I came across the banner ad shown below on this article on Fortune.com.
Seeing a political ad on a news website is unremarkable in and of itself but I thought it was odd that I was seeing the ad.
The Trump campaign’s banner ad was delivered, and therefore placed, through Google’s DoubleClick ad network. But it appears that the banner ads the Trump campaign is running are not targeted in a very sophisticated manner…or even targeted at all.
You can do some pretty fine-tuned targeting with DoubleClick ads, beginning with geography.
The fact that I was seeing this ad struck me as odd because I live in Minnesota. While Donald Trump was running roughshod over all his opponents in nearly every state during the Republican primaries, he came in third my state, I’m proud to say.
Why spend precious advertising dollars on targeting a state that did not support you, especially when your campaign lags so far behind your opponent in fundraising?
Demographic & Psychographic Targeting
Sure, there are plenty of Trump supporters in Minnesota the campaign can target with fundraising appeals, at least 24,000 of them according to the primary results.
[Tweet “Donald Trump’s Banner #Advertising #DonaldTrump”]
But the fact that I was seeing the Trump ad tells me the campaign isn’t doing a good job of modeling their supporters. The Wall Street Journal published a story illustrating some of the psychographic differences between Americans who support Hillary Clinton versus those who support Donald Trump, based on Facebook “Like” data.
Identifying and targeting your audience based on demographic, psychographic, geographic, and technographic profiles is kind of marketing 101. And it’s not like the tool the Trump campaign is using, Google AdWords Display Planner, doesn’t allow for such targeting.
And it is not like Google doesn’t have enough data about me for Trump campaign to effectively exclude me as someone who would never support his candidacy.
It is hard to believe that a presidential campaign of a major party candidate would fail at the basic blocking and tackling of online marketing. But when you consider Donald Trump’s earlier email spam campaign, the ineptitude of Trump’s online marketing is becoming increasingly clear.