–Dan Kelly, Attorney
A couple of weeks ago, Forrester Research issued a report called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012.” The report has a great deal of interesting information, two pieces of which underscore points I have hammered here for a while. First, the report notes that “[d]irect traffic is critical to sales:”
While explicit interactive marketing tactics are critical to sales, a significant portion of buyers visit sites directly by typing in the retailer’s URL. . . . Across both new and repeat customer segments, direct load was an influence in approximately 30% of transactions.
The bold emphasis is mine. Many companies do not pay attention to the risks of typosquatting until it happens to a key domain that the company cares about. The cost of preventing this by buying and holding key typographical domain variants will almost certainly be cheaper than using formal procedures, either a UDRP or ACPA action, to get just one typosquatted domain back from a bad actor. People directly navigate on the Internet all the time. Make sure that they find you.
Second point. I have predicted the demise of online social networks here (with a revisit here). While I have not seized every opportunity to try to prove my point (i.e. the Facebook IPO debacle–not necessarily proof of my thesis, but clearly not a ringing endorsement of the long-term viability of online social networks), the Forrester report also has this gem:
[F]ewer than 1% of transactions for both new and repeat shoppers could be traced back to trackable social links.
Out of all touchpoints that this study tracked (direct navigation, organic search, paid search, e-mail marketing, display ads, etc.), social marketing finished dead last. Just sayin’.