Adam T. Sutton

Web is Changing Political Marketing

The Internet is changing everything – even pillars of American culture such as political campaigns.

Just look at what’s happened to presidential politics. Sen. Barack Obama has all but seized the Democratic presidential nomination – a feat he might not have accomplished without online fund-raising, social networking and Google ads.

Obama’s HUGE online fund-raising is a matter of public record. In 2007, for instance, he received more online donations than his closest rival had total donations. And in February this year, he set a one-month fund-raising record of $55 million – with more than 80% coming from online donations.

I don’t know how he did that, but I do know his website helped. Visit and you immediately hit a one-step donation page. The site drops a cookie so you’re spared the solicitation on the next visit. They made it really, really easy to donate.

Obama’s campaign also spent $3 million on online ads alone between January and April. Google got 70% of that, according to digging by ClickZ’s Kate Kaye. To put that in perspective, his campaign spent almost $70 million on all of Obama’s TV ads between January and May, according to the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project.

Think the Internet storm has passed by your industry? Think your website and email newsletter are a solid strategy for the next five years? Think again. Even presidential politics has had to endure YouTube debates, social networking and big-time online fundraising. You could be next.

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Non Profit Fundraising, Online Marketing