The ideal online ad spend make-up?

The always excellent ClickZ news blog has raided the FEC to get Barack Obama’s online ad spend breakdown (up to August) which I think makes interesting reading.

In a campaign where results, actually one result, are everything, the Senator for Illinois has divided up his hard raised cash to spend online as follows:


Clearly display ads aren’t working for his purposes so his team has diverted the overwhelming majority of budget to Google (63%), Yahoo! (14%) and Microsoft (5%). Even up-and-comer social network Facebook only attracts 2% of the ad buy while local search network Centro gets 12%. In this case, “local” trumps the “social graph” – which is another interesting observation, especially for an election campaign.

I would hypothesis that your client could do much worse that to follow the Obama campaign’s make-up of depositing 64% of online ad-buy to Google (depending what the campaign goals are). Of which 55 percentage points would go to buying the ads and 9 percentage points (giving an 85:15 split)  would go to measuring and optimizing the effectiveness of the ads.

However, as a neophyte to this particular area of marketing, I’m going to reach out to a couple of internal and external contacts to get their perspective as well.

What are your thoughts? How would you spend your cash as the online campaign strategist?


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