Saturday, September 10, 2011

ccTLD Marketing for Africa: Lessons from Belgium's .BE ccTLD Domain Registry

I will continue posting some tips and lessons in ccTLD marketing from around the world for African ccTLDs to learn from. Last week, we posted lessons  from Singapore's "I Love .SG" independence month Promotion that ran throughout the month of August during which domains were sold to Singaporeans at the unbeatable price of $3.90 for the whole month!

This week, I will give the example of Belgium. According to the World Bank, Belgium has a population of 10,788,760 yet this small population has registered some 1,181,596 .be domain names according to DNS BE, Given the number of domain names registered by the neighbours, the Belgium's ccTLD registry feels dwarfed. On September 5th therefore, they launched a campaign that will run in September and October targeting the uptake  of .be domains by professionals and intellectuals. Here is the PR in full:

Today 5 September, DNS.be starts the next stage of its information campaign. Last year’s campaign was targeted at the Belgian self-employed and small SMEs. Now, we are zooming in on a more specific section of this target audience: professions and intellectuals. Our aim is to convince them that having a presence online is extremely important for them too.
 
During September and October, our campaign will run in the national media in the 2 major local languages (French and Dutch), as well as via a number of partners: (FVIB & Unizo + Unplib & UCM).
  • a TV commercial in the General Messages segment on both Flemish and Walloon broadcasters.
  • print ads in the specialist journals aimed at the medical professions.
  • via our partners by way of banners, a mailing featuring the commercial, advertisements, articles, etc.
If you want to have a look at the spot, we refer to:

The .BE Registry website is a treasure of information with very detailed and advanced reporting on domain name registrations. The .BE registry even gives registration density in terms number of domains per 1000 inhabitants per area code or per municipality. For example, in the Dutch municipality of Maldegem, some 1057 domains have been registered by the inhabitants.  Refer to the map below showing most domains are obviously registered in the more prosperous Flemmish North. The Belgians cannot agree on forming a government for 450 days but when it comes to registering their .NL domains, they sing in unison.
ccTLDs have been a great success in Europe. The Netherlands, with a population of just 16 million, has over 4.6 million domains registered in the .NL namespace, the Germans have 14.6 million in .de namespace and .uk with over 9 million domains. Am hoping African ccTLD managers can borrow some ideas from our regular examples to retool their ccTLD registries for efficiency in technical operations and service delivery.