The launch, the marketing campaign, the exit/sale that was announced today. Very well executed and the team behind dot co deserves credit for creating the perfect case study for new gTLD operators who want to play it by the book. The number one lesson to be learned, in my opinion at least, is that it takes money to make money.
The launch was spectacular and dot co was literally all over the place. The dot co guys advertised on lots and lots of domaining-related sites and again, they were pretty much all over the place. The result is that the extension became the hottest topic in the industry and the numbers confirmed that the .co team chose the right approach.
Observation #1: it takes money to make money.
Advertising rates on domaining-related sites are very low compared to other industries and while I don’t have access to their numbers, I’m convinced the returns were spectacular.
They then took things one step further and reached out to the average Joe by even buying a Super Bowl ad.
Observation #2: it takes money to make money.
Now of course, this type of advertising (especially the Super Bowl ad) is considerably more expensive but still, I’m convinced they were very happy with the returns.
… I could go on and on but you guys already know the dot co story.
Today’s news about the sale to Neustar makes it clear that even when it comes to the final sale/exit, they did very well and my final observation should be obvious.
Observation #3: it takes money to make money.
What new gTLD operators do as of this point and what they learn from the dot co success story is entirely up to them. Some of them will agree with my “three” observations and acknowledge the fact that in a far more competitive climate than the one dot co was in, standing out is even more important.
Some of them however will want to reinvent the wheel and it’s their prerogative at the end of the day but in my opinion, having a perfect case study right in front of you and not drawing the appropriate conclusions would be a huge mistake.