Opinion

Domainer Hubris: Who Needs Madison Avenue (We Do!)

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.

Examples:

.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:

mesothelioma.co $76,000
Insure.co $60,000
Denver.co $50,001
slots.co $41,000
pokerstar.co $22,500
vehicles.co $18,500
shirts.co $17,000
flix.co $13,750
forsalebyowner.co $13,600
docs.co $13,000
iporn.co $11,500
shipping.co $11,000
caribbean.co $10,610
paydayloans.co $9,375
kiwi.co $8,600
mar.co $8,600
Rakeback.co $8,550
newcars.co $8,000
lastminute.co $7,877
divorcelawyer.co $7,160
chi.co $7,110
socialsecuritydisability.co $6,900
jogos.co $6,600
paydayloan.co $6,425
landforsale.co $6,400
sem.co $6,300
nos.co $6,110
wing.co $6,002
plumber.co $5,900
Swingers.co $5,700
signs.co $5,600
guru.co $5,310
arearugs.co $4,800
londonjobs.co $4,600
secure.co $4,350
kohis.co $4,200
doc.co $4,100
emailmarketing.co $4,100
ohio.co $4,100
1688.co $4,099
biodiesel.co $3,810
vacationrentals.co $3,700
gaming.co $3,700
tshirt.co $3,600
gamers.co $3,600
fias.co $3,600
Puppies.co $3,600
tshirts.co $3,310
national-lottery.co $3,300
limo.co $3,250
vips.co $3,100
rrr.co $3,100
insulation.co $3,100
sigma.co $3,100
halloweencostume.co $3,099
proactive.co $2,995
t-shirts.co $2,900
ooo.co $2,900
neem.co $2,800
dui.co $2,791
smith.co $2,750
led.co $2,700
anuncios.co $2,700
lucky.co $2,700
pestcontrol.co $2,650
con.co $2,600
naturalgas.co $2,550
mercardo.co $2,550
complaints.co $2,550
trivia.co $2,549
nate.co $2,300
officefurniture.co $2,250
oneill.co $2,250
palmbeach.co $2,200
ira.co $2,150
360.co $2,150
immo.co $2,000
pillows.co $1,800
freecredit.co $1,650
comparison.co $1,592
worth.co $1,550
tire.co $1,550
pinnacle.co $1,550
georgiarealestate.co $1,550
handyman.co $1,350
casinoonline.co $1,200
alfres.co $1,150
estate.co $1,100
purse.co $1,060
probate.co $1,060
tvadvertising.co $1,025
italia.co $1,025
aviation.co $925
smart.co $905
sos.co $875
snowboarding.co $510

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:

dotCO:

Drapes
Dishwashers
CharmBracelets
ItalianCharms
3dVideo
3dCamera
Saddle
Kennel
FloorLamps
LedLight
Lightbulb
Quinceanera
AugmentedReality
Sonoma

dotPRO:

AddressBook
Aloha
ArtificialIntelligence
Bakery
Barbecue
Barbeque
Barn
Birthdays
Blade
Blender
Blues
BodyJewelry
BransonHotels
Bulb
Candy
CareerAdvice
CheckCashing
ChineseFood
ChristianBooks
CoffeeMaker
Cold
Conferencing
Conspiracy
Contemporary
Convention
Cordless
Crib
Daddy
DataMining
DiaperBag
DigitalCameras
Dinosaur
Disaster
DiscountTickets
DiscountTravel
DistanceLearning
Dolphin
Dressers
Driving
Drop
Duvet
DvdPlayers
Earnings
Earthquake
Ecotourism
ElectricCars
Equine
EspressoMachine
Estrogen
Evolve
FamilyLaw
Faqs
FashionJewelry
Faucets
Fear
Flatware
FreeMusicDownloads
Friday
Gaia
Garbage
Geothermal
Graduation
Handbag
Harmonica
Hawaiian
Headphone
HomeTheater
Homework
Hoops
Hula
Indemnity
Infomercial
Kabbalah
Kauai
Kona
Lanai
LaptopComputer
LaptopComputers
LaserPrinter
LedLighting
LedLights
LedTv
Less
Lightbulb
Liquor
Loudspeaker
Luau
Lunch
MagazineSubscriptions
Mahalo
Marina
Martini
MediaRoom
MexicanFood
Microphone
Minute
Molokai
Mommy
Motorbike
MoviesOnline
MovieTheater
Muffler
MusicDownloads
Nanotechnology
Napa
Numerology
Obituaries
Obituary
Oceanfront
Overnight
PersonalComputer
PhoneBook
Photovoltaics
Plugins
Purse
Rope
RunningShoes
Salesperson
Saxophone
Scrapbooking
Seance
Shed
Shower
Sing
Singularity
Smog
Snorkel
Snorkeling
Snowboarding
Sonoma
Soup
Speaker
SportingGoods
SportsCar
Spring
Subwoofer
Tape
Televisions
Testosterone
Textbooks
ThaiFood
Toaster
ToasterOven
TouchScreens
Towing
Treasure
VacationRental
VirtualReality
Voicemail
Waikiki
Wallet
Warsaw
WatchMovies
Westwood
Whale
Yard

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:

DomainInfomercial.com
DomainInfomercials.com
DomainTvOffer.com
DomainCommercials.com

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

About the author

Mike

1 Comment

  • Excellent posting. I agree that .pro is a slow mover, but the good news is that the registrants have been picking up steadily and the registry has made further improvements to allow quicker and more simplified registration process.

    I recently add .pro registry services at reduced rates on the facts.pro website in case anyone is interested in registering.

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