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2012 Presidential Campaigns Lacking in Digital Media Chops

Obama and Romney Campaigns Have Missed Significant Online Messaging Opportunities, Reveals New Study From Rosetta on Paid and Organic Search, Earned Media

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a combined total of $2.5B1 spent on fundraising and campaigning for the 2012 Presidential election, the Obama and Romney campaigns have both failed to seize a staggering number of online messaging opportunities, according to a new study released by digital and direct interactive agency Rosetta.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121106/CL05149-INFO)

The study reveals a number of key insights for marketers by showing where the Presidential campaigns have been effective and where they have missed good opportunities to reach potential voters through paid and organic search and earned media.

Key findings from Rosetta's study of the two campaigns' vastly different digital strategies include:

  1. Overall exposure for important topics from both campaigns has been remarkably low within search engines. Neither candidate has good brand presence for "Budget," "Jobs," "Economy," or "Taxes on Wealthy."
  2. Both campaigns demonstrate the importance of "Reputation Management" within search engine results pages by bidding on the other's brand terms. Governor Romney's campaign has bid on the Obama brand 35+% of the time, while President Obama's campaign has bid on the Romney brand only 17% of the time. However, President Obama's campaign shows stronger owned media by providing multiple pro-Obama content choices.
  3. President Obama has nearly five times the total number of impressions of Display Advertising ad units during 2012, but Mitt Romney is closing the gap during Q3 and early Q4 with a more aggressive strategy.
  4. The Obama campaign is much more invested than the Romney campaign in the mobile search environment, both at the national and swing state level.
  5. President Obama has the most exposure in paid and owned search engine listings and display for Foreign Policy terms (37+%).
  6. Governor Romney has most exposure in paid and owned search engine listings and display for Vice President terms (58+%). Interestingly, his campaign has no presence for healthcare-related terms.

"We were shocked to see an extraordinary amount of 'Paid Search white space' for a variety of issues that have been central to both Presidential campaigns," said Jason Tabeling, Partner, Search and Media at Rosetta. "At Rosetta, our expertise lies in uncovering insights for marketers about their consumers' needs and motivations, then helping execute cross-device marketing programs that resonate at a deeper level. Both Presidential campaigns would have benefitted from a deeper analysis of how best to reach potential voters through digital media, and our research reveals some important lessons for the campaigns – and also for marketers – on the importance of an effective digital strategy."

For additional information and to download a full copy of the study, please visit: http://www.rosetta.com/about/thought-leadership/Election-2012-Insights-from-the-Candidates-Online-Campaigns.html.

1Center for Responsive Politics, http://www.mdgadvertising.com/election2012/

About Rosetta 
Rosetta is a consulting-centered interactive agency engineered to transform marketing for the connected world. Our mission is to be a catalyst for growth, driving material business impact by translating deep consumer insights into personally relevant brand experiences across touch points and over time. Our unique capabilities and the way we activate them have enabled our market leadership position, operating as an independent brand in the Publicis Groupe of global agencies.

www.rosetta.com | Twitter: @RosettaMktg | Facebook: www.facebook.com/rosetta  

SOURCE Rosetta

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