You know what they say about a rose by any other name. But Bill Sweetman doesn’t believe it. He thinks calling a rose anything but a rose is a major marketing mistake.

Sweetman says he’s amazed at how many companies “still fumble the ball” when it comes to having a coherent domain name strategy. Naming things is a very creative exercise, and challenging to get right.

When Sweetman discovered the Internet in 1994,  he also became fascinated with domain names and was super curious about how they worked and how they were being used.  Over time he began to find the go-to person, friend, and colleague who he could turn to when needing domain name help.

If you don’t get the right domain name, you risk losing customers, credibility and marketing dollars.

Domain Name Servers (DNS) are the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book. They maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Sweetman describes the domain name space in less technical terms. Domain names are the friendlier, easier-to-remember alternative to using a long string of numbers to reach a specific destination on the web. Instead of navigating to a website using 123.456.789 you simply get there by typing acme.com into your web browser.

Domains are a navigation shortcut, very convenient and user-friendly.  They have also taken on a life of their own as brands too. Hotels.com, for example, is both a domain name and a powerful stand-alone brand.

There has been lots of discussion over the years about the value of a domain name.  Corporate America has certainly made progress in understanding the importance of domain names as valuable business assets, but companies still fumble the ball when it comes to having a coherent domain name strategy. You would think that by now that no major corporation would launch a major product or marketing campaign without owning the exact match .com domain name, but companies still make this Marketing 101 mistake all the time.

This proves there’s still a lot of education yet to be done in the boardroom. Domain names should never be treated as an afterthought. They are your primary business address on the Internet.