How to leverage & take back the conversation using your domain
Date: Oct 06, 2016 Written by Chris Zuiker from MediaOptions.com
Domain strategies should play an important role in every marketing campaign.
Successful businesses integrate their domain strategies at every touch point as an effective tactic to communicate directly with their brand. Effective marketing campaigns use domains to convert and go from offline to an online sale.
A premium domain creates an effortless path for brands to take ownership of the conversation with potential customers. We are already seeing a major shift from consumer brands who previously leveraged their entire brand strategy, resources & marketing spend on third party platforms like Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Those businesses now are realizing that they need to take control of their message and that can only happen on their own domain name(s).
Why brands need to communicate their domain, often and everywhere.
The goal of every brand should be to start a direct relationship with potential customers.
Getting customers into your sales funnel allows you to control the conversation and limit the noise from competitors.
Retailers have a different objective. Their goal is to sell a product and not necessarily yours. This also applies to search engines, Facebook, Amazon or other advertising platforms. These companies win when the conversation is kept with them.
The power of this relationship has traditionally been monopolized outside of a brands control. The internet has allowed brands for the first time to take back this conversation. This simple insight is a massive strategic advantage for brands. Your domain provides a direct method to tell your story, reinforce benefits and communicate your brand essence.
Communicating your domain often and everywhere is an important tactic that tells customers where they can find you online.
Your domain should create simplicity and be easy to remember.
Marketing messages still need to stay simple to be memorable. The average attention span is now about 8 seconds. The best brands understand the power simplicity brings to marketing.
Your domain strategy needs to:
- Reinforce your brand
- Elevate you above the competition
- Be easy to remember
Your domain URL should be communicated prominently
Brands make a major mistake when they don’t have their URL displayed prominently on their packaging.
Over the last 17 years I have managed leading brands at Walmart, Target and Sam’s Clubs. The best brands understood the importance of standing out on the shelf and using their packaging as a way to start the conversation with potential customers.
For example, Walmart has over 120 million visitors each week in their stores. A secondary strategy should be to use this traffic to start a relationship. Prominently displaying your domain and giving a compelling reason to visit your website helps achieve this goal.
Domains are important because they allow customers to get more information on your product, see styles not carried in the store and see how you compare to the competition.
Successful packing elements
Here is a list from Forbes.com on the five key elements of successful packaging. Notice the emphasis on keeping it simple and standing out from the crowd.
- Stand out. You need to make your brand the consumer’s signpost to the category
- Be Simple. Simple design is more effective.
- Pass the five-year-old test. If you can describe your brand to a five-year-old, send them into a store to find it, and actually get it, your packaging creates an iconic connection.
- Trigger emotional engagement.
- Create iconic assets.
Here are few real life examples of how domains are used in everyday marketing and packaging.
Once you start paying attention you will see domains everywhere and where they are missing.
DeWALT successful uses this endcap display to communicate their domain. The location of the domain reinforces their brand and provides a clear destination for consumers to find more products. This has a powerful effect when done in multiple locations and retailers.
VIP products has several items in the dog toy isle of a local Walmart store. They don’t do a particularly good job with branding on their website however are one of the few companies that displayed their domain in a larger font at retail. The yellow letters against the black background helps their domain to stand out.
Blue Apron is a New York-based start-up that is changing the way people cook at home. They have done and outstanding job with their initial branding and have raised over $194M in funding https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/blue-apron#/entity
As part of a marketing campaign they are sending direct mail pieces to potential consumers for a free trial. The domain BlueApron.com is prominent thru ought the brochure. Domains are the gateway for conversion of their product. Blue Apron understands this and makes it easy to take the next step and start a relationship.
The mission of Chewy.com is to make the process of finding food, treats and all that good stuff easy to find–and deliver it straight to your doorstep. They have products for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles and more.
This is another example of an online e-commerce company going to back to the basics and using direct mail ads. Chewy is a powerful example of using a suggestive category brand and domain. Chewy.com is displayed prominently thru ought this ad to draw the customer back to their website.
Here is a framework to help you evaluate your domain decision: P.R.O.F.I.T.S
Not all domains are created equal
Businesses risk spending more on marketing when their domain is difficult to remember and hard to spell. One word short domains are in high demand because they are easy to remember and spell. Category defining domains that directly connect with your product and marketing campaign, such as Author.com, exponentially impact your ROI because the connection they make is strong with potential customers. Premium domains such as Hotels.com, Cars.com, Lease.com, StockPhotos.com make powerful brands because of how they answer the needs and desires of potential customers.
Brands have more opportunities than ever before to own the conversation with their customers. Your domain communicates where people can find your brand online.
Successful businesses integrate their domain strategies at every touch point as an effective tactic for potential customers to communicate directly with their brand.
Choosing the correct domain is an important decision that could impact the success of your marketing campaign. Premium domains are easy to remember, establish leadership and reinforce branding and product portfolios.
Here are a few premium domains that Media Options is brokering that will make great brands: SelfieStick.com, www.instock.com, www.RetailTherapy.com, www.Heart.com, www.Author.com.
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