How effective was the govt's $58K online ad campaign for its Share Offers site? Here are the stats

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

Recently we looked at what the Crown spent advertising its asset sale-related Government Share Offers website.

It was an online-campaign, which Treasury saw as the most efficient option.

The Crown spent $58,000 on the campaign - $14,000 on Google Ad Words, the balance on news sites including the Herald and Stuff (see more below).

So how effective was it?

Hamish McConnochie, the self-styled guardian of public spending on new media platforms who extracted the above spending total from Treasury, submitted a second Official Information Request - this time asking for traffic to GovernmentShareOffers.govt.nz.

Treasury said that as of September 13, there had been 47,769 visits to the sites from 38,585 unique visitors.

That is to say, it cost $1.50 to get each person to the site.

(That assumes of course it was the online ad campaign that drove them there rather than NBR's story on September 12.)


What the govt spent promoting its Share Offer site through Google

Sept 12: Here's an interesting little aside to the asset sales imbroglio:

Self-styled spam sheriff Hamish McConnochie has been on the case again.

This time the Victoria University student has used the Official Information Act to discover how much the Government spent advertising its Share Offers site, which offers information about shares in the (extended) run up to the partial SOE privatisation programme.

Treasury's response:

Treasury commercial transactions group manager Andrew Blazey told NBR that, beyond Google, the money was spent on display advertising on nzherald.co.nz, Stuff.co.nz and other websites..

Market research on the Mighty River IPO indicated that people wanted more information about share ownership.

GovernmentShareOffers.govt.nz was created to fill that need.

Treasury sought to publicise the URL at a minimal cost. Asked if there would be more spending when the government made a fresh push to list Might River in the New Year, Mr Blazey said his agency was waiting on instructions from the government.

Meantime, the Crown is still getting exposure on Google.

When NBR searched for "Might River IPO", the Government Share Offers site topped the list of results (with the faintest of faint backgrounds that Google uses to denote a paid placement):

Click to zoom.

A Gmail discussing the Mighty River IPO was less successful, producing a series of text ads for a foreign exchange site:

  

Click to zoom.

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3 Comments & Questions

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I believe the majority of the google advertising cost is on a per-click basis? So the government may pay a few dollars if someone was to click on the paid link at the top of the search - so the second example isn't too much of a waste of money (although $58k?, if people want to find out about the govt share sale.. surely its not too hard)

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Think thats bad, just imagine what NZ Police are spending on firearms control in NZ. Mostly targeted at licenced owners not criminals.

$100,000 apprently just on the whole thumbhole stock = pistol grip and therfore its an MSSA.

Now Arms Amendment Bill 285 trying to slip in all sorts of blanket powers.

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Firearms and asset sales are a different matter. Fitzgerald v Muldoon set a precedent that governments shouldn't commit to policies before enacting appropriate legislation. Could it be that advertising assets in such a way is illegal.

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