CNN and Google held a forum yesterday that focused solely on the digital aspect of the presidential campaign featuring Romney Digital Director Zac Moffatt and Obama senior strategist Andrew Bleeker. Watch a portions of the exchange here, PART 1; PART 2.
We allowed Moffatt and Bleeker a chance to ask each other a direct question about the campaign, something that they might have wondered what the other one was doing in the heat of the political battle and here is an edited part of that answer we found fascinating:
Q. BLEEKER: What were your goals from a Facebook perspective? We were really actually wondering on the campaign, “Are they investing in non-battleground states? Why?”
A. MOFFAT: Some of the things you saw in our non-target states was very fundraising or list building specific … We also felt, looking at the metrics, the low-hanging fruit was still there. We also never really got to a point where we thought, we have to stop national advertising, because there are still people to be brought in. … I think that as we were looking at the vanity metrics as well, it was kind of funny the things that people fixated on again and again, and that’s why talking about this became such an easy number for us, because we were saying the same number of people were engaging online, despite the fact that at the end they were three times larger than us.
Q. MOFFAT: A lot of what we thought, when we looked at [your] advertising buys … was with more of an eye to earned media than it was sometimes to efficiency. When you did state takeovers, like in the Cleveland, Plain Dealer … the day of the early voting … I saw you guys driving more reporters to talk about it because it was a national buy. You know, you’re buying a set of geo-location, because everything we hear about team Obama it’s like geo-location. And if it doesn’t matter in the state, it doesn’t matter. And then they would go out there and thump their chest and say, you know, “You can see it.” Were you actually seeing the results across the board?
A. BLEEKER: No question, when we bought the Des Moines Register on Iowa primary day, and the [New Hampshire] Union Leader that was definitely for the media. [The media] all covered the … Iowa thing like that was really smart. And I think we got more play on that [and] frankly donations from it because everyone went to the site to click from it than I’ve ever seen from any other kind of our media buys. But I do think that stuff was sort of throw away. It was cheap. … The early vote stuff couldn’t have been more essential to our campaign. We knew we were winning the campaign pre-election day. You know, when all of the sudden we can look at the folks who voted early and that starts to line up with our turn out models, we felt pretty good. So we spent a large portion of our actual budget on what I call field support and mobilization and much of it was driving to some metric. The takeovers did do that.