Facebook! Everybody in the world is on Facebook, yes?
Nope. But it’s close. The biggest con happening now will affect domain sales to large companies, even if it’s only for a short time. This involves a simple Facebook advertising link that companies (or their ad agencies) are using, trying to “expand” their client’s reach, without realizing that Facebook is MARKETING THE FACEBOOK BRAND FIRST. I’ll explain this later on in this article.
First, a little history of Facebook. Launched in February, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has presented its seemingly innocent but clearly addictive website to the world, and millions have responded, thinking that having a system of sharing everything in their lives, including photos, messages, likes, dislikes, marital status, education, entertainment and basically anything a user could reveal about themselves to their friends and family and private people (if that’s their choice), would be safe. All this information about themselves would be kept private and open only to those people they wanted. *Zuckerberg snicker*
Facebook is now the premiere place for socializing, and it’s a magnet for sucking personal information out of you much more than you would want people outside your “inner circle” to know. Most of us would like our private information available ONLY to those we consider trusted and close to us. (Even that’s questionable. Just watch a few episodes of “Judge Judy” to watch people be bashed in the face by the crass and destructive nature of their lovers, coworkers, friends and family who think destroying a relationship with you is worth $1,500 and a chance to permanently embarrass their names and faces on national TV. Just think of the syndication rotation of these episodes, which I’ve seen sold on DVD, and replayed as “repeats” dating back to 2006. Facebook will hold all your info, photos, comments etc forever, even after you “close” your acct with them.)
How did this Pandora’s Box come about? Unfortunately, Facebook was “FREE”. No cost. Why is this unfortunate? Because Faceb00k used the well-known trick of drug dealers by giving new customers their addictive wares for free or very cheap to get you “hooked”. So Zuckmeister built up a huge following for his “free” socializing service – using tactics at the beginning most of us would call “unethical”. Now, the lure of “free” friend and family searching (sending the clunky “Classmates.com” to “Social-Outcast-land”) will come back to haunt those who’ve drank the Facebook Kool Aid. The idea of having your desire to be “accepted” back in high school struck a chord with even those who still want that past glory into their “Senior” years.
Yet, nobody seemed to ask: How would Facebook and Zuck the Schmuck recover their costs and make money off the now close to 1 BILLION people registered with them?
Then comes the BIG BOMBSHELL – which exploded fairly quietly, spreading pieces of your private information shrapnel out into the unregulated corporate world. International companies, including magazines, auto manufacturers, clothing companies, discount warehouses and thousands more companies who suddenly became a part of your life without you even knowing it. They’ve got your photos. They’ve got your last few vacation info, including names of your guests, hosts, family members you’ve visited. They have your loves and likes.
Yes, you may not know it because they don’t broadcast it back to you, but every link of a FB advertiser you clicked opened up your “private” Facebook account to that company. That company that advertised their Facebook link to you, and you clicked, have downloaded all your pics, comments, and personal information into their own database. Faceb0ok hasn’t really “sold” this info to them. Facebook sold their advertisers on how to “trick” FB users to innocently click on the advertising link connected to the company’s Facebook page. Bingo! All your “private” info with FB is now available to that always-present and problematic “third party”.
I read about an amazing topic called “Marketing Myopia” on BusinessDictionary.com a few weeks back. The concept of marketing myopia was discussed in an article (titled “Marketing Myopia,” in July-August 1960 issue of the Harvard Business Review) by Harvard Business School emeritus professor of marketing, Theodore C. Levitt (1925-2006), who suggests that companies get trapped in this situation because they omit to ask the vital question, “What business are we in?“
For companies who are drinking the Facebook “Kook-Aid” (that’s not a misspelling), are not looking at the long run risk they make on allowing another company to control their brand (Facebook). When a company spends millions of dollars putting out a national commercial, which at the end of the commercial shows the company’s “Facebook” link… the first brand seen is FACEBOOK. The actual company running the commercial has their brand run SECOND, a huge no-no in Madision Avenue circles, except old style ethical advertising and marketing seems to have gone the way of Wall Street – Greed, quick payouts, what can we do to make big moves to benefit our short term stockholder expectations?
According to BusinessDictionary.com for “marketing myopia” is “A short-sighted and inward looking approach to marketing that focuses on the needs of the company instead of defining the company and its products in terms of the customers’ needs and wants. It results in the failure to see and adjust to the rapid changes in their markets.
What’s amazing is that even marketing experts have a word for people working for companies that choose to go old school, and when they decide to go “New Media”, they actually don’t do their homework first, and end up jumping on a dangerous “Badwagon” that will come back and haunt them later.
Just think. A killer prodserv generic domain for a company might cost them $1 million for one year, but the maintenance of that domain is only $10 a year. Add to that the fact that millions of people will recognize the prodserv generic domain, equate that domain WITH the company that owns it, and get as smart as J&J with “baby.com” and Barnes & Noble with Books.com and Book.com. These are just the basic realities that most domain analysts understand and try to promote in order to try to show smaller companies that their investment in a domain name is more valuable than taking out a magazine ad, or a TV commercial. Those ads are done in weeks to months, maybe even days.
However, buying a generic descriptive prodserv domain name relevant to the company’s prodservs is an “appreciable marketing asset”, which means, the money the company spends on a working marketing vehicle (medium) maintains and even appreciates in value the price paid for the domain name, even as that domain name enrages your competitors (oh, they try to use their similar phrases that match the domains you own, and all they are doing is promoting your domain.).
For example, every time Borders put out ads using the word “book” or “books”, all they were doing was promoting B&N’s domains, “book.com” and “books.com”. This is just logical marketing progression. I think Borders finally went out of business.
For a good indicator of how important prodserv domains are for a business, there isn’t any company that has ever “rssold” their generic descriptive prodserv domains, unless that company was going out of business. And how would you like, as a business owner, to be able to make a profit on a domain name you bought, that’s been working for you since you bought it, and now the domain name is worth twice what you paid for it?
That’s the reality of domain name power. Using Facebook to STEAL that power from a company is plain crazy, and illogical. Any marketing director who allows their business to be listed as “second fiddle” to Facebook in their advertising needs to quickly STOP this practice, or be fired. No company needs some wimp buying into “social networking” without giving their company TOP BILLING.
The next time you watch a national network commercial, and see some sucker company ending their commercial with the tagline: “Visit us at “FACEBOOK.COM/xxxxxcereal”, just think about the loss of that company’s brand, and the free exposure and continued trickery by FB by luring in marketing directors with the promise of providing “all the private info we have on those FB users/consumers” we have all over the world.
Don’t bet against the fact those “innocent users’ will someday find out that they’ve been tricked into letting major corporations download everything personal about their lives just by simply clicking on those companies’ advertised “facebook” links.
Remember, when a person clicks an adlink for a an ad-permission paying company using Facebook who gets that cash, that FB users is agreeing to release EVERYTHING about themselves to this THIRD PARTY — and this THIRD PARTY is paying FB for this right to obtain all info about the FB users who click the advertiser’s link. Just read the FB TOS to find that release by the user to allow this.
Be careful, and remember that generic descriptive domain names are simple, but powerful, backbranding power marketing moves online, and that a purchase of a domain name doesn’t diminish in value, and in fact, gains value the longer you use it.
I’d read this blog over again to understand exactly what was said here.
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