As I drive through LA and Southern California I am constantly reminded how many national companies spend hundreds of thousands on billboards and then fill them with terrible domains.
I don’t see domains that are memorable. What I do see are domains with hypens, too many words, other tlds than dot com, and domains that are not the names of their company.
You only get a few seconds to state your message. Billboards are generally for drivers, so you have to get your message out quickly and creatively. Before websites, the only way to get consumers to remember you was having a good 1-800 number. Now it’s your domain name. As it has been for years, the most important part of the billboard is capturing the eye of the passer by. There are a million different ways to effectly do this but once you have them now you have to get them to want and remember where to get more info. You have to put something up there that they will remember.
My feelings are this. If you can afford a billboard, you can afford a high quality, business matching, dot com. A billboard in LA is going to cost you at least $10,ooo a month so if companies are going to spend this kind of money they should use a solid domain to go with it.
I talked earlier about companies spending millions on Tv commercials while skimping on spending on domains. The same goes for other forms of advertising. Domains are your gateway that lead consumers from your commercials to information and hopefully an eventual purchase. When you are in domain name price negotiations remind them of this.
Too many companies are willing to have a hyphen or the dot net because they are unwilling to pay $20,000 for the domain they need. Of course they spend more than that having to redirect people to the correct website or lose that in lost revenue after they go to the wrong site. They are willing to force people to go to the Google Machine to find them because nobody ever remembers their hypen. “We don’t have or want to spend that kind of money on a domain name” is a reasonable answer for a new startup but for a company that spend hundreds of thousands on their advertising budget, that is a ridiculous excuse.
So again, keep this in mind when negotiating a domain name sale. Look at their billboard and say would this domain be more effective than their present name? This is not a domain hostage holding (unless you are squatting on their trademark and if so please move along), this is a domain upgrade. An investment on their part that will result in greater sales all for the low low cost of less than a billboard