Monday, January 26, 2009

How do I choose a domain name? Should I go with or

It is important to realize that a domain name is more than just a piece of property on the World Wide Web. It can build equity just like a house and it can become a powerful marketing tool that will drive traffic to your site… just like a well enjoyed home cooked meal can drive traffic to your bed, you just have to know how. Like in a lot of thing and David Ogilvy, one of the most prominent advertiser of all time, would agree “Simplicity still holds the truth, like the truth of a simple kiss.”

A well chosen domain name will help you with your SEO

First of all, chose a domain for your company AND for your product and have them both pointing to your website.

The spelling of your domain for your business should be as close as possible from your real company name. Don’t make the mistake of adding useless things to your domain such as “inc” or “ass” or else. Keep it pure, keep it simple. If your business is called “Joe the Plummer”, name it as such; It will be much more memorable that way and please, PLEASE, stay away from acronyms that nobody can remember. Only concentrate on what’s memorable. Why? Just imagine the picture: you are in a networking event, you don’t have a business card on you nor a napkin and the guy in front of you is in a position to buy something from you. You can either tell him: “Please visit us online at”, just hoping that he’ll remember or you could say something like: “A great way to remember me is

Also, you should have another domain, named after your product that is pointing to your site. Be aware that a lot of people tend to remember the products before the company that makes it. Not convinced? Try to tell me right off the bat who’s the company behind Maxwell House Coffee… I rest my case.

If you are a small business owner, you should also buy your own name for the same reasons as those described above. A lot of entrepreneurs will push their name and reputations to sell a product.Having multiple domains pointing on the same website will help you with your ranking a bit but DON’T overdo it as it may produce the opposite effect and you may lose points on Google and Yahoo.

Make your domain a call to action

One of the most effective things you can do is making your domain name a call the action. Almost everybody that knows a bit about marketing knows what a call to action is and means. If you don’t, read bellow.

The whole idea behind a call to action is to get the potential customer to act. now! With traditional channels of communication such as TV, print Ads, billboard, Radio etc. a call to action would sound a little like: “Call Now. Toll Free. 24 Hours a Day. Mail this coupon today in the postage-paid envelope. Fax your response card.”

Just make sure to avoid passive phrases like: “You know how to reach us. Call when you're ready to order.”

Give your customers the perks of responding immediately. They'll be most likely to grab their wallets. If you take the same example as above where you attend a networking event and you are out of business cards. You'll be most likely to see that prospect converting into a client if you say something like: “A great way to remember me is:”

Build your domain name out of popular searchesHuh….? Just know that most search engines will rank a site higher if it's named after what people are searching for. That’s cool SEO right there but wait a minute…. How do I do that?

There a very cool FREE keyword suggestion tool available through WordTracker. Go to type a word or a combination of words related to your business such as “Flat Screen”. WordTracker will list the 100 most popular searches containing the words “Flat” and “Screen”. Today for instance, 538 people searched for “flat Screen tv”, 52 for “best flat screen tv” and 23 for “cheap flat screen tv”. You probably figured out that today, 23 POTENTIAL BUYERS!!! were looking for cheap flat screen TV and ironically was still available this morning when I checked… I'm just saying. And if the search is too long, consider the use of dashes so it becomes easier to read.

My Point

Domain names are most probably among the most underestimated and cheapest marketing tools available that can truly make a difference in building your business. Make sure to choose the right one using the strategies above and if you already have a domain and didn’t think about that back then, consider a redirecting domains strategy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Be careful what you wish for…

Every time I watch the Superbowl, I find myself (under the interrogative look of my friends) bitching about the effectiveness of "xyz" commercial that somehow succeeded in producing laughter among the audience. Then I start explaining that too often the joke becomes bigger than the brand and when it does, chances are you will most likely remember the punch line than the advertiser. If you just invested $2.6 million for a 30 sec. and everybody misses the point, it's a huge waste of money.

Unfortunately theses days, many advertising
professionals seems to put more emphasis on building their personal portfolio than on their client's interests. You must first ask yourself, do I want a great ROI or help somebody win an Oscar?

Back to Basic

After countless books written about how to get what you want in life and the common acceptance on the basics of the law of manifestations, we all seems to agree that the first thing for everything is clarity. Whatever you are aiming for, you must be clear on what you want to determine the purpose of our actions (as brilliantly explained by Jack Canfield in The Secret). Guess what? Those universal principles are not only true in your life but also in advertising.

If setting a goal and determining the purpose of an ad before designing it sounds obvious for some, it always amazes me when I see brilliant creatives from famous agencies prioritizing their personal glory instead of goal oriented results.

A Real Case Tragedy
This is the sad story of Meubles Napert. Meubles Napert was a very prosper family owned furniture store chain. When Kevin, the youngest son, took over the company and decided to invest massively in his positioning, he hired one of the most dynamic, provocative and successful young ad agency in the province called AMEN.

The agency advised Mr. Napert to go with a powerful and provocative generic campaign featuring real clients of the retailer having as last names, the name of their main competitors (Most of furniture stores in Canada are named after their founder). The above ad was saying “Leon is shopping at Napert” and was targeting the national giant, Leon’s

The campaign was praised by the creative industry, as the agency found a brilliant and funny way to build a relationship between the advertiser and its competitors, and created a lot of controversy among Napert’s competition.

Praised by some, hated by others, the campaign was on everybody’s lips. It was a pure success but 7 months later, the company filed for chapter 11. What went wrong? Of course not everything was to blame on the campaign but nevertheless, the campaign failed to bring sales up because while everybody else were advertising queen size mattresses for $599, Napert was spending money advertising the fact that their advertising agency was more creative than those of the competition.

The agency failed in either listen to its client who’s been successfully selling furniture for years or in learning about how to successfully sell in this industry.

Bottom line
Before even thinking about doing ANY advertising attempt, always determine your purpose by asking yourself: What’s my objective? Why am I advertising? What results do I want to produce? If you want to sell more, advertise as such. It may look less sexy and you might not win a prize for creativity but at least you will bring more sales.

A great creative campaign can definitely make you but also destroy you if it fails to produce the anticipated results. Do a furniture retailer need an award winning creative campaign to take its business to the next level? This is something a client objectives driven agency should have ask themselves before taking Napert’s money. As we all know, an Oscar doesn’t necessarily translate in a blockbuster success and vice and versa. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of purpose that will lead every choice in any productions. Keep that in mind when you choose your agency or agree on a concept.

David Morin B.A.V.
Brand Artist