New TLD Applicants: Start Marketing Now!
October 16, 2010
If you are planning to apply for a new top-level
domain (TLD), the time to start marketing is now and the best way to
do it is through social networks. You need to create public
awareness and gather information about the potential demand for your
You cannot rely on past TLD data to forecast
demand. New TLDs will represent new business models and new
signals/messages to customers. No data is available for them. Even
if there were, you can improve your forecast by using
your own personal experience and expertise, and above all the
information generated by social media.
Because you don’t yet have a well-conceived
product, and no performance measures to rely on, you must
concentrate on conversations with potential customers. So, at this
stage, your marketing campaign must focus on social networks.
The social media objectives will create TLD
awareness that will lead to dissemination through word of mouth
(WOM). With blogs, you can measure brand awareness through the
number of new and repeat visits. For the success of brand
engagement, you can measure variables such as the volume of comments
and responses to surveys. You also need to measure tweets about your
TLD. As for the effectiveness of WOM, you need to collect data—for
example, on the references to your blog and the number of “likes.”
However, before you embark on a social media
campaign, you must set the objectives to be achieved and determine
the set of metrics that can best capture the necessary data. The
metrics should be adjusted as you learn from your marketing
campaign. You must continue to study trends in these variables and
listen to conversations with your potential customers.
If you are planning to apply for a TLD,
you need to create public awareness and gather information about the
potential demand. The time to start marketing is now, and the way to
do it is through social networks.