No, Google, You're Not the Reason Hillary Lost

By Aaron Goldman, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

OK, I really and truly thought I was done ranting for the week.

Then I came across this article in ClickZ -- Clinton Needed More Search: Q&A with Google's Greenberger.

It’s Friday, so I’m going to keep it brief but basically what you have here is Google's "political ad man” Peter Greenberger dishing on the paid search efforts of each of the candidates before concluding that Clinton lost because she didn't fully fund her Google paid search campaign.

Knowing how tight-lipped Google usually is when speaking to the press, I was shocked by the level of disclosure in this interview.

Greenberger first shares flight plans for the candidates, saying that Clinton’s campaign “had experimented with it [Google AdWords] early on in the campaign season and then they ended up cutting it off the last two quarters of 2007.”

He then reveals her creative strategy -- “They seemed to be more focused on fundraising.”

Then Greenberger touches on other candidates efforts, noting that “the Obama campaign geo-targeted ads to users in the state of Texas” during the Texas primary.

He even offered up info on budget allocation -- “All of the campaigns have run or are running Google AdWords, and all of them, too, have shown ads on our partner network, and the investment is split between the two.”

From there, Greenberger discusses how hard his team tried to convince the Clinton camp to spend more on search -- “We tried everything” -- before chastising them -- “I believe it was to their detriment” -- for wasting so much money on non-direct response vehicles like TV.

Finally, he implies that the Clinton campaign failed because it didn’t maximize its search program -- “We think it's not a coincidence that the two savviest primary campaigns with Google are the winning ones.”

2 things strike me here...

1. I don't think Google should be sharing specific information about current advertiser’s campaigns. It’s one thing to say that Clinton ran paid search ads, quite another to disclose her flighting, creative and budget strategies. I know our clients would not be happy if Google publicly shared details about their programs.

2. I don't think Google can take credit for Obama and McCain winning the primaries. I know I’ve argued all week that search can drive brand awareness but it can't win you an election.

OK, now I'm officially done ranting and off to celebrate my first Father’s Day as a daddy. Have a good weekend all!


dgould said...

No doubt a bold claim that the election hinges on search marketing. Just like any effective marketing campaign, whether for a inanimate product or a person (who in themselves is a product, and, quite frankly, sometimes close to inanimate), it's the mix.

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