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Choose a gTLD for Love or for Added Value?

The decision to bid for a new gTLD can be driven by reason or by love. Either the applicant practices strategic and financial valuation, or the applicant falls for an idea implicit in the gTLD. The second group had better be very lucky or have some motivation besides profit. They enjoy little chance of economic viability. Worse, they follow up their poor initial selection with similar bad calls about their marketing message. They listen to their hearts, and their hearts keep making things worse. This essay outlines situations that enforce this kind of thinking: the self-referential kind, where self preferences take the place of analytics.

The authors of a recent study interviewed 480 experienced marketing managers about their personal preferences for handling a selected product or service. The researchers then primed some of the managers to be more empathetic, doing this by having them describe a typical customer for what they had to offer. These subjects had to think like the customer, imagine the consumer’s reactions and thoughts. All the managers, those who had done the empathy exercise and those who hadn’t, then had to predict what customers would want. They also took a survey assessing their empathy levels.

The authors found:

  1. The more empathetic the managers were, the more “egocentric” they were. That is, an empathetic manager was more likely to feel that the consumers’ preferences were in line with theirs.
  2. The more empathetic managers were also more likely to ignore market research that the authors provided on the business’ consumers.
  3. The managers acted this way no matter how much or how little experience they had as marketing managers.
  4. Managers who were made aware of their egocentric biases were able to check them.

The authors point out that a heterogeneous group of free thinkers might bring in less marked results. However, to avoid group think, the group must have disconfirming opinions.

I love my posts, and I predict you will love them too :)

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart

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Spot on Thomas Barrett  –  Mar 3, 2015 8:22 PM


You’ve hit the nail regarding many of the new gtlds.  I like the notion that many applicants simply fell in love with their strings and decided the rest of the world would too, so that no effort would be required to market or brand them.

Traditional market analysis or end-user research appears to have been skipped for many of them.  In addition,traditional go-to-market strategies (such as conducting market and channel awareness) appear to have been skipped as well.

But business viability of registries aside, personal websites and small businesses certainly are winners in that it will take years for the available supply to be exhausted.

Tom Barrett

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