FBYou.net Misses the Mark with Domain Name
I have not blogged about domain names much lately but to my domainer friends, do not worry, my heads still int he game. Tonight I witnessed a domain fail that was worth blogging about.
Typically I fall on the side of the business owner when people complain about bad domain name selections, most small business owners do not have a marketing team or have not been educated on what constitutes a good or bad domain name, as an industry we have not educated the market as much as we would like to think we have. That said, many small businesses, especially in this market, do not have the budget.
But in this case, we are talking about a “business” with a significant budget and a real marketing budget that totally misses the mark when it comes to their marketing effort.
The marketing pitch they are giving talks about everything revolving around “YOU” as an individual. A quick search of YouTube shows several customers recorded which means that there has been real budget put behind this project.
Now, to my complaint, as everyone well knows that has followed me in the domain name industry, I am a believer in being able to develop extensions if you take the time to brand and market and search optimize properly. In many cases, based on a limited budget when first launching a project most startups cannot afford the high cost of entry for quality .COM domain names that we all love.
Well, Fontbonne is not a small startup, they are a well established college with a solid reputation. For reference their main website is Fontbonne.edu
Oh wait a second, if you type in FBYou.net guess where it goes, yep you got it, Fontbonne.edu.
And it goes there with no special content based on coming from the domain name advertised in the commercial (although I would hope they are at least tracking how much traffic is coming from the commercial efforts this way).
The problem I have with all of this is that the .COM is a parked domain on Bodis.com, the domain owner looks to be in China. I would expect there is little to no type-in traffic to FBYou.com that occurs when these commercials are not running. I would be extremely surprised if Fontbonne tried to actually acquire this domain. I would make a pretty solid assumption that their marketing team went with what they could hand register rather than paying what would be I would assume a pretty nominal cost to acquire the .COM.
For an effort like this, with a real budget behind it, there is no excuse for a real marketing team to not make the right decision and either A) pick a better domain or B) acquire the .COM.
So now, I would bet a good portion of type-in traffic is going to that parked page instead of to the Fontbonne.edu main page, in reality in this case they would of been completely better off just using the Fontbonne.edu domain as it is easier to remember and likely well known to those that have been researching schools in the area anyway.
I will give a small business owner the benefit of the doubt on domain name selection, but someone that is educating people on business and marketing and how it works in the real world needs to make better decisions.