Frager Factor

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Convention and Visitors Bureaus Seek Exact Match Campaign Domains With Lifestyle Market Sub-Domain Potential In Mind w/Bruce Turkel

“Part of what makes the domain so valuable is the time and circumstance, the ability to reach target communities with money to spend. Stockholm is a popular gay spot with rainbow flags hanging proudly in every district of the city and has become a hot tourist destination for transgender travelers."

We Talk to Destination Marketing Expert Bruce Turkel
Last year’s high-dollar geo-domain sales — among them, $230,000;, $175,000;, $100,000 plus $11,000 in acquirer’s stock; and, $28,000 —raise on very big question: are these high five- and even six-figure prices for geo-domains realistic in terms of the value they can generate for owners?

Yes — if you understand that their main value is not in the revenue that the domains can generate through traffic and clicks but rather in the hotel bookings, restaurant and entertainment revenue and taxes that result from the real world tourist activity promoted through these domains.

There is no over-estimating the value of a good name.
Consider this: Las Vegas attracts over 32 million visitors a year. Out of the gross hotel room taxes paid by those visitors, the share going straight to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority alone — owner of — is over $15 million per month.

On top of that, LVCVA generates revenue from operating the Las Vegas convention center. Measured against their $200 million in annual revenue, what does it matter what price LVCVA paid for

We don’t know what LVCVA paid for the domain back in 2004. But that’s not the point. It might have been hand registered, in which case it’s the ultimate bargain. Or it might have cost thousands of dollars. Either way, the one-time cost of acquiring that domain pales in comparison to the economic activity generated by Las Vegas tourism, the $230 million annual budget of LVCVA one recent year or the $122 million they spent in advertising and marketing alone.

The Visit“City”.com geo is an example of the high-value type of domain name we’ve been talking about for years: A memorable call-to-action name that elicits what interactive marketing authority Judith Oppenheimer calls the customer’s ‘I WANT’ behavior.

In fact, Visit“City”.com — and some of the variants — combine five of the attributes that says are characteristic of “premium” (read: high price) names: geo, destination, call to action, category killer, brand able.

These names are highly brandable, says destination marketing expert Bruce Turkel, because they are obviously unique to the city in question and they fit so well with the objective of any city tourism marketing campaign, which is to get you to visit. “It’s no wonder why tourism bureaus are waking up to the power of Visit(city) domain names,” says Bruce. “They are the perfect support to the campaigns we are running. In effect the domain becomes an advertisement in an of itself.”

He ought to know. As founder and chief creative officer of TURKEL, tourism-branding mavericks, Bruce works with the Destination Marketing Association International and some of the most valuable convention and visitors bureau accounts around the world.

When you remember that a domain is available 24x7x365 and accessible to everyone in the world, even six-figure acquisition costs — and pocket money renewal costs —represent tremendous value compared to traditional media that reach far fewer people far less often: up to $31.2 million for a rotary billboard in New York, $240,000 for a truck-back ad in Atlanta, about $60,000 for a 1-time quarter page in the automotive section of the New York Times. Or how about naming rights to a stadium, averaging $20 million for five years and collectively generating over $3.5 billion revenue across the leagues.

We also recently reported on a Verizon store in South Florida is spending $3K+ a month on a billboard outside of their stores physical location. We’re still talking about nearly $100K on a billboard over the last three years that’s got a .biz domain plastered on it." A Verizon store in South Florida is spending $3K+ a month on a billboard outside of their stores physical location. We’re still talking about nearly $100K on a billboard over the last three years that’s got a .biz domain plastered on it." (costs from and Sean Sullivan)

One geo domain, many markets.
Segmentation is another advantage of a great domain name over traditional advertising. That one powerful domain can be talking to multiple demographic markets at once in a way no single print ad, radio spot or billboard could ever hope to. Look at how the Stockholm Visitors Board is maximizing return on its $175,000 investment in Separate pages promote Stockholm as a destination for children, art lovers, romantics, gays and more.

“Don’t forget the sub-domain factor,” counsels Turkel. “I know of dozens of large cities ramping up their budgets to reach the Dual Income No Kids (DINKs) recession-immune audiences.” This might help move domain negotiations that previously lacked justification or sense of urgency to buy. Sub-domains extend the reach of the domain by enabling you to present different faces to different demographic groups.

Gays: A large, sometimes hidden, market – Easy to reach on the Web.
Consider the gay market. According to Community Marketing, the San Francisco-based research and marketing firm, the LGBT travel industry accounts for almost $70 billion in spending in the U.S. each year. Some places report that gay travelers spend double the amount per trip as straight visitors. And that’s not even factoring in the growing number of states moving toward legalizing gay marriage, which one day could bring in millions of dollars for destination wedding locations.

Bruce keynoted the LGBT travel convention in San Francisco. “The day after New York State legalized gay marriage we were advertising in The New York Times inviting straight and gay newlyweds to honeymoon in Miami.” Says Turkel excitedly.

“Stockholm is a popular gay spot with rainbow flags hanging proudly in every district of the city and has become a hot tourist destination for transgender travelers.

One reason for its popularity is because of the Swede’s progressive view of sexual orientation issues,” adds Turkel, who often addresses the destination industry on the opportunity for gay travel marketing . “When you look at these kinds of pages on (or linked from) the VisitStockholm site, you can begin to see the end-user value that may have been hiding from the domineers.”

What’s next for Domainer’s Holding The Cards: Looking for the sale.
Something else we’ve talked about in the past is our belief that the best way to sell a great domain name is to demonstrate its value by building it out and beginning to monetize it yourself.

If you’re not prepared to do that, then the next best way to sell it is to proactively market it to the types of people, businesses or organizations you think could put it to best use.

Says Turkel, “People aren’t going to buy things you don’t sell. And while it’s easy to say, ‘I’m not a marketer,’ or ‘I’m not a salesman’ nothing happens until somebody sells something. All marketing is, is a way of getting people interested in what it is you have to sell. But more importantly, savvy marketers understand the power of building a brand. If you’ve already got a business, if you’ve already done most of the operational things you can do, then the only place to build value in your company, the only way to make your company more valuable, is to build your brand.”

If you’re a domainer seeking a share of those big destination marketing budgets but lacking the talent or ability to build a brand on your own, Turkel advises enlisting the aid of industry experts such as his agency in order to build the most convincing business case and achieve succeed. Each destination will have its own relevant and brandable “X” factor that will be hiding in plain sight.

More of our interviews with Bruce can be found HERE and HERE

As CEO of the successful brand management firm TURKEL, Bruce has been creating valuable brands for over 25 years. Some have said Bruce is a branding expert because of the great brands he's worked with. Others have said he's been hired by great brands because of his expertise. It was finally decided that everyone was correct. Bruce has used social media and vanity domains to transform Miami, the Orlando area, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and other destinations into must-see vacation hot spots. And his presentation to GEO domainers, “Putting Heads In Beds” on was the most watched and best received ever.

Bruce's books include: "Building Brand Value," "Brain Darts," and "New Design Miami." He has been featured in "The New York Times," "Communication Arts," "Advertising Age," "Ad Week," "USA Today," and "Graphic Design USA." And he has appeared on CNN, ABC, CBS and NPR. An accomplished and enthusiastic musician, Bruce also can be seen fronting the Miami rock and blues band, Black Star. He is a graduate of the University of Florida

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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