23 August 2008

Praise for Common Sense

I recently read an article in Marketing Magazine where the marketers of the New Democrat party were being applauded for targeting the names of the major party running mates, Steven Harper of the Conservative Party and St├ęphane Dion of the Liberal Party through Google Ad Words.

If you don't know what that is exactly, there's this place full of giant tubes called the interwebs and you can target your advertising to what people type into search engines... know what? Go here: https://adwords.google.com/select/Login

Was this really a stroke of genius though... targeting other candidates? Seems like common sense to me, not news. Heck, we were doing that for clients 10 years ago with keywords on web sites. A lot has changed since then, but it's the same principle.

And, sure, it's a good idea - not exactly a news story, but a good idea nonetheless. Unfortunately for most of us, a lot of our industry magazines read like press releases and these are the types of stories you get.

If I was running for office (which I plan to once I learn how to not keep promises), I would target every competitors' name along with the buzz words of what's hot in politics that day... or hour - that's right, it would be monitored all the time. If you want to maximize online marketing efforts you can't approach it like a print ad - "well it's in the paper, let's wait and see what happens" - you have to continually massage the message, fine tune the triggers that will reach the target.

The continuous monitoring and tweaking of an online marketing effort could be a story, unfortunately, most people approach these types of campaigns the same way the do print. If you're planning an online campaign you or your agency needs to monitor the results regularly - it takes time and time ain't free.

Some projects, like these, are best left to internal marketing people and some aren't. Either way, the person monitoring and tweaking needs to be fluent with the brand and know it intimately. Only then will the extra effort translate into positive results.

It's not news to me, it's just common sense.

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