This is a guest post from Sid Marcovitch of Earstrings, LLC and DNFactor.com.
Where mainstream radio & television advertising was once too expensive for many companies to consider, Google has changed the ground-rules for broadcast media Buys. Why leave success to domainers, industry insiders and the fates when affordable tools exist to reach the mass market? Anyone who doubts the power of brute force marketing need only look Here or Here.
Of course, unlike the sale of tangible, material products, when it comes to the sale of domain names, there are none of the manufacturing, fulfillment, shipping or other costs generally associated with the sale of traditional hard goods. Are there potential rewards for non dotCOM domain name sales based on a mass marketing approach to the end user? I believe there is.
Over and over again, I hear that Madison Avenue doesn’t understand domain names. Well, from my vantage point, it appears that domainers don’t understand the benefits of Madison Avenue any better.
.LA (Laos) sees lackluster results after Rebranding as Los Angeles with little marketing.
.PRO (Professional) emerges slowly out of the starting gate after making changes and relaunching without a Madison Avenue style marketing campaign.
.ME (Montenegro) gains traction with strong prelaunch marketing to domainers.
.CO (Columbia) registrations number 500,000 domain names in the first two months following relaunch based on smart, compelling, constant marketing to the domain trade. You’ve seen these auction results:
Based on the above dotCO auction results, I’m virtually certain many of the .CO domains I registered would sell for much more than the initial registration fees I paid ($25-$30/ea), but the domain names in my .PRO portfolio – with even better keywords than many of my .CO regs – would probably not:
What is the difference? So far as I can tell – only marketing – and most of it only within the domain trade. Truth be told, dotPRO is as good as it gets for an extension. Even before the Internet, thousands of businesses branded their company names using “PRO” as either prefix or suffix, and unlike the other extensions listed above, dotPRO actually represents the word PROFESSIONAL! What does that tell you about the importance of marketing (or the lack thereof)?
Even taking into account GoDaddy (Superbowl ads), no registrar has gone directly to the public with regular, continuous television advertising campaigns to create and maintain interest and brand recognition. How long would Coke® or Pepsi® stay at the peak of popularity if either company sporadically marketed to only the restaurants and grocery chains, but not to the ultimate end user. I don’t believe the rules of advertising change because one product happens to be a soft drink and the other a domain name. When will the domain industry finally wake-up and begin to apply Marketing 101 strategies to directly target end users just like thousands of other industries with comparable yearly sales volume?
Think about it: Facebook reaches 500 million friends in just a few years while it has taken almost TWO DECADES to reach 100 million dotCOM registrations (and that’s only because some individual registrants hold portfolios of hundreds, thousands and hundreds of thousands of domain names. If the domain industry applied mainstream Madison Avenue style marketing know how to their trade, domain registrations of all TLDs could easily double or triple their existing numbers. And don’t tell me that’s because Facebook is free. Remember the PET ROCK? Monetize that.
Geez. 15,000,000 people out of work, and holders of 401ks are seriously contemplating emptying their nest eggs into highly marketed fast food chain franchises! For less than the price of initial improvements to a leased commercial space and neon sign, they could buy domain names and develop multiple ecommerce websites while keeping the majority of that nest egg intact. But why would the domain industry want to share that secret? We’re too busy organizing the next domain convention and wondering why end users aren’t coming on board. Maybe we should be putting a call in to Don Draper.
What say you Frank, Monte, Rick S., Howard, Rick L., Ron and company? I have marketing ideas and strategies. Anyone interested in listening? Contact me at Sid.tel (oh yeah, there’s another TLD that could use a little long term marketing muscle). Maybe we could find a way to make these keywords relevant:
I’m not looking to sell these. I’d be happy to make these domains part of a comprehensive marketing campaign to the public. Any takers?
I just don’t get it