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Advertising and Marketing Industry Feels New Web Addresses Will Ultimately Be Successful, Despite Lack of Overall Awareness

Research Report Shows That New Generic Top-Level Domains Expected to Initially Cause Confusion, Before Becoming a Valuable Tool in the Creation of Memorable Website Addresses

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–()–Sedo, the world’s largest domain marketplace and monetization provider, today announced the results of research into whether those that work in the advertising and marketing industry (or their clients) are aware of the pending launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in 2013 – and whether they plan to take advantage of these new web addresses.

“Advertising and Marketing Industry gTLD Awareness Report”

More than 360 individuals responsible for the advertising or marketing programs at their companies, or who work at advertising or marketing firms, were surveyed in August 2013, revealing that:

  • 54 percent were unaware that new gTLDs will be introduced this year;
  • 62 percent felt that the introduction of these new web addresses would make the internet more confusing to navigate;
  • 64 percent believed that the use and adoption of new gTLDs would be ultimately successful, despite the initial confusion they may cause;
  • 35 percent said that the main advantage of new gTLDs would be an increased ability to secure a memorable website address, while 28 percent said that they would be persuaded to purchase one of these new web addresses for this very reason.

A gTLD is the suffix at the end of a website address, such as “.com,” “.net” or “.org.” Following approval by the Internet’s governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the first new web addresses will become available for public use in late-2013, with the potential for more to be introduced over the following years. They will include extensions that are brand specific such as .Nike or .AOL, those that are geographically rooted such as .Boston and those that are truly generic, such as .music, .home or .inc.

Overall Awareness

The research shows that awareness of gTLDs is still a widespread issue, with 54 percent of the advertising and marketing industry respondents unaware of the pending gTLD expansion. In addition, 95 percent of respondents said they have not applied or had a client apply to manage a new gTLD registry, while 88 percent also said that none of their clients have considered purchasing a new gTLD address. These results echo an earlier survey on gTLDs, available here, in which 63 percent of small and mid-sized businesses responded that they were also unaware of these new web addresses. Increasing overall consumer and end-user education and awareness will be key to an effective gTLD launch, in order to ensure a successful reception.

Future Potential

A majority (62 percent) of those in the advertising and marketing industry felt that new gTLDs will make the Internet more confusing. However, this seems to be a short-term concern, because at the same time a majority (64 percent) also feels that gTLDs will eventually be successful. Many respondents felt that these new web addresses will eventually become a strong tool for them to utilize, to get a message or product in front of audiences. In fact, 59 percent of respondents said that they would consider using a domain that ended in something other than .com for a campaign and 57 percent said that consumers would easily understand an address ending in something other than .com.

Creating Memorable Addresses

It should come as no surprise that securing memorable addresses is important to the advertising and marketing community, and was often cited as the most important reason to select an address. The new gTLD program should provide a great benefit to the advertising and marketing industry, making it possible to register a wider variety of memorable addresses at reasonable prices. According to the research, 35 percent believed that the main advantage of new gTLDs would be an increased ability to secure a memorable website address, while 28 percent said that they would be persuaded to purchase one of these new web addresses if it helped them to create a memorable address for a product or client.

“There is definitely the need for further education and targeted marketing to increase awareness for the new web addresses that are going to be launched soon. However, the findings on the future potential are very encouraging,” said Tobias Flaitz, CEO of Sedo. “New gTLDs will greatly increase the possibility of creating a memorable and even more comprehensive website address – compared to what is available today – and it is easy to see how this will become an important tool for those in charge of marketing and advertising. At Sedo, we are dedicated to driving greater awareness for these new web addresses so that all potential users understand the value they can add to an efficient domain and eCommerce strategy.”

Additional Findings of Note:

Advertising and Marketing Industry’s Use of Domain Names

  • Just over half of respondents (54 percent) have purchased a website address in the past.
  • Of those that had purchased a website address before, 62 percent did so for a personal website and 55 percent did so for a corporate site.
  • Given the respondents’ field of work, it was not surprising to see that 33 percent said they had purchased a website address for a specific advertising or marketing campaign and 26 percent had purchased for a specific product.
  • Just over half of respondents (52 percent) said that they have had to purchase a different website address than originally planned for their campaigns; 29 percent said that it was because availability was a problem, 3 percent said expense was the issue and 20 percent said they’d had trouble with both cost and availability.
  • 32 percent indicated that they’ve had to go on and rename a product, service or campaign because the website address they wanted wasn’t available or was too expensive to purchase.
  • Just over 12 percent said that they had discussed using a new gTLD in an upcoming campaign – while another 18 percent said they hadn’t, but now plan on bringing it up.

Trademark Clearinghouse

  • Survey respondents were reminded that, as a rights protection mechanism, ICANN has developed the Trademark Clearinghouse to help trademark holders protect themselves from potential abuse during the launch of the new gTLDs.
  • A majority (86 percent) were unaware that the Clearinghouse existed, while 85 percent said that they have never had an issue where they’ve had to contest a trademark infringement.
  • Among respondents that knew of the Clearinghouse but hadn’t used it, nearly half (49 percent) said they ultimately plan to, but had not yet had a chance to do so – showing that despite not using it yet, they understood the value of registering their marks. Other responses indicated that 26 percent are waiting to see if these new website addresses are adopted; and another 26 percent are simply not afraid of trademark infringement.

New gTLD Chances for Success

  • Respondents were asked to rank the 10 most commonly applied for new gTLDs in order of chances for success. “.app” was deemed the most likely to be successful, followed by “.inc” and “.shop.” The one expected to be least successful was “.llc.”

For a copy of the “Advertising and Marketing Industry gTLD Awareness Report,” detailing the results of the research, please follow this link.

For more information on Sedo’s past gTLD research, please visit this site.

About Sedo

Sedo, an acronym for “Search Engine for Domain Offers,” is the leading domain marketplace and monetization provider. Headquartered in Cologne, Germany and with offices in London, England and Cambridge, Mass., Sedo has assembled the world’s largest database of domain names for sale, with more than 17 million listings. The success of Sedo’s model has attracted a global base of more than 2 million members.

Contacts

fama PR for Sedo
Jeff Drew, 617-986-5004
sedopr@famapr.com

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