Wednesday, December 05, 2007

And then a million more....

This week saw the news that the number of domain names issued under the .au namespace as surpassed the ONE MILLION mark. Quite an achievement as it suggests that there is one domain name for every 21 of Australia's population!!

There is a lot in these two statistics. The sheer number of domains means that marketing and branding in this very crowded environment is just getting more and more difficult. All of the intuitive domain names are long gone (and worth a lot of money - albeit that many seem to be retained by early-age domain prospector who registered them years ago and don't have the money or business to fully leverage. Never mind, one of the big guys will no doubt eventually buy them). In fact, it is getting more and more difficult to register phonetically practical domains with under about ten letters in them. (There are businesses out there who just register tonnes of domain names and hold onto them in the expectation that someone will want them one day and will need to buy it from them!!). So .... just registering the domain name and expecting the money to flow in is well and truly "last century."

Making your domain work for you is increasingly the job for sophisticated professionals. These people bring together the right mix of marketing, creative, content, user experience, technology and ongoing management to turn a domain name into a working, commercial business. Many a dollar has been wasted by companies failing to address all of these elements in appropriate proportions.

The second message for me is that 1,000,000 domains on the little old .au namespace sends a clear message. EVERYBODY is doing this. It might surprise both readers to hear that there are STILL companies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia who do not see digital channels as the core platform for marketing, customer engagement, customer service and commerce. My job is to keep pointing out the obvious ... if you haven't doubled (or more) your allocation of your marketing and customer service budgets to digital services in 2008 then prepare to lose market share.

Your competitors ARE doing this and they ARE throwing serious money at it. They are working with significant professional specialists (and not asking their ad agency or traditional technology provider to try and be something they are not) and they are getting commercial results ...... and once you have worked out that you too need to follow suit .... drop me an email.

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