contention for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. Rick Santorum has purchased the keyword “Rush Limbaugh,” according to Hitwise. You can see a visual representation of the keywords purchased by the 2012 presidential campaigns on The Washington Post’s website.
The Washington Post article also stated that the president’s campaign is “using technology that can track and target people based on the web sites they’ve been browsing.” Hmm.. possibly the Obama camp is not only utilizing Google Adwords for search campaigns but also for display advertising? With display advertising they could target specific websites where they felt their potential supporters were visiting and spending time online.
It just may be that the winner in the race for the White House will be the candidate who has the best internet marketing strategy. It will be very interesting to see the results in November. What do you think of the use of internet marketing in the presidential race?